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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > I might buy 5 identical small laser printers

I might buy 5 identical small laser printers
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The Wolf
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Oct 13, 2009, 06:37 PM
 
Please stop me before I do this. Really. The problem that I have is that I regularly print on 5 different types of paper, plus envelopes. I am tired of getting up and switching the paper in and out of the tray. The HP I have has one extra tray, but the feeder is busted. I started to look at monochromatic laser printers and came across a Samsung and Brother, which looked nice, only to find that the extra trays are almost $200 each!

Are they serious? Am I missing something? I spend days trying to find a simple b&w laser printer with a bunch of trays, but it seems the prices for the stupid trays are the cost of a simple printer.

Does anyone here use, or know of, a simple laser printer that has multiple trays for a few hundred bucks?

I don't need color, I don't need duplexing, and I don't need an AIO, MFC, BBQ!

Simple b&w laser with 4 or 5 trays!

Thanks!
     
turtle777
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Oct 13, 2009, 06:50 PM
 
A cheap 5 tray laser doesn't exist.

Once you go beyond 2 trays, you are generally looking at a pretty robust high speed work group printer, which will cost more than 5 cheap laser printers.

-t
     
CharlesS
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Oct 13, 2009, 07:29 PM
 
However, that giant work printer will probably have much cheaper (per page) toner than the small laser printers.

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cgc
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Oct 13, 2009, 07:58 PM
 
Mmmm...laser printer raid...
     
turtle777
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Oct 13, 2009, 08:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
However, that giant work printer will probably have much cheaper (per page) toner than the small laser printers.
Absolutely. And think of the footprint. 5 lasers

-t
     
reader50
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Oct 13, 2009, 08:40 PM
 
If you do get 5 laser printers, post a picture of your printer rack. We need more geek pr0n. You could put a name on the front of each, designating paper color.

Pink Ranger
Red Rocket
Snow White
Green Giant
Yellow Snow
Blue Moon
     
olePigeon
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Oct 13, 2009, 08:42 PM
 
The cheapest I could find was a refurbished HP LaserJet 4250. It can have up to 5 trays. 1200 dpi B&W laser.
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olePigeon
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Oct 13, 2009, 08:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
If you do get 5 laser printers, post a picture of your printer rack. We need more geek pr0n. You could put a name on the front of each, designating paper color.

Pink Ranger
Red Rocket
Snow White
Green Giant
Yellow Snow
Blue Moon
Name them movies that could be porn, but aren't:

Babes in Toy Land
Sleepless in Seattle
The Astronaut's Wife
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
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you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
macwall
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Oct 15, 2009, 02:46 AM
 
How much do you print???
     
The Wolf  (op)
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Oct 15, 2009, 09:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
The cheapest I could find was a refurbished HP LaserJet 4250. It can have up to 5 trays. 1200 dpi B&W laser.
Thanks for that link. Turns out someone down the hall from me has this exact printer. The problem that he's telling me I will have is that once one of the trays runs out of paper, it will take the additional pages it needs from the next available tray. I have an HP currently, but I gotta tell you the ability to designate a single tray to print from has been very hit or miss.
     
The Wolf  (op)
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Oct 15, 2009, 09:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by macwall View Post
How much do you print???
Hrmmm, I'm guess from between zero to >100 pages per week. But even if I only print 10 pages, it's likely that it will be using at least 3 different types of paper.
     
The Wolf  (op)
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Oct 15, 2009, 09:37 AM
 
As to the rest of you freaks, you may just get your wish! I'm going to have to find some kind of a shelf or cabinet to house this collection. It's *not* the conclusion/solution I wanted to reach, but I don't seem to have much of a choice. It's going to be like a symphony of printers. I will post pics.
     
shifuimam
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Oct 15, 2009, 09:01 PM
 
I don't get why you'd buy five identical printers. Won't each printer cost as much as getting extra trays?

Also: find out about surplus sales at any universities in your area. You can get all kinds of handy enterprise-grade computer stuff for dirt cheap at those things.
     
SSharon
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Nov 1, 2009, 01:24 AM
 
A cheap brother/samsung laser is only $50 on newegg so I don't think this is such a crazy idea assuming you have the space. I have two brother laser printers connected to my desktop right now. I'm sure you could also think of one or two types of paper that you print to the least and get up to switch those so you don't need as many printers.

Make sure the printers are connected to a strong surge protector. Lasers have a tendency to draw a lot of power when warming up.
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shifuimam
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Nov 1, 2009, 02:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by SSharon View Post
A cheap brother/samsung laser is only $50 on newegg so I don't think this is such a crazy idea assuming you have the space. I have two brother laser printers connected to my desktop right now. I'm sure you could also think of one or two types of paper that you print to the least and get up to switch those so you don't need as many printers.

Make sure the printers are connected to a strong surge protector. Lasers have a tendency to draw a lot of power when warming up.
It's generally better to not plug a laser protector into anything other than an actual wall outlet - the fuser needs a certain amount of current to work properly, and putting it on a surge protector can cause problems.
     
The Wolf  (op)
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Nov 1, 2009, 08:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
I don't get why you'd buy five identical printers. Won't each printer cost as much as getting extra trays?
Exactly. The problem I'm wrestling with is why I should buy one plastic tray that cost as much as an entire laser printer.
     
shifuimam
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Nov 1, 2009, 08:54 AM
 
Because it's more economical (e.g. electrical consumption) than keeping five individual printers on all the time?

What in the world are you doing that requires you to print on so many different kinds of paper? If it's some kind of home business, maybe you could look at the more expensive enterprise-grade laser printers with multiple trays, and write it off as a business expense.

Also: if you're printing on anything bigger than 8.5x11", those cheapy printers aren't going to cut it. Not to mention that they're crappy printers to begin with. I used to have one of those Samsung printers that I got for under $100 on Newegg, and it was a POS compared to my LaserJet 2100tn.
     
amazing
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Nov 1, 2009, 09:40 AM
 
I'm more in favor of a good printer on a cart with wheels that stands within arm distance of your workstation. With shelves for all the necessary paper. A couple of trays for the most used paper.

Otherwise, you're gonna spend a huge amount of time collating what you've printed, going from one printer to the next, trying to remember what order they're supposed to be in.
     
Timo
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Nov 1, 2009, 01:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by cgc View Post
Mmmm...laser printer raid...
I lol'd
     
The Wolf  (op)
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Nov 1, 2009, 04:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
What in the world are you doing that requires you to print on so many different kinds of paper? If it's some kind of home business, maybe you could look at the more expensive enterprise-grade laser printers with multiple trays, and write it off as a business expense.

Also: if you're printing on anything bigger than 8.5x11", those cheapy printers aren't going to cut it. Not to mention that they're crappy printers to begin with. I used to have one of those Samsung printers that I got for under $100 on Newegg, and it was a POS compared to my LaserJet 2100tn.
Thanks for the recommendations, but I don't think it's going to work for me. I am running a business, from my office. I've looked into the enterprise-grade laser printers and the problem is that IMO they suck and I'm not about to spend money on something that I think is a rip-off just because I can deduct it. Seriously, $150 for a "tray"?!?!?! Each tray??? Based upon the research I've done, the only thing that seems to be in my price range (if I buy a discontinued model) is one of the HPs for between $500-600. However, I still can't confirm whether or not I can use more than 3 trays. And that doesn't include the cost of extra trays.

fwiw, I currently have an HP2100n and I hate it. The add-on 3rd tray always jams. In fact, so much so that I no longer use it. Not to mention that twice now (Snow Leopard being the most recent time), I have had to go on and manually set the IP to be able to print. Fortunately, I realized very quickly this time around what the problem was b/c it took me about 4 days to get it back up the first time around.

Finally, the ability to select a specific tray to print from is abysmal. It has always been very hit and miss, but for nearly the past year it's a miss. As a result, I now also leave tray number 2 ajar, and simply manually feed whatever stock I want to ensure that it doesn't draw the paper from the wrong tray. Also, even if all the trays are working, and it draws from the correct tray, don't run out of paper! If you do, it draws from any other available tray, and screws up the whole job. And no, manually setting the "paper feed" preference in the print menu hasn't helped me. Just my experience.
     
OreoCookie
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Nov 1, 2009, 04:57 PM
 
The reason these enterprise class printers are so expensive (including trays) is their longevity: we have a Laserjet 4250 DTN at work and it has passed the 300,000 pages mark. Not without problems (the whole mechanics had to be changed after 10,000 pages, the maintenance kits don't last 300,000 pages, we managed 170,000 pages on the first one and a few months ago, the scanner needed to be replaced), but overall, the printer held up quite well.

Unless you print a lot, these printers may be overkill.
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