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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
No kidding. I've been wanting a printer on board, for working remotely, for printing checklists, and other things. Are there any cheap printers that will fit in a small space? I know Walmart has a $30 printer, but I haven't looked at it to check on the size. WiFi is a must.

It could sit in a locker until I need it.

Regards,
Brad
 

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Looks like Walmart have a HP for $26.95, and a Canon for $29.95. They both fit the definition of cheap, and they work great. The issue is size - is it worth paying more for a smaller one?
 

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Do you need color? I would prefer a small laser printer as the consumables are way cheaper and the output is fairly waterproof. Even water resistant ink jet will run if it gets damp.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Good thoughts.

I was thinking that the cost of ink matters less because I won't be printing that much. (Also when the home printer breaks and the kids have homework due, I could run to the boat and get the "spare".)

Didn't know that laser printing is more water resistant. (I think about getting a laminator but that feels a bit over the top.)

Regards,
Brad
 

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Brad, Google "travel printers"; there's a lot of options.

On the up side they're small and made to take a bit more abuse than a typical printer - good on a boat.

On the downside they're quite a bit more expensive.

I use a small, basic Cannon when I work from the boat. It's good enough and small enough to fit into a cubby.
 
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who prints anymore? Just put your checklist on an el-cheapo $40 android tablet from best buy :D

Seriously....there are $40-50 android tablets at Best Buy...its incredible how cheap these 7" tablets have gotten.
 

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We have 6-8 small footprint HP inkjet printers that our crisis staff use where I work. In my experience with these over the years, I would opt for laser if we could. What I see here at work is that if the inkjets don't get used rather frequently the cartridge dries up a bit and print quality goes bad. Our crisis staff have just gotten in the habit of keeping a new cartridge in their go bag.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
who prints anymore? Just put your checklist on an el-cheapo $40 android tablet from best buy :D

Seriously....there are $40-50 android tablets at Best Buy...its incredible how cheap these 7" tablets have gotten.
Not a bad idea but I like important things in print so anyone onboard can reference them at any time.

Can those be used as a cell phone? (Does Verizon consider them as a cell phone?) My cell phone died and I could use a new one that has a big screen.

Regards,
Brad
 

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who prints anymore? Just put your checklist on an el-cheapo $40 android tablet from best buy :D

Seriously....there are $40-50 android tablets at Best Buy...its incredible how cheap these 7" tablets have gotten.
I find that I see things differently if I can print out a spreadsheet or a document, read it through and mark it up on paper.

Somehow it's a different thought process than doing it on a screen. I see things I wouldn't otherwise see and different ideas come to mind. I'll sometimes sketch out ideas on a legal pad for the same reason.

Maybe it's a generational thing?
 
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Paul-
Laser printers all depend on static electricity to transfer the image. In a damp environment, you tend to get gray print on a very gray background, and clumping toner problems. Not a good idea on a small craft, unless you keep it in a sealed container and constantly dessicate that.

Brad-
Plenty of tablets can be used as cell phones but there's this universal conspiracy thing in the US: All the good tablets with cellular connectivity, are not sold by the carriers. They sell a very small selection at stiff prices. Like AT&T, still selling the 10" Galaxy S3 tablet in the 2012 version, and refusing to carry the 2014 version, which blows it out of the water. Of course you can buy the 2014 version on the open market, but then, that's an "international" version that doesn't use the US's proprietary "4G-LTE-ish" bands at all.

But there are cellular tablets out there nd some can be used as cell phones. The rest can be used "with" your cell phone, or a "MiFi" type wifi hotspot connecting them to the cellular system.

Welcome to America, one of the largest third world countries?
 

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Not a bad idea but I like important things in print so anyone onboard can reference them at any time.

Can those be used as a cell phone? (Does Verizon consider them as a cell phone?) My cell phone died and I could use a new one that has a big screen.

Regards,
Brad
For $40, likely not...they probably dont have sunlight readible screens either.

But I just ordered an HP Omni 10.8" Windows 8.1 tablet with Office for $245 on Amazon. It will run OpenCPN and interface to my boat instruments. Super excited about this.
 

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Brad-
If Verizon offers the LG "Optimus Pro G" that's a 5.5" screen, and you might want to see how that feels before trying to hold anything bigger up to your ear. Or in your pocket.

Of course if you plan to use a bt earset all the time, size won't matter. Otherwise...
 

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Can those be used as a cell phone? (Does Verizon consider them as a cell phone?) My cell phone died and I could use a new one that has a big screen.

Regards,
Brad
Opinions differ but I think you're better off with a cell phone as a cell phone and a separate tablet. Some of the newer phones that are mini-tablets are a bad compromise -- too big to be a good phone, too small to be a good tablet.

I like the Samsung Galaxy phones and use mine as a hot spot for my tablet & laptop. Good for email but gets pricey if you want to stream a lot of video...
 
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The cabin heat won't bother them, the humidity will. Lasers these days are better about stirring and drying the toner in the cartridge, but like all electrostatic copiers (i.e. Xerox machines) a highly humid environment will interfere with the static charge/transfer.
And of course the high impulse power draw while the fuser section is operating may be more than some inverters can supply.

Many of the HP inkjets are using cartridges with a "counter" built in. After so many pages, they go dead whether there is ink in them or not. and they can't be refilled, because the counter says they've been used up. Which also means that if you're stuck somewhere and the carts you need aren't on the shelf, you're totally SOL.
So for a traveler it might pay to buy an NCR refill kit (<$20 at WalGreen's) and see what make and model printers you can use it with. There are many that aren't "protected" as meanly as the HPs. Refill kits are messy, but if you aren't staying near an "inks-r-us" store....they can be useful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I ought to explakkn about the cell phone question. I have an unlimited data plan with Verizon. (Not as a WiFi hotspot, but data to the phone.) So if I had something big I could use it to watch Netflix and use it for navigation.

Perhaps I ought to "sell" it on eBay for $89/month like one eBay seller I saw.

Regarding printers -- I plan to stop by Walmart when I can. Need to work so will have to fit it in sometime.

Regards,
Brad
 

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We use an HP color ink jet in the RV that I purchased about 6 years ago for around $29.00. It stays in a cabinet. I cannot believe when we leave once a year for a trip the darn things still works. It is quite small, but when I looked that model is no longer shown.
 

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H&E, you are obviously beloved by the Gods of Ink, because even HP will tell you their cartridges only have a two year shelf life, factory sealed, which goes down to just one year after opening.

Apparently the "ink" is pigment based now, and after a year or two the pigments solidify and clog the print heads, or block the internals of the cartridge. That's what HP claims, but then again, they are the same folks who put the suicide (counter) chips in their carts.

It was a sad day when my then ancient-but-venerable Epson FX80 finally joined the Great Dot Matrix In The Sky.
 

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The cabin heat won't bother them, the humidity will. Lasers these days are better about stirring and drying the toner in the cartridge, but like all electrostatic copiers (i.e. Xerox machines) a highly humid environment will interfere with the static charge/transfer.
And of course the high impulse power draw while the fuser section is operating may be more than some inverters can supply.

Many of the HP inkjets are using cartridges with a "counter" built in. After so many pages, they go dead whether there is ink in them or not. and they can't be refilled, because the counter says they've been used up. Which also means that if you're stuck somewhere and the carts you need aren't on the shelf, you're totally SOL.
So for a traveler it might pay to buy an NCR refill kit (<$20 at WalGreen's) and see what make and model printers you can use it with. There are many that aren't "protected" as meanly as the HPs. Refill kits are messy, but if you aren't staying near an "inks-r-us" store....they can be useful.
Yea, lasers do pull a bit of current. I know they can cause a battery back up to freak out, we had some clients do that. Every time they printed there server would power cycle!

Now I had an Epson R200 with bulk ink set up. That was awesome, I printed thousands of pages. Color was off, and I could never really get it corrected for photo printing, but otherwise was great. But I would not want that on a boat, because if the bulk reservoirs got above the print heads they would leak. I actually threw it out with 20% of the ink left because I did not have room for it after moving.
 

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Bene505 - I use a printer aboard, since I like hardcopies of things (as do customs officials and immigration officials (they want printouts of e-tickets - happened to me yesterday)). I get the cheapest printer I can find and before I run out of ink the jets clog up in the tropical heat and instead of getting a very expensive set of refills I often end up getting a new printer for same price as a color and a B&W refill - the old one gets given to someone and I have another couple of months of occasional printing. I'm on my third or fourth boat printer now.
 
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