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Where did the LAN connections go?

sabre

Bedfordshire, UK
4611 posts

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sabre Silver Member Nikonian since 31st Dec 2006
Sun 05-Dec-10 02:49 PM

I have decided to look at buying a new top end inkjet printer for my A3+ photo printing requirements. I am particularly impressed by the multi-cartridge photo-realistic capabilities of some of the top models from the major brand manufacturers...

...however, I am totally unimpressed by the lack of network capability of the top offerings from Canon and Epson. I had originally hoped to buy an HP Photosmart B9180 a couple of years ago - I had seen this printer at a show and quite liked it, especially as it had an 802.3 Ethernet port. However, life moves on, and it appears that not only has HP dropped that model without any top end replacement, but it has also now largely dropped out of the top end A3+ desktop printer market.

So, I am looking at the Canon Pixma 9500 MkII and the Epson Stylus Photo R2880. The Epson makes me a little nervous, because in the past I have never had much joy with Epson products, mainly due to past failings in Epson's warranty service provision and the appalling quantities of ink that Epson seems to enjoy us using when we clean their fixed head units. However, it appears that many people have had much success with Epson printers in the past few years, and it has been 8 years since I dumped my last Epson printer in the dumpster after just 12 months frustrating use. Therefore, I have decided to take another look at Epson.

This morning I sat at my computer ready to place an online order for the new printer, but I have been thwarted by the lack of any network ports on these two Canon and Epson models. I just cannot fathom why Canon and Epson fail to provide network connectivity for these two top models. I read one online report which states that a network connection would be too slow to transfer the large amount of data to print an A3 photo on an R2880. What?! Have these knuckleheads never heard of Gigabit ethernet, which has 1000Mb connection compared to half that on USB 2 ?

Even more frustrating is the fact that both Canon and Epson make less expensive printers that do have network connectivity. Perhaps I am naive, but I would have thought that if a £200 ($300) printer has a network port, it would be reasonable to expect that a £600 ($900) printer from the same manufacturer would also have a network port. Also, these manufacturers can hardly claim that there is not enough room in their printer chassis to incorporate a network port - these machines have massive bodies.

I really want network connectivity, rather than random USB cables trailing round my office from the various computers I use. It is so much nicer just to plug a printer into a gigabit switch and then print from anywhere. Has anybody else been frustrated by this lack of network connectivity? Have you found any workable alternatives or other equally featured top end printers to get round this bizarre failing by Canon and Epson?

Steve (Bedfordshire, England)
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A Nikon in the hand is worth two in the bag!

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