any advice on buying a new multifunction laser printer?
Our HP laserjet 1536dnf printer seems to be dying, and we are in the market for a new one. We need it to:
- Be a laser printer. I’m sick of fussing with printer ink
- photocopy, print and scan
- have a document feeder
- do duplex automatically (two sided printing)
- fit on our 20"x15" table (the current one has trays that stick out, so maybe it’s closer to 20"x20", but all the weight is on the table)
Nice to have
- color: Are color laser printers reliable and affordable these days?
- fax: I can’t remember the last time we needed the printer to fax a document, but I suppose it might be nice to have
- hold most of a ream of paper
- wireless. The current one is connected with a wire to our internet modem, I think, and that has worked fine. But I think they mostly come wireless these days.
Every so often I want to print a bunch of pages at once, and this one overheats and the quality sucks. And then I have to reprint in dribs and drabs. That’s acceptable, as we don’t print in quantity very often.
Consider removing colour from the requirements. That adds to the cost and maintenance, you have 3 or 4 toners instead of one. I have a colour laser, itgathers dust ontheshelf for how often it gets used. I bet it’s been two years since I plugged it in.
I understand that it costs more to buy a bigger, more complicated machine. And that four toner cartridges cost more than one. But I’m curious about the relative reliability, and whether that takes a hit, too with color.
I’ve wanted to print color fairly often. Often enough that i used to do some personal printing on my employer’s hardware, which I’d prefer not to. And i can afford the initial cost of the color laserjets on the market, and the toner.
But will i regret having bought a buggy machine?
I dunno, colour lasers are also huge, so you won’t likely meet your size requirements. Every colour laser I’ve owned has been a monster. I don’t know if they’re more buggy, they’re just more of a pita with the colours. Gotta have three or four backup toners instead of one.
I also don’t know if you’ll get scanners in with a colour laser. Maybe, but I don’t think it’s typical.
And I do seem to recall that we change toners more frequently, because for some reason we will use more of some colours than others.
Pretty much the only thing I regret about not going to an office: having a high-volume, 5-foot-wide color laser 2-sided printer/scanner-e-mail-to-self/copier. (Especially since someone else maintained it.)
I bought an HP 8028 at Costco. Color (I need it to prove my signature is not a stamp), but not laser, though it has the word “Jet” in its branding. Two Black 910XL cartridges at Costco were $73. I recently bought the color ones (all three, because it was printing grey as a combo of the three colors) at Office Depot for $35 (non-XL; the XL ones are $23 for each color at hp.com). Also, it’s hooked up to my wifi, so printing from smart phones in the house is doable.
This one might be up your alley:
150-sheet tray. Not bad. The one at work could hold two reams in three separate trays. (Sigh)
This is not the printer you’re looking for, but I really like it:
What I like about it is that the toner/ink is super cheap even though the printer is rather expensive. I bought the Epson Ecotank Et-2500 quite a few years ago. These days I would spend extra to get the document feeder. Back in those days, it was still a steep jump in price for that option.
There is an “ink pad counter” built in to the machine so that, after you’ve printed a number of pages you need to haul it in to an authorized service dealer, have them clean the ink pads and reset the counter, or, you can clean them yourself, get a code from some third party on ebay, and be off to the races again.
It’s slow, but that’s not an issue for me. I rarely need things printed quickly.
Despite the drawbacks, I like it a lot and would buy the same brand again.
Last fall, I came very close to getting a Canon MF644Cdw based on the reviews, because I am tired of inkjets and it seemed to be the least-expensive color laser with decent reviews and the minimum features I wanted.
I ended up not getting it…yet, talking myself out of it because I don’t print all that much, and because printer prices seemed inflated / supplies were erratic at the time.