Is Your Printer Stealing From You? Here's How to Tell

3. Plain Paper or Bust

If your inkjet printer requires specially coated paper to produce the best-looking output, you'll end up shelling out a lot for paper over time. Most inkjets can print at least adequately on plain paper, but a few that we've tested recently still can't hack it.

Epson Workforce 40 Printer Dell P703W Printer Kodak ESP7 Printer Kodak ESP9 Printer

4. The Waiting Game

A slow printer steals your time. But as important as print speed is, you need to take any printer vendor's page-per-minute (ppm) speed claims with a grain of salt: Some vendors quote draft-mode speeds or use other contrivances to make their printers seem faster than they'll actually be in normal everyday use. Here are some particularly slow printers that we've tested recently:

Canon IP4600 Printer Brother MFC-6890CDW Printer Dell P703W Printer Kodak ESP 7 Printer Kodak ESP 9 Printer Dell 2145 CN Printer Ricoh Aficio SP C232 SF Printer

5. Cheapo Paper Trays

One way that some vendors reduce the cost of their cheapest printers is by providing skimpy (low-capacity) or flimsy paper trays. So you save a few bucks at the front end, but then for the life of the printer you have to waste time replacing paper constantly or fighting with a bent plastic extension that rattles annoyingly. Some designs even pile printed pages right on top of blank ones in the same tray. Among the cheesiest models we've seen recently are these suspects:

Epson Workforce 600 Printer HP Photosmart c6480 Printer Brother HL-5370DWT Printer Ricoh Aficio SP 300DN Priter Xerox Phaser 3250DN Printer Dell 1230C Printer Xerox Phaser 6128MFP Printer

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