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Printer reviews

If you have 3rd party carts they usually come with a satisfaction guarantee return period if they do not work.I only had one with a bad chip over 20 years, but it does happen, and once had a ‘part-filled’ cart. While getting the last few drops out is satisfying it can be counter-productive. If you have 4 carts that use at slightly different rates (common) you end up having to buy singles or store certain colours that might or might not work one day.

A 4-set of my compatibles w/extra capacity is around $38 delivered and when the first gets low I order a new set and replace the lot of them at once. It is roughly once a year. Why all at once? If I have a bad one I still have a usable original to put in while it gets sorted. It is cheap and if I maximised each I might be saving $4-5 p.a. at best. My methodology also removes having to argue the merits of the ACL after the satisfaction guarantee period, plus when there is a problem it is usually within 2 minutes of closing on Sat or Sun night when you have to wait until Mon to get the printer going again. If you order carts like I do, it is 1-2 business days to have a new one in your hand, metro.


The print quality finally became poor today as the yellow ink was at critical so I replaced it, the magenta, and the cyan cartridges which it wanted for the past 6 months.

After throwing the old cartridges and the packaging in the bin, I noticed that I had a lot of blue and some red ink over my hand.

The cyan cartridge was obviously not empty despite it carrying on for 6 months


I swore I would never buy a Canon laser printer again when Canon left me with a fully functioning colour printer with no Win 7 driver. They were leaving that for a third party to create (think unpaid enthusiast). Silly me - I bought another Canon colour laser to replace it, partly on the Choice review, and held my breath when I updated to Win 10 - pleasant surprise that it didn’t need a new driver.

I have had lots of annoying faults with the Canon LPB 5050N. The last straw was my refill store telling me they no longer stocked the toner cartridges and could not refill my own. After some ringing around, another store told them the HP was compatible and I took one home - it worked. But the other faults that continue to stack up will be consigning this to e-waste.

It (like the one before it) throws Cyan all over the innards. It has constant paper jams - unless the tray is over half full, but less than full - meaning big print jobs have to be done in 30 page lots. It goes through periods of printing the first page, then paper jamming the second. It was continuously stopping requesting I run the “Out of Color Registration” which I did over & over. Internet search reveals Canon’s advice to replace with genuine toner does nothing to remedy the problem. In the end I determined that the magenta was not aligning (after doing all the Workshop Manual fixes). I put a HP toner in. It works for general documents, but any pictures - it leaves the magenta out - greenish / yellow pictures.

Thinking of going to HP laser to continue using the pile of Canon Toner cartridges I have bought to “fix” the Canon problem. Anyone had experience with HP in Canon?


I had Canon, then had HP, then Canon printers, and most recently moved to HP because I was fed up with all the problems I was encountering with the Canon drivers not being updated and the printers becoming useless.

Currently I have a HP Laserjet 200 colour MFP (M276) which I think was one of the Choice recommendations.

And guess what? I am having issues with it, as the scanner stopped responding. It turns out that with one of the Win10 updates some of the HP printers stopped working with USB 2 cables, and only work with USB 3. This is fine at the computer end, but the printer only has a USB 2! No point putting on a USB 3 cable. :angry:

Fortunately, this MFP has wi-fi, so I am now using that to do scanning and printing via a Windows “smart app” that came with the printer. (Does it need to be said that was only after uninstalling & reinstalling a few times?)

It seems that almost every time there is an update for Win10, there is a new issue. The drivers & the app keep failing, and have to be manually uninstalled and reinstalled.

Needless to say that HP haven’t been updating the drivers.

I also have issues with the colour toners like you do, with smearing along the pages, even when I am not using them.

My conclusion is that these sorts of printer problems are now just par for the course due to the constant Windows updating, regardless of which brand you go with.


More generally the issue of updates to Windows breaking printer software and scanner support goes back to XP by our experience. Win 10 was touted to bring an end to driver and update problems? The comments here are not a good look for Microsoft or the printer brands involved.

Many printers appear to have two options for drivers and software. Generic MS or OEM. Trouble shooting to separate between a printer physical fault or software/driver/configuration fault is frustrating and time consuming. Having an older Win7 system which does not change has proven useful. Any fault not replicated on a printer when doing a trial print from it points to a software issue for the every day laptops. If the fault is replicated it is a physical printer issue.

Wisely or foolishly we are still on Win 8.1 with a desktop still on Win 7. That may have helped keep our older Brother laser printer working. The minimal security updates for 8.1 seem not to be a problem. The desktop is next to be replaced and has limited use on line.

I’m not advocating anyone go back. There are many reasons for Win 10 as a better option. It may be useful to know whether similar printer or scanner issues occur as often in a MAC or Linux world. My previous experience with Linux and printing is limited and generally unsuccessful. Mac second hand seemed to work well but on a limited range of printer models.


Very limited input, as we tend to hang onto printers for a long time. We have a 6yr old Mac Pro desktop, and 3yr old Mac Mini. Both run the latest applicable supported version of MacOS. Both these computers replaced earlier iterations of Mac hardware.

We currently use a Fuji Xerox colour laser connected via USB - equipped with 3rd party toner cartridges. We used to have a monochrome HP A3 laser connected via ethernet, and a monochrome Lexmark via USB. All of these (have) worked for years on end with no issues.

The one peripheral that we have had numerous issues with is a small Canon LiDE scanner. It has been a bit of a nightmare during a few OS upgrades. A large Epson Perfection scanner has been no problem.

Having boasted about the printers, I’ve probably jinxed myself now, and will need to replace the Fuji :sweat_smile:


I find the Brother Laser printers to be reliable, Canon and HP have been abandoned by us some time ago (in the consumer range). Others I have found to be good are Lexmark (business range and they often have High Capacity toners available), Epson (though often expensive refills), Xerox, Samsung & Oki.

Most have what I think are expensive OEM toner refills but some certainly have great after market toner support. Perhaps the after market refills for Lasers could be an included reference in the printer tests or even a separate review in themselves.


Great idea. I like your tone…r


I was scanning the reviews of monochrome laser standard printers when I was surprised to see that many models had the same listed fault: they are unable to print when the black toner runs out. It seemed a waste of time to me to mark them down for this but I looked a little further.

I was amazed to find that some models do not have the flaw! So my question is, how do they do it?


I don’t know about mono ones but some colour ones combine the 3 colour toners to make a pseudo black similar to how some ink jets do this. It is toner costly to do it but in a pinch it can get something printed if needed.


Wanting to buy a new colour laser MFP, I had a look at the choice review. The top rated HP printer is showing as unavailable from the stores and at HP.

More worrying, I was looking at laser printers, including the top HP recommendation, and found the following on several of the newer ones I looked at:
Dynamic security enabled printer. Only intended to be used with cartridges using an HP original chip. Cartridges using a non-HP chip may not work, and those that work today may not work in the future.

I know that HP have been trying hard to disuade users from purchasing after-market inks and toners, but is this a portent that they intend to head down the path of stopping their printers from functioning if after-market inks or toners are inserted?

Is this a threat or a warning?


No. It is a message to give HP the great one- finger Aussie salute.


It might be a bluff.

Note that under the Australian Consumer Law, if a non-branded toner is marketed to be used in a particular model of printer, it must work otherwise it is not fit for purpose and one could seek a remedy (e.g. replacement or refund) under the ACL.


It appears your reference is to the compatible ink, not the printer. Getting a refund on a $2 ink is little consolation when you have bought a $150 printer that requires $50 inks, or whatever the comparative costs are the difference is usually considerable.

An honest question is what (or whether any) consumer rights to use compatible inks apply when a vendor such as HP is up front about the risks of buying non-OEM inks and them working now or in the future and they roll out firmware to enforce using their own.

edit: This article provides some insight into the motivations for companies to protect their businesses. For some time printers have become loss leaders or break even products with the profits expected from ongoing supply sales. That model was challenged and shredded by the advent of compatible supplies. The options appear to be (legally if possible) limiting operation to OEM supplies (HP has done this in prior years!) or raising the prices of printers to reflect once off sales as being fully profitable.


It could be interesting how the ACCC would approach this. The only example which may be applicable relates to what the ACCC has said in relation to car manufacturers trying to maintain exclusivity by not sharing information about a vehicle to assist in independent’s servicing the same vehicle.

The other is parallel imports where a product is sold in Australia which may or may not to OEM and outside of the formal manufacturer distribution channels. This one is very clear in relation to rights when such a product is purchased…namely, the obligations under the ACL still stand…

I suspect that the ACCC may take a dim view if manufacturer’s start developing firmware which ensures that a consumer can only purchase consumables from the same manufacturer. This removes the opportunity for competition Their statements about performance of non-genuine products may also raise the eye of the ACCC as it may be intentionally incorrect or misleading marketing material in order to maximise their own sales.

There is also a risk that a non-genuine toner or ink may result in the printer failing. This is also covered by the ACL and the toner/ink retailer/manufacturer would be responsible for any damage caused by the use of their inks/toner.

Where does this leave consumers, if a non-genuine ink/toner retailer indicates that a ink/toner is compatible/suitable for a particular printer make and model, then they must stand behind their product if it cases a problem, and they must meet their obligations under the ACL. It is also worth noting that the same applies to the OEM ink/toner manufacturer.

We have bought both OEM and non-genuine toner for our printer even thought the manufacturer warns against using such toners (warning such as may result in the printer failing or increased paper jams etc, poor print quality, may not work due to toner chipping etc). We have found that for our particular printer, there is no difference between the two toners, with exception that the non-genuine is about 1/5 cost of the genuine equivalent. We are also onto our third non-genuine high capacity toner cartridge and have had no issue to date. Maybe we have been lucky.

Notwithstanding this, one of our parents bought a compatible Epson ink cartridge for their MFP from a reputable non-genuine ink/toner retailer (who also sold genuine toners as well). On installing the non-genuine cartridge, it wasn’t recognised by the printer. After a call to the retailer, monies for the purchase was refunded. The retailer at the time indicated, if they are to be believed, that like any product (which includes genuine parts), sometimes the product can fail and they have about the same number of failures between OEM and non-genuine inks/toners.

Maybe it is one that Choice could broach with the ACCC as it not only applies to printers, but any electronic device (think batteries or other consumable parts), cars, appliances etc where the manufacturer tries to maximise their sales and profits by taking actions to prevent entry of non-genuine component suppliers.


As an alternative, for home use we have found it more effective to use two printers.

A no nonsense mono laser that prints double sided does 90+% of the work load, and not being HP there are higher capacity OEM and alternate supply replacement toners. Nearly ten years old, it’s a Brother.

For colour we have a basic inkjet MFC with document scanner attachment, although scanning one page at a time so not that much more onerous for occasional needs. We are on our third in the same length of time as the laser. One HP, one Epson, one Brother (current).

Our experience suggests ease of use and long life reliability are the only justification for buying at higher price points. It really is a bit of a guess as past performance is not all that relevant in today’s world.

How many printers come with a five year 5,000/10,000 page unconditional warranty, OEM consumables used or not?

P.s. that’s a lot of trees, and gold tinted inks!


That reminds me of when Apple first released the iPhone and it was exclusive to some US mobile networks.

Consumers developed “jail breaks” to make them network free but then Apple shut them down when they rolled out updates.

Apparently they are still doing it.


HP printers are already set to detect the chips attached to cartridges. I keep getting pop up notices (that I have previously posted elsewhere on the forum) that I am not using genuine HP toners. These toners work just as well as the originals.

What I got from the statement on HP’s site, that I quoted above, was that the printers MAY be set to reject non-genuine HP chips. This is regardless of whether the ink/toner works successfully or not.

This would be like Apple saying the phone’s warranty is void if you replace its battery with anything but a genuine Apple battery. Oh hang on, they did say that, didn’t they :slight_smile:


There was a time I wouldn’t buy anything else - now I’d buy almost anything but. HP in it’s various forms seems to be gaining pace through the S-bend after two decades of so-called ‘leadership’ that ended much the same was as Cabletron went - split into a number of spin-off and sub-spin-off companies, each apparently an unrecognisable mutation with apparently the same standard of ‘leadership’.

It’s where they make all their money - possibly the reason why the HP company

that does printing is called HP Inc :wink:

I’m very happy with my Fuji-Xerox MFP … 7 years old and going strong!


Our printer review (member content) has been updated for 2019 :printer: