Wednesday, December 17, 2014

TransAct Ithaca 153 Point of Sale Dot Matrix Printer

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

A receipt printer isn’t necessarily something you would normally purchase in the course of a day. Most people can go their entire lives without asking what they should look for in a receipt printer. Some people do need to look for one. The only reason I’m writing this review is that we use two of them at work. Had it not been for that, I probably never would have thought of receipt printers, either.

The Ithaca 150 printer is pretty standard. You put in a roll of receipt paper, load it in and press the reset button. Loading the paper is a little tricky for us since we use paper that’s taped in place. To start a new roll, we have to tear the paper, which makes it a little harder to load. If you feel like working, you can use a pair of scissors or a paper cutter. If not, you can just fold it over and load it in. My only real complaint about loading paper is that you’ll end up wasting a few feet of paper between tearing off the outer layer and the amount of paper that it feeds through when done. Also, you have to remember to hit the reset button on the far right, or else it won’t work.

Once that’s done, you don’t really want to have to think about the receipt printer. You just want it to work. That’s why I decided to write the review in the first place. We have two of these printers and one works well whereas the second doesn’t. The one that works is on the primary register, which I suppose is good.

The one on the secondary register has a bad habit of freezing up whenever there’s a power spike. I often have to call someone to get it working again. This isn’t good. I hate seeing the lights go out for a second and hearing the printer making that distinct sound for a second. It means I have to call it in and get the printer working again.

I can be pretty certain that it’s not the printer, though, because we’ve replaced that one. (If I recall, it had one too many power spikes and crapped out permanently.) The old one had the same set of problems. Not only did it freeze up, but it also seems to print a little more slowly. There are also some minor things that escape me at the moment, but I think many of them stem from the register, which we’ve had for a while. I’ll bet if we switched the printers, they’d take on the characteristics of the other instantly.

Overall, they’re reliable printers. As I said, we’ve had the same major problem with one, but the other has never given us any grief. I’d give the printer four stars. 

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