In the last few years I’ve been switching from the technology companies I’d always purchased from to greener pastures. Nikon to Fuji cameras, Dell and Samsung computers to Mac, Android to Mac… it’s dawned on me that
A. not all tech companies are created equal
B. new innovation don’t always come from the same company. Nikon had its heyday and now it’s in decline.
C. I may have just had an impression of a product because it’s all I’ve ever used.
My latest ship-jump has been from Epson printers and scanners to Canon. When I was in college in the mid-2000s, all printers were Epson; we were told they had the archival inks on the 2200, and god forbid our crappy college work be printed on anything that wouldn’t last 200 years. I must have spent thousands of dollars on ink and prints that ended up in the garbage. After my 1280 died, and my 2200 died, I decided to buy a smaller Epson printer all-in-one that was $60 on sale- the XP-400- and use it solely for printing stupid stuff like documents, and leave the quality photo printing to a company I ordered from in Oregon.
Here’s the thing with home printing: it sucks. Multiple inks that cost $12-$20 each from the store, screw-ups inside the printer that ruin your paper as it comes out, no way to really open them up and clean them yourself, “charging” inks each time you turn printer on or off that wastes ink, which makes you not want to turn off the printer, so you waste electricity, and leaving the printer on wastes ink anyways. Epson also has two kinds of black ink which you switch back and forth depending on your surface. Then the endless cleaning cycle, which chews up at least one of your ink cartridges; when one cartridge is dead, you can’t print anything. When the printer breaks it costs as much as the printer to fix it. This has been my experience with Epson.
Then, in March of this year, I got a Canon MG7520 printer/ scanner. I cannot say enough good things about the print quality and ink performance of this machine. It’s fully enclosed, meaning dog/ cat hair won’t suck right into the machine. I’ve had it for a few months, printed more than I normally would with my old Epsons, and haven’t had to change the inks once. Of course it’s brand new, out of the box, but even with that caveat- the print quality kicks the ass of the cheap Epson up and down the street. It’s box price is $200 but you can find it for around half that.
I can only dream of comparing the big-boy version of Canon vs. Epson, but it’s another category where switching brands has made a big difference for me. Now I can be more “mixed media on the print” than I have been the last few years since I can actually print without guilt of having to run to Staples for ink all the time. It’s worth examining your own brand loyalties and seeing if they currently work for us, because we shouldn’t be the ones working for the brands.