written by: Arnold Zafra•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 8/18/2008
For those planning to buy a printer for home use, here are five budget-friendly printers covering 5 major printer brands. All five printers have Standard Retail Prices (SRPs) below $200 and all are top-of-the-line models of their respective brands.
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Epson Stylus Photo 1400
For an affordable price of $199.99, the Epson Stylus Photo 1400 is capable of printing a 13" x 19" photo enlargement quickly. Printing 4" x 6" photo is even faster at 46 seconds, while an 8" x 10" photo quality image can be printed within 1 min 51 seconds. This printer utilizes the Claria Hi-Definition ink which automatically corrects color and lighting for better photo quality. The Stylus Photo 1400 supports various photo sizes including 4" x 6", 8" x 10"- and many others. In addition, this printer allows direct printing onto ink jet printable CDs and DVDs. It also supports individual, high-capacity ink cartridges as well.
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Canon PIXMA MP610
This all-in-one printer is a Canon powerhouse that certainly gives value for your bucks. Retailing for an affordable price of $179.99, the MP610 prints 4"x6" photos at 9600x2400 color dpi resolution and it does so in just 21 seconds. It offers several ways by which you can print your photos, either from your memory cards, from the preview of your photos on its 2.5" TFT display, directly from your digital camera, DV camcorder, or even from your camera phone. Other features of the MP610 includes the 4800x9600 color dpi scanning feature, easy scroll wheel, and wireless printing. This printer gives out 31ppm black printing and 24ppm color printing speeds.
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HP Photosmart C6280 AIO Printer
This printer from HP does not only gives out lab-quality photos and reprints but also laser-quality documents. For your $139.99 you'll get an all-in-one printer that can also scan and copy documents with high-quality prints. It's got the Auto Sense feature that ensures that photos are printed on the correct side of the page. Other features of the Photosmart C6280 include; fade-resistant photo print quality; high-quality photo scan at 4800 x 4800 dpi resolution; and 48-bit color, red-eye removal, prints at 34ppm black and 33ppm color; print web pages without truncated edges; restore damaged or faded photos; and it comes loaded with HP Photosmart Essential Software. Additionally, this printer can be easily connected to a home computer network using its built-in Ethernet, easily switch between 4x6" photos and documents without swapping papers, and its memory card slot enables printing without the use of a PC.
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Samsung's CLP-315 color laser printer definitely gives value for your buck. With an SRP of around $194.99, you'll get a vibrant, professional quality color print at a speed of 4ppm color print, and sharp laser text print at 17ppm. Even better is the CLP-315W's wireless capability, which allows you to place it far away as your PC and control its operation wirelessly.
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Brother MFC-685CW Printer
Now, Brother certainly knows what's really best for us. This all-in-one printer offers up a unique, low-profile design that combines a convenient front loading paper tray with a wide flip-up 3.3" color LCD, Ethernet and wireless network and USB direct interface. And at an SRP of $179.99, Brother's MFC-685CW hit the mark of being a budget-friendly device with tons of features. These features include 6000 x 1200 dpi color print resolution, 4x6 photo tray, fast color printing with a speed of 30ppm black and 25ppm color, a built-in digital answering machine, and an auto document feeder for fax, copy and scan. It also has a built-in digital media card drive, and USB direct and PictBridge interfaces for quick printing of photos without the need to upload them in a PC connected with the printer.