Cheap Compact Printer/Scanner for Rare Usage?

Hi all.

Im looking for a cheap as possible, compact if possible printer/scanner for rare usage - Just for the occasional document requiring a physical signature, shipping label etc.

There's a couple super cheap HP all in one printers at officeworks [Edit: Apparently ebay refill kits exist for these two under 61XL/63XL for about $18]. Anyone have experience refilling carts for either of these?


  • +5

    For rare usage you want laser, inkjet will constantly clean the heads etc and use a ton of expensive ink

    Or buy both the $40 Multifunction and a laser printer ;)

    • How cheap do lasers start though? Compared to like, the 30-odd bucks for these inkjet ones?

      • +3

        It's ongoing though. I forget how long I've had my Brother printer for, but it's been years and I haven't changed the toner yet. Infrequent printing. If that was an inkjet it would've been clogged and empty by now, costing me more in replacement ink which would then dry and clog, and so on and so forth.

        $98 from OW is the cheapest on StaticIce without checking eBay etc

        • See, but $98 is expensive enough that i'd rather buy the $35 inkjet, and buy a cartridge in a year if needed … especially if a 3rd party cart is available.

          • @Grazz989: $98 now, but they've been around $50 in the past.

            But again, it depends on your use case. Mine has lasted a few years, I think around 4 years. In that time I hate to think how many inkjet cartridges I'd go through, not to mention the pain of going to print something, only for the printout to not work properly due to crappy printer heads. Right now I go to print something, and it prints fine.

            Like the old adage of why people buy Toyotas. You could have an MG, but there's always that question of whether it'll start when you turn the key. What a PITA it is when it needs repairs. Or you buy a Toyota and it just works every time.

            Spend more now, to save money and hassle in the future. Or go cheap now, knowing it'll cost you the same or more in the long-term.

            • @spackbace: Hmm. I guess where I'm coming from is that I've never seen an inkjet with a clog- even when used as rarely as I plan to use it.

              $50 sounds great, if only they were still that price. Buying a 35 buck inkjet now and a 50 buck laser when one pops up …

              • +3

                @Grazz989: It's not so much that they clog, but that they always do a cleaning cycle regardless if you haven't used them for a while. So all the ink gets wasted.
                A laser printer will cost you far less in the long run.

                • @ssquid: Apparently refill kits go for $18 for a set. Given that i could buy 3 refill kits and still end up at the same cost … I dont see how it woul be cheaper.

                  • @Grazz989: So every few months when you want to print a handful of pages you're happy to spend $18? Plus you're much more likely to get clogged heads if you're refilling them, one of the main reasons cartridges cost so much is because the head is built into them - it has a finite lifespan and is intended to be replaced, not reused.

                    I bought a fuji xerox p115b (a rebadged brother hl1110 monochrome laser) for $30 in 2011, use it only to print hard copies of monthly bills… it's still on the original toner, haven't spent a cent on it since the purchase.

                    • @ssquid: Don't exaggerate. It's not like a clogged head is likely to happen in that timespan, and even if it did, it's a full cartridge - there's plenty enough ink to let it self clean a few times and do a few pages as well. Given that I'd be using it so rarely, it will take a long time indeed to wear it out.

                      I'm glad you managed to snag such a tremendous bargain, but if they're just not available for anywhere near that price anymore, it doesn't seem that should impact what's the best choice for today.

        • +1

          Agree with you there, went to use my hp photosmart recently, said printhead damaged or something, wouldn't go, brother printer still works fine although hasn't been used for at least 5 years and printer is about 8 years old

    • +2

      I've heard that some arsehole manufacturers disable scanning when a ink-based multifunction needs cartridge replacement :(

      • +1

        Wouldn't surprise me. Or disabling B&W printing when a colour cartridge is empty

        • +1

          I used to trick the printer by pulling out the near empty coloured cartridge and put it back in. Sometimes it’ll work.

  • could you just use a cheap BW laser (like Brother 1210), and then use your phone as a scanner (like CamScanner, OfficeLens)?

    • Maybe … But that feels like paying 3x more for less functionality.

  • Hi,
    Check out the DYMO LabelWriter 4XL Professional Label Maker.
    It doesn't use Ink or Toner as it is Thermal.

    Best for: Mailing & Shipping Assets & Barcoding Name Badges Specialty
    Print labels up to 4.16" wide, including 4.1" x 6.275" shipping labels, warehouse labels, barcode and identification labels, bulk mailing labels and other large-format labels
    Create custom labels from 60+ label styles and layouts
    Print fast – up to 53 standard 4-line address labels or 129 high capacity 4-line address labels per minute
    Print crystal-clear barcodes, text and graphics with 300 dpi resolution
    Use thermal printing technology without the need for expensive ink or toner

    otherwise a cheap A4 Laser will double as a General Printer and manual feed Labels atop the Paper Tray.

  • bing lee has epson XP-240 at $39.9, with scanning and colorful printing. I had grabbed one, the only thing matters is that its wireless wifi unit doesn't work well. It would be fine anyway if you use it with wire connected

  • +2

    Laser. Inkjets are a financial curse.

  • -1

    For rare usage, if you don't need ADF, then the camera on your smart phone.

  • +1

    If it’s infrequent and you have an OW near you, I’d just print it at OW using the PrintMe service. Quick easy & cheap

  • We have the HP Deskjet 3720 - It is the size of a regular compact printer, but has a scanner that you feed paper through in a similar way to a printer. (not a flat bed).
    I have used the scanner for scanning assignments etc and it worked well.
    The printer is good too - has a bit of trouble with some thicker shipping labels but prints fine on 270gsm paper.

    I am mostly recommending it because it is the most compact all-in-one that I have come across.
    We paid about $40 for ours from officeworks but they seem to be out of stock.
    Found some on google.
    The cartridges are ok - cheaper online ie. amazon. We only use black.

    • +1


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