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Buying a printer

by CherryBlossomGuitar / December 12, 2009 10:40 AM PST

I have a 2008 windows vista (Dell) and need a good printer. Here are the specs I need.
1. Relatively cheap. Not too much more than 200 dollars.
2. Have a scanner
3. I don't need it to be high quality photo type. Mostly I need it to print a lot and print it basically well. I am a college student and write a lot.
4. It needs to be relatively simple. (my mother will be using it and I don't want a phone call every five minutes)

I will be researching this on my own of course but I was just wondering if anyone had any personal experiences or good advice.

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If I were you
by Jimmy Greystone / December 12, 2009 11:03 AM PST
In reply to: Buying a printer

If I were you, I'd be looking at a cheapish laser printer and separate scanner. I know it's an extra cable, wall wart power adapter, and everything else, but every time you start increasing the complexity of a device you have to expect the cost to go up. So if you're looking for some do everything and make you coffee in the morning type device, you're going to be disappointed most likely. Devices that try to be everything to everyone end up being nothing to no one.

And so long as you don't need color, you absolutely cannot beat laser printers in terms of print quality, print speed, and cost per page. Inkjets will get MAYBE 500 sheets per cartridge, while lasers should be able to easily get 5,000 sheets per cartridge. Most laser printers come with a "starter" toner cartridge that should last for about 2,000 pages. Each successive toner cart you get should be good for 5,000-10,000 pages. Basically, inkjet printers are approximately 10X more expensive per page, and replacement toner cartridges are really pretty competitive price wise to replacement printer ink.

Color laser printers are a bit more expensive, and also a bit more of a hassle, so a good compromise is to have a cheap inkjet around for those few times you need to print color, and then a laser for everything else.

As for specifics... Avoid HP inkjets, but prefer their lasers. Lexmark tends to make crap whether it's ink or laser. The cheaper something is, the more likely it is to be a piece of junk, especially the more features it has. Make sure there are drivers if you're using Windows x64.

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by CherryBlossomGuitar / December 12, 2009 11:14 AM PST
In reply to: If I were you

Thanks so much for the specifics of your answer! That's really nice of you. Thanks.

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DItto on laser
by psaulm119 / December 14, 2009 5:38 AM PST
In reply to: Thanks!

I'd also recommend a laser if you print a lot. I bought one 2 years ago and its more than paid for itself with the savings. A few other things to keep in mind when shopping:
1. I have used third-party laser toner bought on amazon for these 2 years and never been disappointed. Instead of paying HP 70 bucks for their toner, I pay amazon 18 or so--and it prints the same number of pages.
2. I bought an HP laserjet that is still going strong. Keep in mind the long term--HP laserjets have the drum in the toner cartridge, so after 10,000 pages I won't have to replace the drum, like I would if I bought a Brother or other brands. When you shop for a laser, ask if the drum is a separate unit, or comes with the toner. If not, then ask how often it has to be replaced. The drum CAN BE almost as expensive as a new printer, so that pretty much marks the end of life for your printer--who wants to spend 180 on a new drum for a 5 year old printer, when a new laser costs 220?

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by jeff_windows_team / December 14, 2009 7:01 AM PST
In reply to: Buying a printer
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