Going Back To Uni? Buy This Orange Printer

Starting out at a new uni this week? Get ready for a few years of printing off a couple of trees worth of paper every week; most unis are dinosaurs when it comes to PDFs and digital submission. But here's a tip — don't print your assignments and tutorial papers on campus; do it at home and save yourself some money.

If you're a uni student, chances are your university's library has a big printer/copier that you can use to copy textbooks or print assignments. If you're new to uni and in your first year, you might not realise this, but chances are your uni's printing service is expensive. Ridiculously expensive. I remember being at uni just a few years ago and paying 10 cents per monochrome page, and a dollar for colour. (It looks like that hasn't changed, either.)

On my work desk at the moment, I have a nifty little Canon PIXMA MG7560. It's orange, and everyone walking past has mentioned it at one point or another. It's striking, as well as being a good printer, scanner and copier — which, if I'm honest, is kind of its whole reason for being. But more than anything else, it's pretty:

Having your own printer, sitting away quietly at home, can actually save you a lot of money over the course of your three- or four- or eight-year degree, especially if you're in a paper-heavy discipline like law or media and communications. The Canon MG7560 has a $189 RRP, although I'm sure you can find it cheaper, and it'll handle your printing, scanning, copying all in one. Plus it has Wi-Fi, which means you don't have to go through the rigmarole of hooking it up over USB or Ethernet to your PC.

Here's the rub — you can pick up a set of six XL-sized ink genuine Canon cartridges for the MG7560 for about than $180 if you look around a bit, which will get you more than 700 pages of full-colour photo printing, or a lot more assigments which only use a small amount of colour. Black yields are up to a ridiculous 4500 pages from the black and grey ink tanks, more if you're printing in draft. That's at least a tenth of the cost of uni printing, and potentially a lot less if you're just running off a lot of your documents in monochrome draft mode.

And hey, because it's orange, you can put it out in your living room or communal living space or the one spare corner in your tiny uni-student flat and use it as a conversation starter. The PIXMA MG7560 prints quickly (and legibly) even in its miserly cent-saving draft mode, and can ramp up the quality substantially if you need to make a presentation look especially good. Plus it's orange. [Canon]



    I went for a no-frills black and white laser printer for my uni days in 2008 and THAT was a time saver and a money saver.

      Smart man. Anything is cheaper than those stupid uni printers.

        I bought a Samsung ML-1640. Hacked the firmware and I could use OEM toners when ever they ran out. I use to buy them for $30 including postage on eBay. Best thing for Uni, it paid for itself!

    I want someone to make an e-ink a4 sized tablet, that has a printer driver and you just print to directly to it.
    That way I can print anything I want to it, use it like printed material, and not spend and waste a fortune on paper and ink.
    Make it thin, high resolution and portable with a massive battery life, and it will pay for itself very quickly in saved printing costs. Waterproof would be good so I can read in the bath :)

    (Yes I know potentially I can print to PDF then upload the pdf files to an iPad or similar, but I want an A4 size tablet, with a display that doesn't eat battery and is visible in full sunlight, and doesn't do much else, so the battery lasts nearly forever, and I can read without the distraction that a smarter device gives).

      The Kindle DX was a bit like that, a friend imported one to read Manga on, and I've got to say I was impressed...

      You are talking about a Kindle DX, that does all those things. You can even send docs straight to it via Send to Kindle in your right click menu, or via a browser button, or from your phone.

      FWIW, though, I didn't find any ereaders great for uni. Trying to flip through pages, cross ref, reread wtf that formula/word/etc meant is far too slow and cumbersome compared to an actual book. I even find it awkward on my Surface, which is a billion times more responsive.

        Add on top of the the fact that they won't let you into an exam with a piece of electronic gear like that. Have heard a couple of stories of people investing in e versions of text books only to have them disallowed at the open book exam.

    I'm pretty sure I saw this for $99 the other day when I was hunting for something else. Can't remember where though.

    I call BS on the number of pages you can print. My canon Pixma is thirstier than a stoned uni student

    An inkjet is a terrible solution. For the same price, you can get a wireless mono laser printer that prints at triple the speed, does duplex printing and takes similarly-priced toners that give you 8000+ pages.

    (Printing photos at home is never cost effective, at least, not below a4-a3 size. Definitely not for 4x6s. And if you want decent results, you need proper paper (read: Hahnemuhle, Ilford, Museo, Canson) and a decent printer - the cheapest of which will set you back $300 for a used Epson R800, or $700 for a Canon Pixma 9 series. Plus, you will want a spectrophotometer as well. So you have to either be regularly printing huge photos, or you need to be an obsessive control freak...)

    Anyways, pro tips!
    - if you are stuck photocopying lecture notes at the library, it's cheaper (and better imho) to shrink pages and rotate so you can fit 2 onto a side of A4 paper, then print double sided. Voila, your notes just shrunk down to 25% of their original volume.

    - if you can get away with it, photographing is way faster (and cheaper) than photocopying. Some unis frown on it, though... so be sneaky. Cell phones have plenty enough resolution to get it done.

    - If it's a textbook, then for the love of god, don't try scanning the whole thing. You will have graduated before you finish. Set up a stand for your book, put your camera on a tripod, set up some nice flat, diffuse and bright lighting (work lights behind a curtain/sheet work well and photograph those suckers. If you have a remote for your camera, even better. You can easily hit 50 pages per minute, vs like two for scanning.

    Last edited 26/02/15 12:58 pm

      RE: Photographing.
      If you have Google Drive app on your phone, there is a scan option and it will convert to a PDF right away.

    Vote 1 Mono Laser here. Anything really really needing colour (which is hardly ever) can go to Kwik Copy, Officeworks, or uni print room.

    Even better is a mono laser MFC. That way you can scan & copy your required textbook chapters. It's going to be much cheaper than an inkjet over 3 years.

    Well that's kinda cute... but orange? The black is much more stylish.

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