Friday, July 25, 2014

Choosing HP Deskjet Ink Advantage 3545 e-All-in-one

I want to buy a home printer.

The wife says, "This HP laser printer is useless". The daughter says, "I want color printouts for school and for fun". And I think to myself, "When I have money I will get the best printer money can buy".

So, the brief is clear.

Zero headache color printer that is inexpensive to acquire. (I am assuming I will have the money to finance its running costs)

Before venturing out into a formal internet product research, I put out a printer recommendation request into a strong Whatsapp group - my NITIE MBA bacthmates. (more on this remarkable group sometime later)

Pat came two responses. HP F4488 (Sumeet) and HP 3545 Ink Advantage (Ruchir), both HP deskjets around the 5,000 Rupees mark. It looked like a good start to the research process.

Getting the Basics in Place

Armed with couple of printer options, I decided to read a bit about buying the perfect printer. There is neither a perfect printer nor a perfect way to find a perfect printer. Nevertheless, you may choose to follow these pointers.

Checking out Printers Online

A quick check on the HP India website for printers gave the following almost similar options:-
  • HP Deskjet Ink Advantage 3545 e-All-in-one
  • HP Deskjet Ink Advantage 4515 e-All-in-one
Both seemed same, except for a 2000 Rupees price difference and also a few features like multifunction, memory card slot and a touch panel. It was time to call the HP helpline. I was also keen to check,
  • Ink Cartridge costs and refilling frequency, especially when not used.
  • Printing from Linux OS
  • Mobile printing
I called the HP Helpline on 1800-180-1810 who asked me to call 1800-200-0047 (HP Total Care) who again asked me to call 1800-112-267 (HP Technical Support), where I finally got my answers. Phew !

The technical support officer, very confidently, assured me that there isn't any material difference between 3545 and 4515, and that "HP Deskjet Ink Advantage 3545 e-All-in-one" is a good decision. It had all the need-to-have-features. The cartridges cost about Rs 500 apiece - black and tricolor, and would be good if used atleast once a week.

Less than 2 - 3 man hours into the search, I was close to the decision.

Not to be partial to HP, I also checked out the Canon India and Epson India websites. It wasn't easy to look around. The PIXMA models caught my attention. Since I had more than made up my mind, I left them a message through the "Contact Us" page. Only Canon responded via email, but sadly did not follow up through a call. I would have liked up.

Now, where do I get the best deal on HP Deskjet Ink Advantage 3545 e-All-in-one Printer? Quikr ? OLX ?

Watch this space !


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