If you run a home based business or work at home as a telecommuter, then you will need a computer printer that will serve your office needs, as well as one that will work well for your family needs. There are a variety of inkjet printers to choose from for your home based business or office. When these printers are not being used for work, then they could also serve as your family printer, printing photographic quality images, homework projects and family newsletters.
The ink-jet printers that have been selected for this review are ones that fall into the mid to low cost price category. Yet, even at these mid to low prices, these inkjet printers will do an admirable job serving both a home office and your family printing needs.
These are “All -in-One” printers meaning that they can serve a variety of office functions, including copying, scanning, printing, etc. The drawback to using inkjet printers is the cost of replacement inkjet cartridges. Included with each review are general costs you could expect for ink-jet cartridge replacement at retail prices.
Each of these inkjet printers should work with Ubuntu Linux without the need to install additional driver software. However, some scanner functions on these all-in-printers will may require an additional driver install if you want to use these printers with Ubuntu Linux.
Canon PIXMA MP990 Wireless Ink-jet Photo All-In-One Printer
The the Canon PIXMA MP990 Wireless Inkjet Photo All-In-One Printer could serve as both a home office ink-jet printer, as well a family printer. If you have a wireless PC or a laptop, you will not have to mess with printer or USB cables. Simply plug the printer in, and allow your PC’s software to make the connection to the printer through a wireless connection.
The printer contains a scanner that lets you make images of a document, and print it out. You can also scan photographs and make color copies. The Canon PIXMA series of printers can interface directly with Canon digital cameras, and transfer of photographs directly to the printer. The menu system within the printer is intuitive and easy to navigate. With this printer you are able to print your own images and photographs with the photographic quality you would come to expect when you have your film professionally developed.
An added bonus for this printer is that it is wireless. There is no need to hook it up to a PC, via a cable. Therefore, of your kids want to use it for a while in another room with a wireless laptop, the Cannon PIXMA MP990 can be unplugged and moved. The Cannon PIXMA MP990 only weighs a little over 23 pounds.
Canon PIXMA MP990 Wireless Inkjet Photo All-In-One Printer Cost: ~ $170
Inkjet Cartridge Replacement ~ 6 individual ink-jet cartridges. Replacement Price: $10-15 per cartridge
Ubuntu Linux Compatibility: Yes
Epson Workforce 610 Wireless Color Inkjet
The Epson Workforce 610 Wireless Color Inkjet printer has been around for a little while, and has recently dropped in price. This printer can be purchased for just under $100 from many on line electronic retailers. This printer offers printing for all of your business needs, and the Epson Workforce 610 Wireless Color Inkjet printer offers color photographic quality printing.
The Epson Workforce printer is the fastest to set up to use of the three models reviewed. When you compare the Epson line of printers to some of the larger printer manufacturers like, Hewlett Packard (HP), Cannon, and Lexmark, you will find that the Epson line of printers are easier to install and set up. HP tends to install drivers and control software that literally hijack your computer’s desktop, especially if you are running Microsoft Windows as your operating system. This Epson installs in minutes, and prints documents out fast with high quality. Due to its low price and versatility, the Epson Workforce line of printers rankhigh the list of best low to mid priced ink-jet printers for your home office, that also offer photographic quality printing.
Epson Workforce 610 Wireless Color Inkjet Cost ~$100
Cartridge Replacement ~ 4 individual ink-jet cartridges. Replacement Price: ~$15 per cartridge
Ubuntu Linux Compatibility: Yes, except for scanner. See this link for information on how to get the Epson Workforce 610 Wireless Color Inkjet to work correctly with Ubuntu Linux.
HP Photosmart C4680 All-in-one Printer
This HP Photosmart inkjet printer comes as one of the lowest priced models in this review, as the HP Photosmart C4680 can be purchased for around $75. With the cheaper price, you loose the convenience of having a wireless printer. However, for this great price, the HP Photosmart C4680 printer provides photolab quality images. The LCD display on this printer is small, however, the display is clear and sharp. The install software that comes with the HP Photosmart C4680 All-in-One printer installs quickly on your computer, and printer set-up is a breeze.
HP Photosmart C4680 All-in-one Printer
Black and Tri-Color Cat ridge Replacement ~ $30 with a discount available with a cartridge recycling program.
Ubuntu Linux Compatibility: Yes, you may need an extra driver for the scanner function if you run an older version of Ubuntu Linux.
Inkjet photo printers have seen a drastic price drop in recent years. Printer manufactures have offset lower ink-jet printer prices by selling replacement cartridges at relatively high price. For light home office and family use, ink-jet printers may be a viable solution to your home office needs. If you plan on having your home office printer used by family members, then look into purchasing an ink-jet printer that is also capable of printing photo quality images. The low cost and versatility of an ink-jet photo printer will bring more capability to your home office.
Printer and Inkjet Price Source: Amazon.com as of Mid-October 2010.
Sources of Linux compatibility of Photo Inkjet printers from personal experience.