Recommendation for a Multifunction Printer?

diizzy

Well-Known Member

Reaction score: 124
Messages: 461

They are certainly not cheap and garbage. Not sure about any previous generation, but the current one makes a really good impression. As said, I have done extensive research and only read goods things about them.

Sure thing, they are not of high end build quality, but also not inferior to any laser printer in the same price range. Their pigment ink prints by PrecisionCore print head with 400 nozzles are also supposed to be nearly as good if not equal to laser prints at pretty much the same speed with quicker start due to their heat-free technology (no heat-up time).

Of course any ink printer is destined to be used regularly, and that's what we are going to do as it will be put to good use as everyday office printer.

They are indeed software driven (GDI) but well supported by the escpr2 printer driver for CUPS, which just got ported to FreeBSD.

Overall I am confident that I made the right and economical decision, and I'm especially glad that I no longer will have a source of particulates in the vicinity of my office desk, which really was something of concern to me.
That at least looks better than the ET-2*** (notice non M) but I doubt it since it's in the same series although being a MFP but at 200 EUR I guess you can't expect much and I doubt you'll even find a Laser MFP at the price point.
For comparison, https://www.idealo.de/preisvergleich/OffersOfProduct/5175858_-ecosys-m5526cdn-kyocera.html this is built like a tank however as you can tell price fluctuates a lot (at sub 350EUR its a steal) but again it also depends on what you're looking for. It will work with pretty much everything as it supports any generic protocol there is. Toner costs are decent but it's not a suitable machine if you print a lot, the next model (~500 EUR last year) offers much better price/page ratio however it all depends on how much you're going to print. You can usually find similar deals with Canon from time to time but they tends to be a bit less robust and have creeks etc. However there are of course some limitations such as printing Photos etc going the Laser printer route.

Also the MSRP is well... off the charts, you'll be lucky if there's a 10% margin on electronics in general as a reseller and what Epson suggests is ridicious (as with pretty much any other manufacturer).
 
OP
M

MasterOne

Active Member

Reaction score: 24
Messages: 190

For comparison, https://www.idealo.de/preisvergleich/OffersOfProduct/5175858_-ecosys-m5526cdn-kyocera.html this is built like a tank however as you can tell price fluctuates a lot (at sub 350EUR its a steal) but again it also depends on what you're looking for.
Thanks for the hint, I haven't looked at Kyocera at all, but comparing their M5521cdn and M5526cdn I can't really see the point or advantage with quite a higher TCO and my intention to get away from toner based technology due to its particulates emission.

I have been using laser printers for a very long time, and besides my growing concerns about particulates pollution they have always been a disappointment in the long run. I have just gotten rid of my latest, a Brother HL-5450DNT, which has gone kaput after less than 6 years and bad printing results with using 3rd party toners and drums. Besides, afaik current generations don't even work with 3rd party toners anymore, at least that's what I have read about printers from HP.

The chosen Epson EcoTank ET-M2170 may not be a professional unit, but promises a reasonable TCO and fulfills my desire to get away from toner particulates. It is now well supported by the available escpr2 driver, so I don't really care that it's only a "cheap" GDI printer that doesn't talk PCL or other protocols. And it comes with a 3 years warranty, so Epson is putting some confidence on their technology, despite what others may thing about ink being a dead end. I really consider this a viable alternative to any available monochrome laser printer / MFP.
 

sidetone

Daemon

Reaction score: 720
Messages: 1,579

When you keep mentioning "particulates pollution". Do you mean in the environment where you use your printer, or do you mean in the manufacturing process? It implies the manufacturing process, but I think you're talking about the room where the printer is. The link you showed before, was just about Epson's EcoTank. If it's in the printing room, it may matter how much dust is created.

My ink printers dry up all the time, because I hardly use them. I want something that can be used as rarely as I use it, without needing to print monthly for maintenance. For going the ink route, Epson looks great. For combo devices, it's also great, if drivers can make use of both printing and scanning on them. If this is so, I'll look at Epson and other manufacturers for grayscale laser printers. I previously brought a new HP for its drivers. I would only need something reliable for simple documents, and can forgo color printing, except for it to include color scanning. If it's about particulate dust in the room, I would rarely use the laser printer, so dust particulate would be minimal.

I used a secondhand HP laserjet grayscale printer before. With the toner that came with it, there were a lot of blurs/speckles/sprays printed on the page, especially near the corners. With the toner replaced, the prints looked professional in grayscale: a catalog (made through the use of print/scribus-devel) could be printed in black and white that looked as professional as commercial color catalogs. Then later, the toner started printing blurs/spray over the page. I don't need professional printing, so that will be fine for the purpose of simple documents. If other printer brands allow common toners to be used, instead of a more expensive one from a single manufacturer, that will be good.

I don't really care that it's only a "cheap" GDI printer that doesn't talk PCL or other protocols.
It's not a GDI or Win printer. It's an ESC printer, which Epson makes, and is supported by ported drivers. It may not be PCL: a few printers understand multiple printer languages. PCL is the language made by HP, but is generic for use by other print manufacturers, so they don't have to pay a license to use Postscript, which adds to the cost of a printer for the consumer. Most gets converted to or from Postscript language in the desktop/server (via CUPS, LPR, filters or other software), to the printer language (PCL, ESC, Postscript) a printer understands.
 
OP
M

MasterOne

Active Member

Reaction score: 24
Messages: 190

Well, I indeed mean the dust the printer creates. The printer is standing in my office behind my desk in reachable vicinity, which is why I am concerned about the dust ("particulates" or "particulate matter") it creates.

When you say "grayscale" printer I assume you mean monochrome printer. I don't need color, which only adds to printing costs, and with the wish to ditch laser technology with toner use, only the Epson ET-M series remained. It will be the only printer in use in our small office and thus there will be no chance of ink / print head drying out.

About the supported printer languages, you are right of course, it's an ESC printer that supports GDI emulation (which is stated that way in the product specifications). CUPS + escpr2 driver package and good to go. :)
 

astyle

Active Member

Reaction score: 86
Messages: 225

MasterOne : When you talk about 'particulate emissions', I can assure you, that's not an issue, unless the printer gathers dust as it sits in a corner, forgotten by everybody, until somebody gives it a good kick. BTW, inkjets, no matter how you slice it, are much worse (at getting insides of a printer dirty with ink spray) than laser printers. I've seen a few relatively new inkjets just before the pandemic - after a few weeks in service, the plastic walls are already covered in ink splashes. But when changing toner cartridges in a LaserJet - it may be a bit warmer inside, but there's no splashes, and no chance of toner drying out from dis-use.

My own P1102w is actually right next to my bed, and it gets occasional use. After 7 years of it decorating my room like that (and 10 years of ownership), nothing happened. I think that unless you have a health condition that makes you sensitive to dust, this amounts to making a mountain out of a molehill. Having lived both in Europe and US, I can tell that dustiness is a worse problem in EU, where a lot of buildings date back to WWII or even earlier. But I'm getting off topic here...
 

sidetone

Daemon

Reaction score: 720
Messages: 1,579

Dust has been an issue for me. It came from my room. Then I put foam in a small opening to the attic that had fiberglass insulation which heat and humidity carried a lot of it in the air. Since then, the air quality in my room has improved. I couldn't figure out why I had headaches, breathing irritations, and woke up with less breath before I thought to do that. I just knew it had to do with my room, because this didn't happen in my previous home. Dust was also affecting my computer.

Anyway, for when I get a laser printer, it won't be used enough to cause noticeable problems, and the dust won't be harsh fiberglass. It depends how harsh the particulate is and how much there is.

The smell of printed paper from a laserjet is fresh, and didn't seem to be irritating. Maybe it depends on how often it gets used. Other particulates are irritating immediately and I notice them, even if I can't immediately figure out where it's coming from.
 

bakul

Member

Reaction score: 29
Messages: 64

If you are sensitive to dust you may wish to use that as an excuse to build/buy a particulate matter sensor. Should be easy to hook up to a FreeBSD machine as sensors like PMS5003 have a serial interface and are not too expensive.
 

guidok

Member

Reaction score: 15
Messages: 37

I am looking for a multifunction printer that works flawlessly under FreeBSD, mainly for office use.

Desired features are:
  • LAN connectivity with embedded print server
  • Duplex printing with CUPS support
  • Duplex scanning with SANE support
  • Laser vs ink not decided yet
  • Color vs black & white not decided yet
I have been using a Lexmark MC2535 adwe for over a year now. Works just fine with CUPS (including duplex printing). Haven't tried scanning via SANE yet. I simply have the printer either email me the scanned documents or store them on a network share.

Previously I had FreeBSD automatically locate the printer by means of mDNS (using Avahi) as described on my blog. However, that sometimes stopped working, requiring restarts of avahi-dnsconfd, avahi-daemon, cupsd. These days I have the IP address of the printer reserved in the DHCP pool on my router. In CUPS I now specify ipps://192.168.0.32:443/ipp/print. This always works reliably.
 

astyle

Active Member

Reaction score: 86
Messages: 225

I have been using a Lexmark MC2535 adwe for over a year now. Works just fine with CUPS (including duplex printing). Haven't tried scanning via SANE yet. I simply have the printer either email me the scanned documents or store them on a network share.

Previously I had FreeBSD automatically locate the printer by means of mDNS (using Avahi) as described on my blog. However, that sometimes stopped working, requiring restarts of avahi-dnsconfd, avahi-daemon, cupsd. These days I have the IP address of the printer reserved in the DHCP pool on my router. In CUPS I now specify ipps://192.168.0.32:443/ipp/print. This always works reliably.
No need to do anything special on FreeBSD like restarting daemons or reserving IP addresses on your router. My P1102w has the same setup, I owned 3 wi-fi routers since buying the printer, and Avahi was never an issue. Just power cycle the router if it loses your printer.

But having the ability to tell the scanner device directly to save scanned stuff on a network share (as opposed to using SANE on the computer) - that's usually a rather expensive feature.
 

sidetone

Daemon

Reaction score: 720
Messages: 1,579

These days I have the IP address of the printer reserved in the DHCP pool on my router. In CUPS I now specify ipps://192.168.0.32:443/ipp/print. This always works reliably.
I'm trying to understand this. Your printer is set up on your router, and not your FreeBSD machine? Then your FreeBSD machine accesses it? I only understand how to get mine available on localhost.

IPP can work over the services of https (443) or ipp (631).

Previously, I also made an error in understanding client.conf(5), where the first line reads:
(depreciated on macos)
I thought this was a misspelling of "macros", or something else like depreciated overall for FreeBSD, but now when I think about it, it looks like it means MacOS (Macintosh OS). MacOS has it's own way of doing things, likely for this too.

For local printer sharing, GNUTLS is needed for certificate validation. GNUTLS can hide the password and username, to prevent a breach. Self-signed certificates are the default, and aren't as secure. It makes sense to discourage remote connections outside of LAN use for a self-signed certificate. I'm unsure why remote connections outside of a LAN to CUPS are discouraged, if a CA-certificate is used. The default CUPS setting is for localhost, and not sharing a printer over a LAN.

CUPS encryption settings are set in client.conf, cupsd.conf(5) and cups-files.conf(5).

 
Top