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Get some ear plugs
on 7 October 2011
My old HP all in one died after eight years of continuous sterling service. It didn't like remanufactured black cartridges, but thankfully was not averse to the cheaper colour ones, and also I could easily get an extra week's worth of printing after the first prompt that ink was running low. I really could use the ink to the very last drop. Photo printing was also very good for an all in one.
While the HP was in it's death throes, I bought a Canon iP4500 photo printer, and began using that for everyday printing as well. Admittedly a bit more expensive than the MP280, it was very quiet, fast and smooth, and separate four colour cartridges plus black meant that I could buy the black, which of course always runs out first, very cheaply. The cartridges lasted well, and also allowed me a good deal of printing after the 'ink low' notification.
I soon missed the convenience of an all in one however, and because the iP4500 was so good, I decided to get the MP280 on the strength of the some of the good reviews and because it was much cheaper from Amazon than say Staples.
The first time I used the printer I nearly jumped out of my skin. It is VERY noisy, and the reviewer who said it does a lot of clattering backwards and forwards before it decides to print is quite right. That wouldn't matter so much if you could position it some distance away, but mine is right by my left ear on the table. I don't understand why it has to be so noisy - surely Canon is capable of making a printer that is quiet as well as cheap? Maybe not.
It is slow, and not at all smooth. Sometimes it pauses halfway through printing a page, as if thinking what to do next. Other times it prints in jerks, and only occasionally will a page go through smoothly. Although the print quality is generally good, I have noticed a very slight distortion on some lines of type, presumably from when it pauses to think.
I am really annoyed with the very short time that the cartridges last. This was totally unexpected from previous experience. Is it true that manufacturers deliberately put in low capacity cartridges with the package you initially buy, or is this actually what I will get if and when I buy a new cartridge? The black only lasted a couple of weeks, and that is no use to me, after five or six weeks from an HP cartridge. I did check the price of the remanufactured cartridges before I bought the printer, but if they only last five minutes (and there is some doubt about them even working), I won't bother.
As for paying the full price for genuine Canon cartridges, as other reviewers have said, you might as well buy the whole printer package instead and throw out the old printer (or barely used in my case), which seems incredibly wasteful in today's supposedly recycling mad society.
Can anybody please recommend a remanufactured cartridge that will work with this printer? I don't have the skills or desire to start refilling them myself.
Another gripe is that when the printer says 'ink running low', it's certainly not kidding. A few pages later, and it's gone almost completely. No messing about with giving you a bit of time to get a new cartridge like my old HP or the excellent iP 4500. Obviously I've been lulled into a false sense of security with better printers.
Three stars for being cheap, not too large, and reasonably stylish for a printer. I suppose you get what you pay for.