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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > Do you use a color laser printer privately?

Do you use a color laser printer privately?
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Mac Elite
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Aug 15, 2012, 10:48 AM
 
Hello,

we had various color deskjet printers for many years and a laser printer for everything black and white. For a while now, I think about rather getting a color laser printer for everything. Is that a reasonable idea? Aren't color deskjets still very common? (and why, if color lasers are affordable and if their toners are not too expensive...?).

I found the Samsung CLP-320 for instance, for 100 €, although I don't know the exact toner price. And I also found other color laser printers cost rather about 200 €, so I don't know...

Trying to think about all this, back several years ago, color laser printers appeared entirely unaffordable and only for businesses, but now...

What do you think?
Pete
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Aug 15, 2012, 12:43 PM
 
I think most regular home users would balk at dropping that much on a printer these days, when an inkjet can be had for almost half as much.
     
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Aug 15, 2012, 04:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
I think most regular home users would balk at dropping that much on a printer these days, when an inkjet can be had for almost half as much.
I disagree. I've basically given up on inkjets. I was so tired of ink running out and drying out and being super expensive. And I rarely, if ever, need to print in color. If I need a photo, I'll order it through iPhoto.

I have a black and white Brother laser and love it. In about 6 or more years of ownership, I've replaced the toner cartridge once. If I really needed color and if a color laser could perform in the same way for a decent price, I'd get it.

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cgc
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Aug 15, 2012, 05:29 PM
 
Same here, I'm sick of ink refills and am shopping for a good B&W laser printer; I take images to Wal-Mart to print up for $0.50.
     
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Aug 15, 2012, 07:02 PM
 
I'm never buying an inkjet. Now the companies have "expiration dates" on the inkjet cartridges. If you don't print for a month, it forces you to buy new cartridges, even if for all intents and purposes the damn thing is brand new.

Laser for me. They're cost prohibitive with their higher initial cost, but in the long run they're about the same or even cheaper (depends on the brand.)
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Aug 15, 2012, 07:12 PM
 
I avoid printers in general at all costs. It's pretty rare that I have need of a printer. When I *do* need a printer, I buy the cheapest inkjet I can find and throw it away when the ink runs out.
     
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Aug 15, 2012, 07:25 PM
 
I've switched to laser printers a few years ago, but I made sure to buy a more expensive model, because printer manufacturers make money in the same way they do with ink jet printers: they sell the printer for next to nothing and then charge the customer with consumables.

So whether it's worth it or not to replace a cheap inkjet with a cheap laser printer depends on a few factors, first and foremost how many pages per month do you print? I print a lot since a large share of my work life consists of reading scientific articles and trying to write a few myself.

Here are a few random pros and cons:

Pros of (color) laser printers
- great for printing text and graphs
- quite fast in black & white
- not fuzzy with the type of paper you use
- Toner cartridges tend to last longer and cannot dry out. My Kyocera's toner cartridges were rated at 10,000 pages, in practice, it was more like 8,000~9,000 pages per cartridge, but many cheaper laser printers' cartridges are rated at only 1,000 or even 500 pages.
- Many models now feature duplex printing (i. e. the printer can automatically print on both sides of a piece of paper).


Cons of (color) laser printers
- They are usually considerably larger, especially color laser printers.
- Many of them produce a sizable amount of ozone.
- Not good at printing photos and such.
- They are much noisier.


Pros of ink jet printers
- Very, very cheap these days.
- Even cheap inkjets are capable of printing photos in very high quality.


Cons of ink jet printers
- Ink can dry out.
- Ink is expensive. Very expensive if you calculate the cost per milliliter.
- Text is less sharp than the output of a laser printer.
- Optimum print quality is only achieved with (expensive) special ink jet paper.


Personally, if I were you and I would print only up to 500 pages per year (mostly text), I would probably get a color laser printer, but I'd invest more than 100 € in it. 100 € printers are so cheaply built, they are only good for very light use. I'd at least invest 250 € (e. g. in a Brother HL-3040 CN or Oki C321n which also feature a network connection and are 4 times as fast as cheap color lasers when printing color, 15~16 pages per minute as opposed to 3~4). Even better is its bigger brother, Oki C511dn or this Kyocera printer which has Postscript built into it. That means you don't need any drivers, just a so-called postscript description file (a text file) to tell the postscript converter what the printer's capabilities are.

I would definitely advise against getting a HP printer. Cheap HP printers are just cheap in every respect.
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Aug 16, 2012, 05:12 AM
 
I need to point out that none of you guys are normal home users.
     
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Aug 16, 2012, 07:32 AM
 
Well, I think I've printed about 30,000 pages on my home printer alone in 5 years

In my defense, I can't find mistakes when I read text on a computer screen, I have to have it printed out.
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Aug 16, 2012, 08:20 AM
 
I haven't had a printer at home since 2003.
     
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Aug 17, 2012, 06:25 PM
 
I have a Brother color laser and like it a lot. As has been said, they're lousy at printing photographs, but I don't print a lot and was tired of the inkjet being dried out every time I wanted to print something.
     
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Aug 26, 2012, 08:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I've switched to laser printers a few years ago, but I made sure to buy a more expensive model, because printer manufacturers make money in the same way they do with ink jet printers: they sell the printer for next to nothing and then charge the customer with consumables.
So whether it's worth it or not to replace a cheap inkjet with a cheap laser printer depends on a few factors, first and foremost how many pages per month do you print? I print a lot since a large share of my work life consists of reading scientific articles and trying to write a few myself.
Here are a few random pros and cons: [left out]
Just wanted to say thanks for the great reply!

I figured out, too, that getting a 100€ may not be a good idea, but I think, the more you print, the less important the starting price would be anyway, especially as long as it's a 100€ or 200€ debate... Still reading, thinking, but getting somewhere. Probably a good idea to retry and go this way.

Thanks! Pete

[Edit: I would be curious about the advice against HP printers, though. I found this one: HP ColorLaserJet Pro CP1525nw which got a great review from a renowned German test magazine, 230 € this time. Why not?]
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