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Hp Deskjet D1660
My wife and I share a printer. While surfing the Internet one evening, I heard a most disheartening declaration.
"The printer won't work!" my wife said.
"Are you sure?" I replied.
"No," she responded.
It was time to check things out. Paper was feeding, but there was hardly any print on the paper. The cartridges were new, and therefore nearly full. There was ink build up on the cartridges, black and color, so I pulled them out. And it was probably time to clean the print head, too. After cleaning the print head per instructions on the Internet http://www.weeno.com/art/0899/140.shtml - (it was filthy) - and then letting it dry, I replaced the head, then cartridges, and tried again. The result was the same - barely a trace of print.
And here was the age-old dilemma. Do I keep fiddling or do I invest in a new printer? And then there is the other consideration. How long will my wife tolerate my fiddling? The printer we had was a good old soldier, a Canon Pixma iP1500, but I decided its days were over.
The next dilemma was what to buy? We're on a pretty strict budget so I wanted a basic printer without a lot of bells and whistles. We occasionally print a scanned photo, or word process and print a letter. We do not use a printer as an extension of business, hobby, etc.
I usually begin the hunt reading Internet reviews. I read about Epson Workforce 30 Inkjet Printer, Lexmark Z2420 Inkjet, and 3 Canon Inkjet Printers. The three were: Canon Pixma iP2600, Canon Pixma iP2700, and Canon MP250. These were all described as basic printers and somewhat close in price.
Rather than compare each one in detail, I will go over a few differences of major concern, and then detail the reason why I bought the HP Deskjet D1660. After all, I own it and have used it for 3 months, while the others I have just read about. Given the times, I suspect you are reading this review hoping to find a budget printer that is acceptable or even more than that.
The Epson Workforce30 Inkjet Printer is an Epson contribution to the lower end basic printer. It can be found for around $60 at many places. Its claim to fame is FAST PRINTING. It is said to run at double the speed of competitors, including the models listed above. Fast means 38 pages per minute of text. This printer has dual black ink cartridges for big projects. It uses 4 cartridges which cost about $6.87 - $15.29 per depending on whether you buy generic or brand name.
The cartridge colors are black, cyan, magenta, and yellow. This means you don't need to replace a single multicolor cartridge when only one color runs out. By being able to replace just the color that is empty, you pay less for ink. It has a separate tray for print output.
The Lexmark Z2420 is wireless (802.11). Hence, the printer can print while you are working elsewhere in your home. This model prints text at 25 ppm, while color can be printed at 18 ppm.
The photo print resolution is high at 4800 x 1200 dpi on photo paper. It comes with Lexmark Productivity Software (an upgrade). Lexmark provides Scheduled Print software at its web site for download. This allows you to print from your preferred sites. The Z2420 can be had for around $45, with a spread of $39 - $100, quite a range. Its cartridges run from around $20 (generic color) to $40 (brand name). Black ink runs from $13 - $16.
The big difference with the Canon MP 250 is that it is a multifunction printer. That is, it prints, copies, and scans. The previous mentioned printers are all single function. The MP 250 can produce borderless photos. Its photos have, as described in reviews, a crispness. I take it that they have sharper detail. This printer uses a pigment based black ink resulting in sharper-looking text. Black cartridges generally run from $15-$20. Color cartridges can be purchased for $20 - $29. The printer costs from $45 - $100.
The Canon Pixma iP2600 Photo Inkjet Printer is a single function printer. It powers up very quickly providing the opportunity to quickly start a project. Some reviews had complaints of it being excessively noisy. Photos come in at 1200 x 1400 dpi. This model produces a 10x15cm borderless photo in a swift 55 seconds. It has an output tray. It prints at 22 ppm text and 17ppm color. This model has a black polished plastic case with silver detail. Black ink runs $18 - $20 with color coming in around $20 - $24. A couple reviews advise running text on draft to conserve ink, ie, it eats up ink fast. This particular model runs from $37.50 - $50.
The Canon Pixma iP2700 Color Inkjet Photo Printer has a performance bias toward better photo processing. Black images print at 7.0 ipm (images per second) and 4.8 ipm for color images. DPI provides for 4800 x 1200 resolution. Several reviews classified this as photo lab quality. The Auto Photo Fix II and Easy PhotoPrint EX software are superior software packs compared to the other printers. Black ink runs around $17 while color can go as high as $26. Amazon.com reviews came in at 80% positive. The iP2700 runs from $30-$60.
BACK TO THE HP DESKJET D1660
The Hewlett Packard Deskjet printer D1660 has a highly polished black case. It is genuinely attractive; more so than the other models. It is a small unit measuring 16 3/4" wide, 5 3/4" tall, and the bottom is 6 3/4" in depth. The top narrows to 5 1/2". It can therefore fit in many places conveniently. It weighs about 5 pounds.
I printed a page of text out of my HP Deskjet printer and it took 10 seconds. That translates to 6 pages per minute. So, it's slower than the other models. It is extremely quiet when it prints, a characteristic noted by other reviewers as exceptional.
While I printed a photo of my granddaughter and was pleased with the outcome, several reviews criticized its photo quality. All the other models had superior photo processing. Having said this, the photo I made was better quality than my previous two printers could produce. Text printing is exceptionally good. This also was noted in reviews.
This HP inkjet printer has no output tray. Pages work through the printer and are delivered on top of your paper stack. I have had no problems with this and not one jam. Printer software was loaded and the machine was running without fault the first time. This model will hold 80 sheets of paper. Reviews noted that this is less than the 100 page average.
HP's Solution Center is the name of printer software included.
Another negative to be noted from reviews is that this HP inkjet printer has a 30-day warranty, while most printers have a 1 year warranty.
Ink jet cartridges run anywhere from $10.50 - $18.25 for black, and color ones run from $13.99-$19.99. The price of ink for this model is competitive, or even slightly better than other models, however, the reviews point out that the Hewlett Packard inkjet D1660 uses a little more ink per page. As far as ink cost, it seems a bit of a wash. This little HP Deskjet, not surprisingly, is Energy Star. Its review from Amazon came in at 68% positive.
The Hewlett Packard printer attracted my attention when I saw it in the store for $29.00. Since I feel it is a very good basic printer, the price was lowest and best.
So with the eye of a referee, and with hindsight being 20-20, I think, in all honesty, that you get more for your money buying either the iP2600 or iP2700 Canon inkjet printer. Both can be purchased new for the low $30s at Walmart and Amazon.com. The Canon price is so little more than the HP as to be insignificant.
In my situation, my wife had things to print, and I could buy the HP D1660 printer locally. The Canon would have involved shipping charges and a slight delay.
But the real test is whether the HP Deskjet D1660 meets the criteria of a good single function basic printer. It passes that test. Am I happy with having bought the second place brand of printer? You bet!
What is In A Brand?
Post Publishing Note
If you use the HP D1660 with the print specifications being "normal", this model gets superior ink use. "Normal" on this model looks like the standard text on other printers that I have used. In some cases the term "draft" is used.
Breaking News on HP BJ Printers
There are still many brand new D1660s available on Amazon. In addition, a comparable new model, the D1000 is available.
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John Wilsdon - Sixty-three year old interested in photography, books, treasure hunting, and fishing. - I am retired. I fish, prospect for gold, garden, read, and hunt for rocks for jewelry making. - Superior, Arizona - My biggest passion is gold pros
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2010 John R Wilsdon
John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on May 16, 2011:
Thank you, Lazko - it's nice to know it was of use. :)
lazko from the Earth on May 16, 2011:
That's so detailed, if i may say comparising hub about printers. Definitely learned new things. Thank you john000!