David van Balen on 10 Feb 2009 21:04:59 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] all-in-one printer recommendations?

On Mon, 5 Jan 2009, JP Vossen wrote:

>> Date: Mon, 5 Jan 2009 16:46:28 -0500 (EST)
>> From: David van Balen <dvb@temple.edu>
>> I'm looking into getting a printer/fax/scanner combo printer and was wondering if anyone could recommend one that works well with Debian. It would most likely either be connected to my PC, with a Vista computer using it via Samba, or both computers connecting via home network, depending on what features the printer offers.
>> I did a couple google searches, and it sounds like HP OfficeJets are a good option, but I thought I'd ask here before actually making a purchase. I saw some good reviews for the 6310, although the replacement cartridges are supposed to be $40, which sounds a little on the expensive side.
> That question has been asked and answered a lot in this list recently
> (last 6+ months or so).
> Inexpensive MFC:
> http://lists.netisland.net/archives/plug/plug-2008-05/msg00075.html
> Laser (asked by me):
> http://lists.netisland.net/archives/plug/plug-2008-11/msg00115.html
> What I got ($500+)
> http://lists.netisland.net/archives/plug/plug-2008-12/msg00063.html
> Personally, I've had problems getting HP Desk/Office Jets to work under
> Debian and Ubuntu and I wanted real official (even if second class)
> Linux drivers and support, so I went with Brother after being a die-hard
> HP fan for a long time.  I'm also sick and tired of all the inkjet BS;
> crappy devices, so-so output, way too expensive ink, etc. so I wanted
> laser.  As you can see, from the above post, so far I'm quite pleased
> with the Brother MFC-9840CDW.  YMMV.
> Good luck,
> JP

Thanks to those who replied. Just thought I'd post a follow up on what I ended up doing.

I started out looking at Brother printers but, after reading a few of the negative reviews, it appeared that they are prone to prematurely detecting that their ink cartriges are empty, which sounded wasteful to us. The proposed fix, putting tape over the cartrige window, also sounded unappealing.

After that, I went back to looking at HP printers and, based on a review on CNET, decided to purchase an HP Officejet J6480, which was heavily discounted on amazon.com.

Setting it up on Vista ended up being a breeze, since a couple reviews recommended setting the printer's network IP address on the printer, before running the setup app off the included CD. I had it printing and scanning, and had run a successful fax test within minutes.

Setup on linux involved a little more aggravation, but wasn't the worst configuration experience I've ever been through. The cups web frontend found the printer over the network with no problem, and I had printing working with no more trouble than any other printer. Scanning, however, was more difficult. After some googling, I got scanning working with xsane and xscanimage by following the suggestions in the following thread (see the next to last message):


It's a little annoying to have to provide the printer uri every time. I guess this is the kind of thing one can avoid by purchasing a Brother brand scanner?

I also had to apt-get install one or two additional packages, including sane-utils.

I haven't tried to do any faxing in linux yet, and I'm not sure that I will since I already set up the Vista box to receive faxes.
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