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Color Laser Printers: Fast and Affordable!

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  • Memory
  • Printers
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Color Laserjet
Last response: in Memory
June 22, 2006 10:44:36 AM

For two years now, manufacturers have been offering some particularly economical models, and HP has even broken new ground by launching a color laser - the Color LaserJet 1600 - selling for less than $300 in mass-retail chain stores.

More about : color laser printers fast affordable

June 22, 2006 2:07:59 PM

This was simply a VERY excellent article. My wife and I might be shopping for a printer soon and we discussed color laser technology. We had a little monochrome brother laser printer but it died halfway through printing our wedding programs. After that experience I'm willing to pay a premium to give HP a try.
June 22, 2006 2:11:47 PM

"Since the combined cost of the four cartridges is actually higher than that of the printer itself, it's actually better to replace the whole printer when the cartridges are empty. This also gives you the benefit of a fresh warranty."

Only if the cartridges are not "starter" cartridges and are only 1/2 full to begin with.
Related resources
June 22, 2006 2:39:32 PM

You mentioned OKI in the beginning of your article but didnt review one..

OKI is a pioneer in Single Pass Color Technology and also a leader in TCO, you should have reviewed one of their outstanding products!
June 22, 2006 3:11:52 PM

The article was interresting but not as thorough as one would expect. It fails to mention that DPI resolution is a very key issue when it comes to laser printers. Especially CLP:s (Color Laser Printers). A CLP must mix and blend four colors on a very tight spot, which therefore can give some artifacts in surtain types of printings. The total color resolution will therefore not be 600 DPI in color prints. Most are the brands try to enhance this issue thru some fuzzy logic that will expand the DPI resolution to 600 x 1200 DPI for example, which in fact is a virtual resolution. Don’t get fooled by the sales guy that try to convince you that the printers resolution is 1200 DPI. It is not. The native hardcore resolution is still 600 x 600 DPI. In fact, the article did not even mention anything about the DPI resolution on the tested models. That’s a pity. Further on… Most of the makers also put wax in the toner mix, in order to make the print shine even more. The article doesn’t mention this either.

The second generation CLP:s is already on the move, which will offer a true native 1200 x 1200 DPI print. These are by far better on printing color pictiures etc. Artifacts like “banding” is a lot less appearent on a 1200 DPI machine.

Before you get loose on a shopping sprey for a Color Laser, I would recommend reading the following article:

Learning what to expect from the new generation of color laser printers

/Milleman
June 22, 2006 7:03:44 PM

I am begining to lose faith in this sites objectivity. You leave out Dell notebooks in a supposed 17 inch notebook comparison. In this article you leave out the Samsung CLP 510N. Staples routinely sells it for $299 which includes a built-in duplexer, 250 page paper tray, and is network capable. Quite an omission on your part, but you do include two HPs. :cry: 
June 23, 2006 7:09:43 AM

Quote:
Only if the cartridges are not "starter" cartridges and are only 1/2 full to begin with
This is true for inkjets as well. You can always tell just by comparing their "weight" to a replacement one for sale. Companies like HP may argue about the ink quality and the parts they use, but the bottom line is they are grossly overpriced.

I remember one scenario where I took the printer back to the store within its 14 day return period after a small print job I had - turned out the cartridges were empty after only a hundred pages. And they gave me a full refund no questions. :D 

Quote:
I am begining to lose faith in this sites objectivity.
Quote:
The article was interresting but not as thorough as one would expect.

I have to generally agree, many important points were missing, other models should have been included, etc... It seems someone was in a hurry to get this article out the door.
June 23, 2006 1:47:40 PM

Quote:
Only if the cartridges are not "starter" cartridges and are only 1/2 full to begin with


Indeed. Caught that right off-the-bat.

It makes you wonder how accurate their "Price per page" chart is, since they're probably estimated, and based on starter cartridges no less.

Some things that would have been nice to see:

1) The real appeal of Laser printers is the fast printing at high DPI. How high does the DPI on these printers go, and how good is it really? Is there a noticible qualitty difference for photos at 1200 DPI vs. 300?

2) Hardware Longevity. It would have been nice (tho a waste of paper) to see these printers put through some sort of stress test.

3) Drivers. Software is so key with printers. How's the interface? What's the memory footprint just for having the drivers installed? Did the links always work when you updated the drivers? How's network support? Do the drivers support PCL, PostScript, or something proprietary?
June 23, 2006 2:51:52 PM

Just to repeat something the article already said... I work at a hospital with several HP 2600N printers and the consumables are outrageous... we got the printers for $299 ($100 rebate) and the set of consumables (4 toner cartridges) totaled $320... insanity! At least it did come with full toner cartridges... however these "full" cartridges still only last around 2500 pages. If you're not doing a large volume of printing it's possible the cartridges will last the life of the printer... if that's the case, maybe it's not such a terrible printer... if not, hide your wallet!
June 24, 2006 3:32:07 PM

This come at a good time for me as my old's are looking at getting a colour laser printer how ever I also found the review lacking in particularly in regards to network support. It would have been nice to know how those printers with network support faired running on a network in regards to queuing and so forth. This would have made it a lot more relevant for home users with networks and several computers as well as small business and organisations as this whole article seemed to be about affordable laser printers for those groups of people and yet it didn’t say how they ran in network environment where they will more than likely be run. Maybe they can do another one with more printers and focus on the issues that they missed.
June 24, 2006 5:16:35 PM

Based on watching our 2600's at work, I believe that if that printer is any indication of the capacity of the printers being reviewed they will all do just fine for home network use. The cost / page is enough to make me pass on them however.
June 25, 2006 4:06:53 AM

Since the article focuses on speed and affordability there are a couple more printer features to consider:

1. Speed: first page out.
2. Affordability: power consumption in printing and standby/sleep. Konica Minolta printers have about twice the power draw of a HP printer. This can add up to some serious savings. Not to mention the house lights flicker everytime the Minolta prints - not so with HP.
June 29, 2006 8:13:24 PM

I've been partial to Genicom printers for a long time. Usually they showed up with Digital, Compaq, IBM or Xerox badges on them though. I can't say what their quality has been since Tally took them over. In any case, the printing has been good to excellent and these printers have tended to last a long time, which is a good thing, since it's invariably cheaper to replace one than to repair it. They are currently running a deal where they'll sell a printer for $1 (normal price $499) if you also buy two sets of color print cartridges.

https://www.suppliesmax.com/tg/GETPrinter.cfm?PFamily=T...

I've not used that particular model but externally it looks just like the cL160 we have at work which I have been quite pleased with. It may be possible to get this deal through one of their resellers for even less, since "estore" prices for most vendors tend towards the high end of the market range. The 3 color cartridges are $154 each for 6000 pages, black is $99 for 8500 pages. There is no price break on a full set, it's just the sum of the parts. $561/6000 is about 9.4 cents/page just for toner. Your actual price will of course depend a lot on coverage. The imaging unit at $350 and only 30k pages tacks on another cent or so per page.

The old genicoms were rarely reviewed anywhere but reviews for the T8016 can be found with google. There's a similar deal on the T8024 but it requires you buy 12 sets of cartridges!
June 29, 2006 8:29:14 PM

Quote:
I've been partial to Genicom printers for a long time. Usually they showed up with Digital, Compaq, IBM or Xerox badges on them though. I can't say what their quality has been since Tally took them over. In any case, the printing has been good to excellent and these printers have tended to last a long time, which is a good thing, since it's invariably cheaper to replace one than to repair it. They are currently running a deal where they'll sell a printer for $1 (normal price $499) if you also buy two sets of color print cartridges.

https://www.suppliesmax.com/tg/GETPrinter.cfm?PFamily=T...

I've not used that particular model but externally it looks just like the cL160 we have at work which I have been quite pleased with. It may be possible to get this deal through one of their resellers for even less, since "estore" prices for most vendors tend towards the high end of the market range. The 3 color cartridges are $154 each for 6000 pages, black is $99 for 8500 pages. There is no price break on a full set, it's just the sum of the parts. $561/6000 is about 9.4 cents/page just for toner. Your actual price will of course depend a lot on coverage. The imaging unit at $350 and only 30k pages tacks on another cent or so per page.

The old genicoms were rarely reviewed anywhere but reviews for the T8016 can be found with google. There's a similar deal on the T8024 but it requires you buy 12 sets of cartridges!


Insert shameless plug here... :roll:
June 29, 2006 11:14:52 PM

Quote:
Insert shameless plug here... :roll:


Just to be clear, I don't work for them, don't own their stock, etc.
I just like their printers. Since most people have probably never heard of Genicom and/or don't know that they build some of the current Tally printers it seemed worth putting it into this thread. Mostly because none of these printers were included in the review that started this thread, which included only 3 brands of printers.
June 30, 2006 4:20:06 AM

Quote:

I am begining to lose faith in this sites objectivity. . . In this article you leave out the Samsung CLP 510N. Staples routinely sells it for $299 which includes a built-in duplexer, 250 page paper tray, and is network capable. Quite an omission on your part, but you do include two HPs. :cry: 


I too wonder why the Samsung CLP-510 wasn't reviewed - a color laser printer for under $300 with a duplexer standard. Oh, and doesn't come with all the crapware that HP installs with *any* of its SOHO/SMB perfs these days . . . the main reason I no longer buy HP products :roll: . I have the skill and could spend the time slipstreaming out all that garbage, but why? Oh, BTW - cheapest HP product with a duplexer these days is over $2K

Not that the 510 is all wine and roses - the toner cartridges retail for about US$110 each for 5K pages - so to recharge all four carts is about $450. To make it worse, the carts have a chip that counts pages each cart uses, whether it's for two dots or twenty square inches of a toner. When you hit what the cart is rated for (2K starters, 3K, 5K, or 7k pages) or run out of toner, whichever is first, the printer stops working AT ALL, even if you just want to print black. Fortunately, it's pretty easy to find reputable aftermarket cartridges for about $40 less per. You can even put in your own chips if you are so inclined and handy with a soldering gun.

Only other complaints I have about the 510 are a) weird memory upgrade requirements (pseudo-proprietary) (but I can say the same about HP) and b) very limited linux support.

Most of these problems won't affect the average SOHO user. However, I tend to not consider THG readers average users, regardless of the severe lack of good comparitive info in this article. (C'mon, guys, you have HOW MANY CPUs in the roundup?)
July 13, 2006 5:26:28 PM

I bought a Samsung CLP-550 laser for a while ago. It was sold with full-size toner cartridges. (Black 7000p, and Color 5000p according to Samsung).

It replaced a NEC Superscript laser that according to NEC has a cartridge for 4000 pages (black/white). I thought these cartridges were too expensive, about 230 US$/pcs in Sweden. They lasted for 3800 pages/cartridge in use (average of 5 full cartridges).

The Black Cartridge of Samsung CLP-550 was empty after about 3000 pages (about 500 of the pages were partly in color). It includes about 300 pages by "shaking" the Black Cartridge after the printouts became "light" and the display said "Replace". I'm on the second 7000p black cartridge now. They cost about 155 US$/psc in Sweden.

When I compared 5 "similar" laser color printers before purchasing (using manufactures claims) Samsung was one of the cheapest. It end up to be almost as expensive to use than the old NEC superscript (5.2 cents/page instead of NEC's 6).

NEC lasted 95% and Samsung about 40% of the manufactures claim. Do you think that differencies this big are really acceptable?

I suggess a testing method that compare the amount of "5% pages" (calculated if necessary) to the manufacture's claim. This is the best way to compare "any" printers on the market.

I've tried to figure out why Samsung's claim is so inaccurate. One thing I've noticed is that the waste toner cartridge is "quite full" after only 3000 pages. Another thing I've noticed is that the printer "stops" regularly after a few hundred pages and "stay still a while making same noises than it's turned on. Like it was cleaning itself or something. It actually takes so long time until it continues to print that I was forced to increase Windows' time-out setting for the printer from standard 45 seconds to prevent displaying the annoying message.

I've also problems with the duplexer. When I printout more than about 6 double-size pages printing stops with an error message. But if I print max 5 pages at a time it works properly.

Mayby I should mention that the printer is connected by parallel cable to a Windows 98SE computer. I've never tried it with USB2 or Windows XP because it replace the old NEC printer and the computer do not have USB2 ports. Samsung claims that it support Windows 9X to XP and even Linux with both USB2 and parallel cable. Many new printers only support Windows XP and USB2 ports.

Except these problems the printer works well and printing quality is ok.

If you're a Samsung CLP-500, 510 or 550 user, have you got similar problems? If you have any suggestions, please, let me know.
August 4, 2006 7:34:43 PM

While I found this article informative, there are clearly errors on the cost per page analysis, making me question other posted facts.

The chart shows that for 10,000 pages (70% black / 30% color), the total cost was $755, $344, $354, and $575 respectively. Figuring the individual cost per page from this yields:
7.5 cents, 3.4 cents, 3.5 cents, and 5.7 cents per page. Compared to the 20% color coverage yields in the second line, these prices are well below that. How can a cost per page for 30% color and 70% black be BELOW the cost for a 20% color coverage?

Am I missing something obvious here?
October 29, 2006 12:37:26 AM

Quote:
While I found this article informative, there are clearly errors on the cost per page analysis, making me question other posted facts.

The chart shows that for 10,000 pages (70% black / 30% color), the total cost was $755, $344, $354, and $575 respectively. Figuring the individual cost per page from this yields:
7.5 cents, 3.4 cents, 3.5 cents, and 5.7 cents per page. Compared to the 20% color coverage yields in the second line, these prices are well below that. How can a cost per page for 30% color and 70% black be BELOW the cost for a 20% color coverage?

Am I missing something obvious here?



I think what it means by 70% black and 30% color is that 70% of the 10000 prints in black and 30% of the 10000 prints in color. Which mean 7000 b&w print plus 3000 color prints at 20% coverage cost $344.
October 29, 2006 12:43:12 AM

Can some one educate me about how to compute the color coverage?

My company plan to purchase a high volume color laser printer at work for a upcoming project. We plan to print around 1000 full color photo picture in 8.5" x 11" letter size. So my question would be what is the color coverage for a 8.5" x 11" full letter size photo print like the regular photo shots.
February 2, 2007 11:57:13 AM

Thank you for you notes on linux support.

Quote:
Only other complaints I have about the 510 are a) weird memory upgrade requirements (pseudo-proprietary) (but I can say the same about HP) and b) very limited linux support.


Quote:
Samsung claims that it support Windows 9X to XP and even Linux with both USB2 and parallel cable.


This message board is more useful than the article.
These are server printers not tested for linux, Mac OS X servers

Tom Hardware, if I buy a color laser printer I am going to share it on my server, Right?

So please test compatibility with Linux.
a b } Memory
February 2, 2007 12:58:30 PM

Laser printers are not great for photo quality, no dot gain. If the photos must be true photo quality, you may be disappointed.
February 2, 2007 1:21:33 PM

Thanks for the extra info.
February 2, 2007 3:17:15 PM

I enjoyed your article about color laser printers. I thought it might be worthwhile to mention that if a user had a need for a network printer, but didn't want to pay the extra $100 for an "N" model, there are print servers out there for about $30 that will convert a printer with Parallel functionality to Network with a little setup.

Hope this helps!
February 2, 2007 3:29:37 PM

I just spent several weeks looking at color laser printers.

We looked at the HP 1600 and others, Samsung CLP510, Lexmark C522, and the Okidata C3400, and finally the Konica Minolta Magicolor(been bought out more times then i thought was possible).

Ranked in order of picture quality. (best to worst)
Okidata
HP
Magicolor
Lexmark/Samsung

The Okidata and HP were hands down better than the Lexmark or Samsung. The Okidata was slightly ahead of HP and got the nod overall for the price of the replacement cartridges. Okidata has apparently gone to great links to get volume discounting to customers in certain retail stores like Staples. 230 for a okidata complete set vs 320 for an HP1600 set. (as a company we could purchase a 2-3 sets for the volume discount which made sense in our situation, it works in HP's favor for home users as a single cartidge set for okidata is over $350)

It was a great article but missing out on the OKIDATA was a shame.

It is worthwhile to mention that the DPI ratings on most models are bogus. the 1600 and 2400 DPI's are complete crap. Its an algorithm for stretching the resolution for the longer side of paper and usually causes anomaly's. 600x600 DPI is about as good as it gets.
February 2, 2007 3:47:23 PM

Yep, and most are simple and easy to configure, support mac/linux/xp.

Stupid mac protocols.
February 2, 2007 8:58:38 PM

I'm just a power home user, but I want to put in a good word for the Dell 3110cn. This has built in networking, is plenty fast for home office, and actually comes with full toner cartridges. Quality is solid, it can manually duplex (i.e. you don't have to worry about fusing toner to your drum when printing on the backside of a page) and I've printed on all kinds of paper, from card stock to glossy white to crappy copier paper with no problems. I wouldn't use any laser for photo prints, though I did use this one to create a brochure containing many photos and the output was more than acceptable. I think it's a great buy at $360 (though of course that means timing your deal with Dell, as always). The cons are that it's a little tall and I've read some complaints about having to go to the printer to reset it when a job goes bad, but I don't know the details and my printer is very nearby anyway.

I used a HP 2550L in the past and while it promised 1000 pages out of the box, it was more like 500... which means it pretty much cost me about $1/page to print. Additionally, when one toner cartridge goes low, all printing is blocked by the printer (including black only)... it wasn't until I ran into the problem that I learned about HP's "smart chip" system.

If I had to buy an HP I would definitely go to the business grade level (model 3600 or up) and this review confirms what I found out the hard way. HP has made the mistake of trying to use an inkjet mentality at the consumer laser printer level.

Oh, and if anyone wants a HP 2550L, I have one to give away for free. Of course, you'll have to pay shipping and buy new toner cartridges for it, which would be more than a new printer anyway. :roll:
February 3, 2007 12:18:13 AM

Is there some new info in this article? Why is it being displayed on the front page, with today's date? It appears to be identical to the article that was published in June 2006.
February 3, 2007 5:07:07 PM

Interesting this article is being resurrected. I will point out my experience.

The 510n sucks, the toner waste bottle fills up very quickly and has to be replaced, not just dumped. The fuser is very picky, print many sheets that don't cover the whole fuser, like 4" wide for example, and the fuser burns itself out. Had a customer have this happen twice in the first 4 months of ownership. And another customer replaced the toner waste bottle a couple times in a few months. Both under relatively heavy use, but I've seen HP's and KM's last MUCH longer.

I have two KM 2430DL's, upgraded memory from 32MB to 288 with simple SDRAM, has to be single bank though. I sent KM a couple of wedding photos and got printouts on all their printers. I then went to various stores with my laptop and printed the same pictures on HP, Oki, Samsung, and Lexmark lasers, all of which were in this review. The images I got back from KM were superior in all terms. So I bought one. They come with full capacity toners (1500 page), high capacity (4500 page) is available but cost more than the printer. Hence me getting a second one (plus a free 320GB HD), now I have an unused backup and will start buying high capacity carts.

I have printed thousands of pages, most color with no problems. Photos may not be as good as high end ink jets, but photos that we want preserved always go to walmart anyway :)  I've clocked the 2340DL at 18ppm in black only, memory makes it much faster. Color is still only 6-8ppm since it's a quad pass, but those are actual speeds I've seen. Built in networking worked very well for Mac OS X and linux (Fedora Core and Linspire) no problems whatsoever getting it working.

I've used the Dell 3110 and have to say it's pretty close to the 2430DL, much better than the 510n or 2600, but you are then locked into Dell, not my idea of fun.

If you print 300dpi or lower images, they get blocky, gotta start with good quality to get good quality, and this applies to any printer.

The 2430DL is now discontinued and replaced by the 2530DL which has 64MB base memory and a different processor, 130MHz ASIC vs 200MHz, but is otherwise identical. The duplex unit and additional paper tray are way overpriced, but this isn't a bussines level printer so that's to be expected. Manual Duplex is an option.
February 15, 2007 11:50:02 AM

quote="Nyago123"]I'm just a power home user, but I want to put in a good word for the Dell 3110cn. This has built in networking, is plenty fast for home office, and actually comes with full toner cartridges. :roll:[/quote]

No - Dell laser printers don´t com with full cartridges.

http://www.dell.com/downloads/emea/products/printer/301...

1 standard B/W cart 2000 pages , 3 color carts (non standard) 1000 pages.

http://www.dell.com/downloads/emea/products/printer/311...

1 B/W cart 5000 pages, 3 color carts 4000 pages.
Normal aviable B/W & color carts lasts 8000 / cart.

OKI used to deliver their color laser printers with full set of carts, but not any longer.

And as earlier stated, many people try to sell, or just throw away they r color lasers, because its much cheaper to buy a whole new printer with carts, than only 4 new carts.

Really expensive pixiedust in there, and some very strange way to make business.
February 15, 2007 6:50:05 PM

Quote:

No - Dell laser printers don´t com with full cartridges.


I don't know if they all do, but the 3110cn does, even based on the information you quoted yourself. 5000 B/W & 4000 color pages in is a full standard cartridge and Dell makes this well known and sells cartridges of this size separately... you won't find any other manufacturers selling their 1000 page "starter" cartridges separately.

The 8000 page cartridges (which I was well aware of when I made my original post) are high-yield cartridges.

But even if 5000/4000 cartridges are "starter" cartridges, I could live with that for a $350 color printer that prints about 30 ppm/17 ppm color. Like I said, the HP 2550 I bought for $450 didn't even make it 1000 pages total before it shut itself down.

Quote:

And as earlier stated, many people try to sell, or just throw away they r color lasers, because its much cheaper to buy a whole new printer with carts, than only 4 new carts.


I know, I'm one of them.
February 16, 2007 12:15:29 AM

Thank you for your post, Nyago123!

If you have 1/2 glass of beer in front of you, is the glass half full or half empty?

To sort things out, maybe there are, say, 1 size and type of laser toner cart, with 3 types of content.

1:Starter = only a very small amount of powder in it, just so you can see that the printer works.
2.Normal = about half full / half empty.
3.High yield = packet full of expensive coal dust.

And, of course, to help the consumer, and to be on the safe side, the carts have small chips that count the pages, so the printer can safely shut down well before its really empty.
To futher aid the customer, if one of the colour carts are flagged as empty, you may not print in B/W until a new colour cart is inserted.

I have still to find 1 laser printer that is delivered with type 3 carts.

In "PS" post, he claims that the Samsung CLP-550 is sold with full-size toner cartridges. (Black 7000p, and Color 5000p).

When checking this out on the Samsungs swedish pages, there are no claims, that the CLP-550 is delivered with type 3 carts - no, it is delivered with type 1 carts.
But I found a Norwegian company, selling Samsung printers in Sweden, "Komplett", stating that they are delivering the printer with type 3 carts - all lies of course.
http://www.komplett.se/k/ki.asp?sku=303453

I myself have a small restaurant, and I print out quite many menues every week.
But I have found no reason to buy a colour laser, it is by far too expensive.
It is much cheaper to refill the carts on my Canon inkjet printer.

The question really is, why aren´t there any inkjet printers, with huge easily refillable inktanks, say in 1/2 liter size, that would be the cheapest solution of them all.
And inkjets are so much cheaper and simpler to make, than the overcomplicated laser dinosaurs.

Maybe this review should have been named "Color Laser Printers: Slow, overcomplicated and very expensive to run"
February 16, 2007 1:53:00 AM

Hi YberDoggie,

Maybe rather than "half full or half empty", one could just look at overall cost. I've seen refurb Minolta color lasers at Fry's for $169, but that would not be worth it to me if they have the 1000 page cartridges.

And if Dell has "smart chips" in their cartridges, it's news to me. HP screwed me on this and that's why I went with Dell.

All I know is HP 2550 = about 700 pages for $450 before it died. Dell 3110cn = 1065+ pages so far for $350 and my cartridges still say they are 100% full (which makes me wonder if the status is working :roll: ) Oh, and the Dell actually came with a real paper tray. Shocking!

I have both a color laser and an inkjet. In general I use the color laser for business documents/graphics, and the inkjet purely for photos.

As far as inkjets go, I'm looking forward to the Kodak releases in a couple months. They hired a number of former HP engineers and are looking to break the ink cartel.
February 16, 2007 12:42:45 PM

Quote:
...
At least it did come with full toner cartridges... however these "full" cartridges still only last around 2500 pages. If you're not doing a large volume of printing it's possible the cartridges will last the life of the printer... if that's the case, maybe it's not such a terrible printer... if not, hide your wallet!


This is actually my scenario. I print very little, say, a couple of pages a month. This means that an ink-jet cartridge dries out many years before it would get empty, and maybe I get 10-20 pages per cartridge. That is expensive printouts!

Would this be better with a laser? I mean, does it not have such a problem with aging of consumables like toner? If so, the HP sounds like a great solution. But I have a hard time finding an answer to this aging-question...

Anybody?
June 25, 2007 9:28:06 PM

Hello:

Here would be my thoughts from a commercial printer:
Things should be looked at from 2 points of view. Either point of view involves consumables and that’s where the printer company hopes to make good if not great money.

For the commercial use machines that are made to do 100’s or 1000’s of copies a day or week you are going to spend significantly more to purchase upfront and then you will have maintenance contract and consumable costs. If you add all those costs together and divide by the number of copies I have ran into very few companies that do better than just going to a commercial printer and paying for them to do it. That being said Canon, Epson or Xerox docucolor on the low end would be what I would recommend from an equipment standpoint if you still feel the need to go this route. The maintenance and consumables are what need to be focused on for costs over the long term.

For the Home use with low quantities are the printers that are going to be fairly inexpensive but the consumables will be high priced if you are replacing the cartridges quite a bit. Companies that buy these low end machines and try to produce work on them in large quantities will be most likely disappointed in the consumable costs and how well the machine holds up. I am partial to HP machines but none of these sub $500 machines are going to hold up to long term commercial use. You will be lucky if they do.


Good Luck.
Buzz
The Odee Company.com - Dallas Printer
July 1, 2007 4:08:09 PM

I'm in the same boat with hubbabubba.

I print a couple of times a month, if that, from home. I've been very happy with the quality of the Epson InkJet all-in-one units in the past as well as their customer service (sent me a free upgraded replacement unit and ink when my previous one stopped working even though it was just out of warranty).

However, the ink cartridges just keep drying up and the primary problem is that I can't seem to get the replacement cartidges (yes, a new full set) to work for more than a few days...it's like something happens to the print head when the ink dries up.

One item that is never considerd in the "cost per page" calculations is the users' time and frustration. If I have to spend 5-10 minutes attempting to clean the print heads (which wastes ink) and printing nozzle check patterns (wasting ink and paper) just to try to print a decent page (I forgot to mention the cost of ink/paper/time printing the initial page which never seems to print well), then the "cost per page" SKYROCKETS with inkjet printers.

I'm sick and tired of not being able rely on my printer to be able to print when I need it too. So, I'm considering a CLP b/c it appears to me that they will "just work" when I need them too and I don't have to worry about the consumables (ink) drying up.

I'm just starting to look at CLPs, but from what I've read I'm going to seriously consider the Dell 3110cn.