I don't think there is a simple answer to this one. HP, Epson, Brother, Canon all make some good ones, but from there you have to do some research. If you need it to do photos or large formats or archival ink, that makes a difference.
Personally, I'd pick ink jet for the typical situation. I've used Epson for a long time, just because I don't want ink that runs when it gets wet. The down side to that is it's expensive ink.
Chris' suggestion is a viable approach - I've done this as well.
I have a full size copier in my office but before that I used laser, nothing beats laser.
I went to a full size machine so I could print, scan, and copy 11x17, as well as make handout books, etc. Mine will fold and staple 11x17 sheets into a nice 8.5x11 book. I open the pdf, select print, set it to food and staple and before you know it there is a book on the floor.
Ink jets are cheap and all, but it is quite frustrating to have to stop everything because due to an empty Magenta cartridge. I like laser printers, you get an ample heads up, and only have to change out the cartridge in about a year and a half.
Not sure where you guys buy your ink. It cost me $10 with free shipping to change out every cartridge in my canon printer. Think my printer was $200 I normally go through 4-5 sets of cartridges a year so I'm not a big user of the printer but def cheaper than buying 4-5 printers a year.
I use ink jet at home for the kids, Staples employee encouraged me to pay 19.99 for a 2 year warranty...then whispered to return it around 18 months for a full refund since the paper is jamming...it's been 6 months, I'll keep you posted...oh ya and it came with a free Kuerig coffee maker
Look online for deals, we have Kijiji in Canada as a buy, trade and sell website, it's owed by eBay but no fees to list or sell. I got a Ricoh 3600 colour photocopier, fax, scanner, printer that was 4 years old from the local CAA office (AAA for my friends in the south), list brand new on this thing was $ 18,000.00...I paid $ 500.00...still using the toner cartridges that came with it. Needed one service call, cost me $ 234.00. So the deals are out there if you look.
I switched from ink to laser when I started remodeling. One of the biggest factor was page printed on ink jets cannot get wet! What a mess! Also laser was a bigger upfront investment, but in the long run much cheaper per print and copy.
I had a cdn color model and loved it. I printed all kinds of marketing materials on it. After three years it started dumping a line of black toner on everything. I spent $600 replacing parts and still had the issue. Print head, rollers, the works. Finally got a new one, black and white, and am okay with having Staples or FedEx print my marketing materials. I also found printforless.com who now prints all my marketing materials.
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