Recently my old HP Inkjet printer stopped working so I needed to purchase a new printer. I don’t print all that often and I rarely print photos so I have fairly basic requirements so I don’t want to spend too much. With smartphones and tablets being so popular I wanted one that would support both iOS and Android. Apple supports printing with AirPrint and Google supports printing via Cloud Print. It is actually kind of difficult to find a printer that supports both AirPrint and Cloud Print. Each printing technology lists supported printers, but the lists are not complete and not cross referenced with each other. So you can find a printer that supports AirPrint, but not Cloud Print.
Another feature that I wanted was cheap 3rd party cartridges. I’m tired of paying $50 to HP just for one set of black and color cartridges. One set of ink cartridges costs more than the entire printer. The printer manufacturers say don’t use 3rd party ink. But I’ve used it in the past and it worked fine for my use. Even if the 3rd party ink breaks your printer, you can just buy a new printer that includes new cartridges so you haven’t lost much.
Here is the list of requirements for the new printer:
- Inexpensive to buy the printer
- Supports Google Cloud Print
- Supports Apple AirPrint
- Inexpensive Ink Cartridges
After looking around it seems that the only printer company that supports all of these requirements is Brother. The other major manufacturers all were missing one feature. On many printers they only supported both AirPrint and Cloud Print on their more expensive printers. Or the printer supported both printing technologies but there were no inexpensive ink cartridges.
I ended up purchasing the Brother MFC-J435. Setting it up was easy. It has an LCD screen so I was able to select my wireless network on the screen and type in the passkey on the numeric keypad. To enable AirPrint and Cloud Print you just need to use a web browser on your computer and connect to the IP Address of the printer (find the IP Address in the Settings menu of the printer). The printer has a scanner and auto document feeder so you can put a bunch of papers in the feeder and they will all be scanned automatically. The printer also has a fax feature if you still need to use faxes.
Another useful feature is the Brother iPhone app. The app connects to the printer automatically and you can print and scan with it. I haven’t tried printing because AirPrint is supported natively by the iPhone. But the scanning feature is pretty cool, you can insert the documents that you want scanned and hit scan in the app. All the pages are scanned and then combined into a PDF which you can then email to yourself.
As for the ink it is very cheap. At Amazon you can get 10 cartridges for about $7 with free shipping. I haven’t personally used this ink yet because I’m still on the original cartridges, but the pack has a 4 star review on Amazon which is really good for 3rd party ink.