Howie worked every day of Labor Day weekend; between actual hours worked, call-in pay and on-call pay, he had a lot of overtime. His last paycheck was a blessing…And he was also VERY glad come this last Friday, the eve of his first days off in two weeks.

I also had some unexpected money come in from a computer job I did for a customer. We’ve been doing some shopping, both for things we’ve been needing (like bed pillows – yay!) and some treats.

One of the things we bought was a new printer. I gave our first Epson printer, a Stylus Photo 820 (as well as the replacement Epson graciously sent me back in January) the old Harvard try, but just couldn’t take it anymore. The printer driver, though a very complicated pain in the you-know-what, also allowed for a great deal of customization. And the print quality was excellent…When it printed right, that is.

Because of their design, any time our printer was shut down without using the power button (which makes it seat the cartridges properly), the nozzles got clogged and dry. We’ve had a lot of storms this summer, and had frequent brownouts. Plus I’d unplug the power strip after remembering to shut down everything except the printer properly. Actually, it did this if I didn’t use it almost daily. No good.

I’ve had nothing but trouble with the cartridges clogging and running out of ink. The nozzle check and cleaning necessary to get them working again used oodles of ink and didn’t even help.

Thing is, we didn’t have these problems with any of our HP printers. It just seems to be a better design so far as the cartridges go. So, we went back to HP.

We went to Micro Center (aka Geek Heaven) on Sunday afternoon and alternately oohed and aaahed at all the cool stuff there. One thing I scoped out was a HP Photosmart 7350. Micro Center wanted $149 for it.

Staples, however, had a refurbished HP Photosmart 7550 on sale for $149.98.

When I told the salesperson this was my other consideration, she pointed me toward their new stock of HP Photosmart printers – so new there was no floor model out yet.

So, for the same $149, I walked out with a new HP Photosmart 7660,. Like the 7350, it has slots for flash media. It also prints borderless 8.5×11″ prints, compared to the maximum of 4×6″ borderless on the 7350. It also has a greyscale cartridge I can buy for printing black & whites, improving greyscale transitions and bringing out more detail in prints. There’s an optional double-sided printing attachment I can purchase later, too.

I don’t need an LED on a printer since I don’t see myself every printing directly from a media card. That ruled out the other models of HP Photosmart printers.

One thing I noticed right off was that the HP appears better made than the Epson. It is heavier and more solid, and it doesn’t rattle. I’ve done a couple of prints with it, too, and it’s pretty slick. It does not have a complicated driver, but it lets me just print my pictures and they turn out well. If I want professional photo finishing done with all the tweaking, I’ll send my digitals to a lab. I want to do my tweaking in Photoshop, not in a printer driver — simplicity.

This entry was posted in Techie.

2 thoughts on “Shopping

  1. go hp! i haven’t used epsons much, but i’ve been very pleased with hp printers. not necessarily with their computers though, but that’s another story…

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