By John Dodge
A couple of months ago, I questioned why notebook touchpads were so bad and my sentiments struck a chord with SmartPlanet.com readers who for the most part agreed that they can make mousing around a very jumpy proposition. Upward of 40 readers commented.
Dell A920 at the ready to crumple the next sheet of paper
Next on my -hit list are PC printers. My experience with them is terrible. Paper feeds are unreliable and they always seems to send you that annoying “ink is low” message right after you’ve installed a new (and expensive) cartridge.
They fail when you’re in a hurry to print out an important document.
Yesterday, I wanted to print a letter and I spent the better part of 90 minutes shuttling between my Canon PIXMA 310 and a Dell (nee Lexmark) A920. The PIXMA 310 said it was low on ink and printed faded characters. I went downstairs and tried the Dell A920 – after five crumpled copies given its crooked paper feed and the obligatory `ink is low so you’d better run out to Staples and buy more cartridges at $35 a whack,’ it quit.
Efforts to revive the A920 by cleaning out the print queue and switching it on and off failed. I went back upstairs to the home office and inexplicably the PIXMA 310 printed a fine-looking copy the second time.
Sure, printers are dirt cheap, but you get what you pay for. When laser printers and before that dot matrix printers cost several hundred dollars 20 years ago, I remember them as far more reliable. Back then, printing was one of the few things a PC did well.
I can recall four other inkjet printers in my household from the last 10 years: three HPs and another Canon. The Canon PIXMA 310 I use have now is the best of the sorry lot. The Dell A920 came free with a desktop PC we bought years ago. It’s worth what we paid for it.