Saturday, January 30, 2016

New Printer: Canon MG7700 PIXMA

Subheading: We now hate HP Printers!

OK.  I was ready to heave the HP Pinter out the 2nd floor window.  Seriously.  This was our 2nd HP Printer.  The last one had print head problems.  But the reviews on the 8600, when it came out, said those issues had been resolved.  So we bought it.  Partly because we were already familiar with the HP brand and already had the HP printer apps, etc.  Also, HP has this Ink Cartridge delivery system that Julie wanted to have ... only to find out after we bought the printer that it didn't qualify.  What????

Anyway, we had the new printer and it was doing fine.  We bought replacement ink cartridges as needed at Staples, recycling the used cartridges. It was probably only once or twice we ran out of ink of a certain color and didn't have a replacement handy.

But then weird things started happening.  Every time there was a windows update on our main computer, it would lose connection with the printer.  But not just the main computer - even our laptops couldn't print.  Couldn't figure it out.  I mean, the printer is on a wireless connection to the router!  Finally just uninstalled the printer and re-installed it and everyone could print again ... that is, until the next time there was a windows update.  Same thing happened.  So I uninstalled, reinstalled, and everyone could print again.  After it happened the third time I disabled the windows updates.  Ridiculous!

A couple of months later, while printing out a draft TpT product, the ink cartridge holder started making this grinding noise as it was printing.  Didn't sound good, but at least the printer was still working.  I took out all the ink cartridges and did a print head re-align - test page still printed, but that grinding noise was still there.  Well, that continued for about a week or so until there was an error message of a print head alignment problem.  I went through the realignment procedure again and got the printer working again ... until the next day when a different error message popped up: Printhead Alignment Failure.  Arrghhhh!  Now the printer wouldn't do a thing.

We went to the web site, found others had the same problem, many of whom bought new print heads or went through painstaking efforts to disassemble and clean parts and pieces, only to find some colors still not working or other problems.  Personally, I had had it with the printer and didn't want to spend another dime on it, nor another minute dealing with it.

Julie said, "Let's just buy a new printer."  And this time, she said to make sure we get one with the ink program.  So I started looking at the newer printers and reading the reviews. Ha!  Almost every HP printer I looked at had reviews of print head problems!  I said to Julie, "No way we're buying another HP printer!"

So, what to buy?  Reading reviews, it looked like the Epson printers go through too much ink.  The Canon printers looked good, and so did Brother.  Hmmmm, what to get?  Julie said it was up to me and, after looking through a dozen or so, decided on the Canon MG7700 PIXMA.  Why?  A number of reasons - wireless, all-in-one, and didn't see any bad reviews about print heads!  Also, the unit happened to be on sale at Staples.  Checked online for availability and the Staples closest to us didn't have any in stock.  But another store, only a few miles away further, had one is stock.  This was going to be the one!

Got up the next morning and headed to Staples just after it opened.  Found the printer ... looked smaller that what I thought, but it seemed to be well-designed.  Thought the paper tray looked a little thin, like it wouldn't hold much paper and we might have to constantly be adding more paper, but Julie thought this wouldn't be a problem.  So we bought it (along with an extra set of ink cartridges).

Here it is, just out of the box:
And it came with this instruction sheet (obviously not written in the USA):
But the instructions were clear and well-organized and the printer setup process went very smooth.  Installing the new ink cartridges was easy:

See the little lights on each ink cartridge?  Let's you know each is seated properly.  Of course, like the newer HPs, it also checks to make sure you are using official Canon ink cartridges - some people think this is a problem because they want to use different ink (or re-filled cartridges), but we don't see this as a problem - new ink cartridges are just the price you pay for printing.

Once the ink was in, the printer went through an alignment test and it printed this alignment page:

 I was also prompted to start the computer install - from the Canon website listed on the instruction sheet you get this screen:

From the website, a small program is downloaded onto your computer which you then click on to run the install.  This went OK, but next time I'll be sure to UN-check the extra photo editing software - don't need it!  Then the program went into the wireless setup and here the instructions weren't clear.  I ended up having to go through the setup a couple of different ways but finally got the printer to recognize the router and we were good to go!

Here's the test page printed from the computer:

And then I printed out the cover page of my latest Spring Activity Packet product:

Nice print - clean colors.  Love it!

The other computers at home instantly recognize the new printer as its on the wireless network, so no separate installs for the other computers are needed.  Very nice!  We'll see how it goes as we start really using the printer, but on Day 1 I call it a complete success!

Oh, and for what we did with the HP?  No, I didn't chuck it out the 2nd floor window (I just would have had to clean up the mess).  No, instead it was handed over to Staples, along with the unused and partially used print cartridges, for recycling.