Question Inkjet or laser printer for printing 4x6 photos

Weathered

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I currently have an Epson XP-640 inkjet printer. One main thing we do with this is print 4x6 photos and only need to do that for about a week out of the year. Gets used to print documents as well, but not everyday. It does sit idle quite a bit. Recently its been acting up printing, will have missing lines. Tried self cleaning, new cartridges and no difference. Another thing about it is it seems to go through ink like crazy. I think one reason for that is it goes through self cleaning on its own.

Throughout most of the year, it does not get used that much. That is one reason I was thinking about getting a laser. But I worry about 4x6 photos not looking that good. I mean it doesn't have to be pro quality but still needs to be good. We do pictures with Santa. How big of a difference s there in quality? Can you take a photo printed from each type and really tell a difference? Are there laser printers that can use glossy 4x6 paper?

The thing about a laser printer is the cost. After looking at them online, looks like the cheapest color laser is around $500. Wasn't really wanting to spend that much but maybe worth it in the long run. Some say get an Epson ecotank inkjet. But not getting used that much comes back into question. I know I could print something once a week or whatever. But easy to forget to do that. Really kind of torn what to do. Be nice to find a laser printer to do a test print with a 4x6 photo. Do any stores allow that?
 

kanewolf

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I currently have an Epson XP-640 inkjet printer. One main thing we do with this is print 4x6 photos and only need to do that for about a week out of the year. Gets used to print documents as well, but not everyday. It does sit idle quite a bit. Recently its been acting up printing, will have missing lines. Tried self cleaning, new cartridges and no difference. Another thing about it is it seems to go through ink like crazy. I think one reason for that is it goes through self cleaning on its own.

Throughout most of the year, it does not get used that much. That is one reason I was thinking about getting a laser. But I worry about 4x6 photos not looking that good. I mean it doesn't have to be pro quality but still needs to be good. We do pictures with Santa. How big of a difference s there in quality? Can you take a photo printed from each type and really tell a difference? Are there laser printers that can use glossy 4x6 paper?

The thing about a laser printer is the cost. After looking at them online, looks like the cheapest color laser is around $500. Wasn't really wanting to spend that much but maybe worth it in the long run. Some say get an Epson ecotank inkjet. But not getting used that much comes back into question. I know I could print something once a week or whatever. But easy to forget to do that. Really kind of torn what to do. Be nice to find a laser printer to do a test print with a 4x6 photo. Do any stores allow that?
Infrequent use like this, you might be best to upload those photos to a service for printing. Higher quality than home printing and probably lower total costs. I see online costs of less than 10 cents per print.
The cost of a $200 printer would get you 2000 prints.
 

USAFRet

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Can you take a photo printed from each type and really tell a difference?
Absolutely.

Are there laser printers that can use glossy 4x6 paper?
Sort of, but still not as good as good inkjet.

I've had a multitude of both.

Inkjets are better than lasers for photos.
Inkjets are more expensive per print.

For this infrequent photo use an online service or OfficeMax (or your local alternative), and an inexpensive laser for every day use.
 

Weathered

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I realize a printing service would be more cost effective. We do pictures with Santa and we print the photos on spot for the customer to make it more convenient.
 

USAFRet

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I realize a printing service would be more cost effective. We do pictures with Santa and we print the photos on spot for the customer to make it more convenient.
Well...that should have been noted in the original requirements.

Buy a medium quality inkjet.
Use it at xmas.
When done, run through a couple of cleaning cycles, remove the carts, and put it away until next year. Or buy a new one )or new carts) next year.

Use a laser for every day use.

From my experience, there is no one single printer that meets all your needs.


Color laser under $500?
Sure. I have a Brother MFC-L3770CDW. $400 when I bought it last year.
Acceptable color prints, it suffices for my annual xmas cards. But nothing I'd provide to a paying customer.
 

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