A couple of articles ago, I promised to take a look at factory refilled Lexmark cartridges from
inkjetwarehouse.com to see how they worked. Well, I have done so, and they work just fine. In order to order, you have to register as a 'dealer' and give your name and address information. Thereafter you get a password and when you actually order, the cost per cartridge is reduced from the price that you see on screen. For example, the product code for a Lexmark High Capacity refill cartridge is LX-1970-RM, and when you go to the buyme screen it shows as a list price of $18.95. After you register, the price drops to $14.95 per cartridge. Same deal for the Lexmark color cartridges (LX-1980-RM), where the 'list' price is $23.50, and the discounted price is $19.00. The company seems to have a minimum $10 shipping charge, so I would suggest doing a bulk order to save some money. The very good news is that they ship UPS Ground and I got my order within 2 days. Pretty cool, and it beats the heck out of standing in line at Fry's and paying more like $30/40 per cartridge.
The cartridges come in plastic containers with tape on the print heads, just like the factory original cartridges. So far I've only used the black ink, and it seems to be very close to the factory stuff (I have not checked to see if its waterproof, not yet having spilled coffee on the output). Anyhow, recommended, and this now gives us Lexmark junkies at least two sources for refilled carts with solid quality and less usurious prices than the factory -
If anyone knows of other sources for refills, let me know and I will forward the updated information to all. Also (hopefully by next month) I will have done a home brew color refill and also tried out the inkjetwarehouse color cart.
I have also had some time to play with the Xerox DocuPrint C20 printer that I mentioned last month. It comes with OS/2 drivers (as well it should, being an Optra 45 under the hood), and will run using it's own drivers or the Lexmark Optra's drivers (I discovered this inadvertently). One feature I like a lot is the look and feel of the printer; some folks have told me that they like the Optra 40 except they think it looks cheaply made and don't like the paper path (top feed). Well, they will love the Xerox. It has a nice 'hefty' feel, and comes with a front panel lcd displays similar to the HP lasers.
You can access most of the printer features directly through this display, and bypass your operating system. Also, the paper path is like the HP's -- a bottom tray opens up to insert the paper. The tray allows you to use 150 sheets of letter, legal, or up to 11x17 paper. There is also a manual feed slot at the top back of the printer, and you can get an optional rear mount tray, letting you have letterhead in the tray 2 and regular paper in the standard tray. Access in the back of the printer lets you add flash memory for downloading fonts or a logo (up to 4 Mb), RAM (up to 64 Mb), an ethernet, triport, or infared adapter, or even a hard drive (from the manual it looks like the hard disk is a portable sized one). Standard memory is 8 Mb, which has worked fine for my letters and web printing so far. This printer is definitely worth checking out and you can periodically find them on eBay, reburbdepot, and the usual other auction sites.
In other printer news, Peter Grubbs has a good review of the Lexmark Z-51 Color Printer for OS2Ezine.
You should check the exact model of Lexmark inkjets that you are contemplating, as I am told that some models like the Z42 do not come with OS/2 drivers.
Finally, Epson has come out with yet another set of printers, which will let you print 'edge to edge' for photos and such, eliminating the hard wired print margins in earlier versions. The models are 780/890/1280, claiming a 2880x720 resolution. They should be in stores by the time you read this. Note the ink cartridges for these printers are 'chipped', meaning good luck in refilling them (this is also true of Epson's last set of printers I wrote about, the 6 color 870/875/1270 series). As I write, 3rd party vendors are madly working to get around this technology.
Reach me at Tony@scoug.com.
You might want to read last month's Ink.
By day, Tony Butka is a bureaucrat for Los Angeles County. In his other life he lives in a loft surrounded by computers, printers, and a host of vinyl records.
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