HP LaserJet 5L Xtra: Keep or Replace?

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

This printer is at least six years old. I think less than a year after
purchasing it new, its batch paper feed failed. It only works if I feed it
one page at a time. Lately even that is not reliable. Some questions:

1. Anyone ever seen this problem repaired easily?

2. This laser printer's speed is four pages per minute. I am surprised to
see that the latest color injet printers are printing in excess of 15 ppm
now. If I replace this printer, is there really any good reason not to buy a
color inkjet in the $80 to $180 range? I don't have a need to print color. I
just want something I can throw a ream or so of paper into, and it goes...

3. What is the quality of HP printers these days? I am very disappointed
with this one, given that it failed to operate correctly after less than a
year, and I think I paid over $300 for it. Unfortunately, Consumer Reports
doesn't appear to check for reliability of printers (that is, how likely
they are to fail). Does any online consumer site do so?

4. Is a printer priced at $100 necessarily notably inferior to one priced at
$150? Does one get what one pays for in such a small price range?

5. I see the new all-in-one printers (print, copy, scan, and sometimes fax
and other) going for under $200. Junk or, sure, they're good enough for
light home office use?

6. Anyone have any experience with the HP PSC1610, going for around $130 at
places like CompUSA and BestBuy? I hate buying another HP, unless they've
really got their printing act together, but they are apparently now the
biggest manufacturer of printers.

7. Any other all-in-one printer for under $180 that people would care to
recommend?
13 answers Last reply
More about laserjet xtra replace
  1. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    Elle wrote:
    > This printer is at least six years old. I think less than a year after
    > purchasing it new, its batch paper feed failed. It only works if I feed it
    > one page at a time. Lately even that is not reliable. Some questions:
    >
    > 1. Anyone ever seen this problem repaired easily?

    Not me. Generally speaking, cheap printers are not worth repairing, anyhow.

    > 2. This laser printer's speed is four pages per minute. I am surprised to
    > see that the latest color inkjet printers are printing in excess of 15 ppm
    > now. If I replace this printer, is there really any good reason not to buy a
    > color inkjet in the $80 to $180 range? I don't have a need to print color. I
    > just want something I can throw a ream or so of paper into, and it goes...

    Yes, ink cost. Laser is still the cheapest for mono b/w - get a current
    HP Laserjet, it will cost you more to buy, but considerably less to
    print. It's the total cost of ownership that matters, and when it comes
    to inkjets, the acquisition cost is the smallest part of it.

    Examples:
    a) I bought an Epson Stylus 740 for $250 (sale price), over its lifetime
    of 3 years it cost me about $800 in ink. Then it was junk.
    b) I bought an HP660C for $600, over its lifetime of almost 10 years, it
    cost about $2400 in ink. Then it was junk, too (but it lasted a lot
    longer than the Epson.)
    c) I bought an i960 for $300, it's lasted less than two years, I've used
    about $300 worth of ink (and Canon ink is cheap compared to Epson or
    HP), and now it needs a new printhead $90 + shipping).

    > 3. What is the quality of HP printers these days? I am very disappointed
    > with this one, given that it failed to operate correctly after less than a
    > year, and I think I paid over $300 for it. Unfortunately, Consumer Reports
    > doesn't appear to check for reliability of printers (that is, how likely
    > they are to fail). Does any online consumer site do so?

    HP used to be the Mack trucks of the prining industry, but lately they
    have declined in quality to merely average. Mind you, "average" is
    better than it used to be.

    Google "printer reliability tests" and you'll find enough websites yto
    keep you busy for a while. :-) Better yet, determine which models may be
    worth buying, then google on "<printer model> review" and you'll find
    lots of information.

    > 4. Is a printer priced at $100 necessarily notably inferior to one priced at
    > $150? Does one get what one pays for in such a small price range?

    Depends. If it's an end of the line model, it will be considerably
    cheaper, and hence perhaps a better buy. However, you may not be able to
    find a reliable source of ink for a discontinued model. But a cheap
    printer is -- a cheap printer. You will find that it gobbles ink, and
    ink (even 3rd party) is expensive. Rule of thumb: the cheaper the
    printer, the more you'll pay for ink.

    > 5. I see the new all-in-one printers (print, copy, scan, and sometimes fax
    > and other) going for under $200. Junk or, sure, they're good enough for
    > light home office use?

    I would avoid the inkjet versions of these machines. The laser versions
    are tougher (built for office use).

    Personally, I no longer buy any office equipment intended for the
    consumer or "small home office" market. It doesn't last, is unreliable,
    costs too much to operate, etc. It's false economy to buy such cheap
    junk. Go for professional quality machines, you'll find them hassle free
    and much, much cheaper in the long run.

    Before you make any buying decsision on a new printer, estimate your
    consumables cost as accurately as you can. Assume a suitable lifespan
    for your printer, and calculate the total cost of ownership.

    > 6. Anyone have any experience with the HP PSC1610, going for around $130 at
    > places like CompUSA and BestBuy? I hate buying another HP, unless they've
    > really got their printing act together, but they are apparently now the
    > biggest manufacturer of printers.

    Maybe so, but AFAIK, Canon is. Not that it makes much difference.

    > 7. Any other all-in-one printer for under $180 that people would care to
    > recommend?

    No.

    Go look at machines in the $500 range, and you're more likely to find a
    reliable product.
  2. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    >1. Anyone ever seen this problem repaired easily?

    Mine did that until I got the paper feed repair kit from HP. It
    simply adds something into the paper tray but it has helped a lot so I
    don't worry about feeding 3 or 4 pages per print.

    >2. This laser printer's speed is four pages per minute. I am surprised to
    >see that the latest color injet printers are printing in excess of 15 ppm
    >now. If I replace this printer, is there really any good reason not to buy a
    >color inkjet in the $80 to $180 range? I don't have a need to print color. I
    >just want something I can throw a ream or so of paper into, and it goes...

    First, bear in mind the print speed is often measured at draft or low
    quality setting, normal quality would be slower. I still keep my 5L
    because it prints faster than my 940 on B&W only setting normal
    quality. Plus in the long run toner is cheaper than ink. I've been
    meaning to replace the 5L with a faster laser printer but with
    footprint area about the size of 5L

    >3. What is the quality of HP printers these days?

    I haven't had any problem with the last 2 HP inkjet printers I use
    (722 and 940) and HP printer are generally good.

    >4. Is a printer priced at $100 necessarily notably inferior to one priced at
    >$150? Does one get what one pays for in such a small price range?

    No, often no quality difference based on price. The price usually
    reflects more along the side features it has, printing speed, and
    print resolution. So a $150 printer may print a bit faster offers
    memory card reader for direct to print photo that a $100 model don't
    have.

    >5. I see the new all-in-one printers (print, copy, scan, and sometimes fax
    >and other) going for under $200. Junk or, sure, they're good enough for
    >light home office use?

    I've only had one all-in-one (Epson 5200) and nothing but bad
    experience with them. The printer would print badly after the
    original set of ink cart were replaced and frequent cleaning of the
    ink head eventually failed to work. It's a problem with Epson 5200
    but it's the only one I had. I don't know about other all-in-one
    printer though.

    --
    When you hear the toilet flush, and hear the words "uh oh", it's already
    too late. - by anonymous Mother in Austin, TX
    To reply, replace digi.mon with phreaker.net
  3. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    I am surprised that your 5L failed after only one year to pick up paper, I have
    found the 5L and 6L printers to be very reliable although slow (they are after
    all pretty old technology). The fix is almost certainly the replacement of the
    pick up roller and separation pads, this needs to be done by someone with a
    reasonable degree of mechanical skill because the printer needs to have several
    components removed to achieve the replacement. The parts are available and a
    printer repair shop should be able to do the job in about 30-45 minutes tops.

    I am disappointed with the current cheaper HP PSC series of printers, the
    higher priced models seem to be fine.

    Choosing a printer depends very much on what you want to use it for (letters,
    images etc) but I suggest you look at the Canon PIXMA range which covers a lot
    of uses nicely, so far this range of printers appears to be reliable. I own an
    ip4000 which has served me well so far.

    If you are tempted to look at a Brother inkjet printer then I suggest you
    Google "Brother error 41" before you buy one!

    Tony


    "Elle" <elle_navorski@nospam.earthlink.net> wrote:
    >This printer is at least six years old. I think less than a year after
    >purchasing it new, its batch paper feed failed. It only works if I feed it
    >one page at a time. Lately even that is not reliable. Some questions:
    >
    >1. Anyone ever seen this problem repaired easily?
    >
    >2. This laser printer's speed is four pages per minute. I am surprised to
    >see that the latest color injet printers are printing in excess of 15 ppm
    >now. If I replace this printer, is there really any good reason not to buy a
    >color inkjet in the $80 to $180 range? I don't have a need to print color. I
    >just want something I can throw a ream or so of paper into, and it goes...
    >
    >3. What is the quality of HP printers these days? I am very disappointed
    >with this one, given that it failed to operate correctly after less than a
    >year, and I think I paid over $300 for it. Unfortunately, Consumer Reports
    >doesn't appear to check for reliability of printers (that is, how likely
    >they are to fail). Does any online consumer site do so?
    >
    >4. Is a printer priced at $100 necessarily notably inferior to one priced at
    >$150? Does one get what one pays for in such a small price range?
    >
    >5. I see the new all-in-one printers (print, copy, scan, and sometimes fax
    >and other) going for under $200. Junk or, sure, they're good enough for
    >light home office use?
    >
    >6. Anyone have any experience with the HP PSC1610, going for around $130 at
    >places like CompUSA and BestBuy? I hate buying another HP, unless they've
    >really got their printing act together, but they are apparently now the
    >biggest manufacturer of printers.
    >
    >7. Any other all-in-one printer for under $180 that people would care to
    >recommend?
    >
    >
  4. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    <Tony> wrote
    > I am surprised that your 5L failed after only one year to pick up paper, I
    have
    > found the 5L and 6L printers to be very reliable although slow (they are
    after
    > all pretty old technology).

    I just googled to try to find out how much I paid for this printer, and I
    saw a number of posts complaining about this problem with the 5L. But I also
    saw a number of posts saying the user had had no such problems and giving it
    good reviews.

    > The fix is almost certainly the replacement of the
    > pick up roller and separation pads, this needs to be done by someone with
    a
    > reasonable degree of mechanical skill because the printer needs to have
    several
    > components removed to achieve the replacement. The parts are available and
    a
    > printer repair shop should be able to do the job in about 30-45 minutes
    tops.

    I understand. Indeed, while googling, I came across a site that sells a such
    a repair kit (specifically for the 5L's paper feed problem) for $30. People
    who bought it say it works.

    > I am disappointed with the current cheaper HP PSC series of printers, the
    > higher priced models seem to be fine.
    >
    > Choosing a printer depends very much on what you want to use it for
    (letters,
    > images etc) but I suggest you look at the Canon PIXMA range which covers a
    lot
    > of uses nicely, so far this range of printers appears to be reliable. I
    own an
    > ip4000 which has served me well so far.
    >
    > If you are tempted to look at a Brother inkjet printer then I suggest you
    > Google "Brother error 41" before you buy one!

    Okay, thanks.
  5. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    "Wolf Kirchmeir" <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> wrote
    > Elle wrote:
    snip for brevity, but all comments read and noted
    > > 5. I see the new all-in-one printers (print, copy, scan, and sometimes
    fax
    > > and other) going for under $200. Junk or, sure, they're good enough for
    > > light home office use?
    >
    > I would avoid the inkjet versions of these machines. The laser versions
    > are tougher (built for office use).
    >
    > Personally, I no longer buy any office equipment intended for the
    > consumer or "small home office" market. It doesn't last, is unreliable,
    > costs too much to operate, etc. It's false economy to buy such cheap
    > junk. Go for professional quality machines, you'll find them hassle free
    > and much, much cheaper in the long run.

    Thanks, Wolf.

    I just(!) found the single-paper feed slot on my 5L, and I'll see if using
    it exclusively helps. I see from googling that I probably paid close to $400
    for this machine back around 1996-7. When it prints, it does print well. I
    do like the Laser result.

    I'm thinking I'll at least wait until the current ink cartridge is exhausted
    before buying a new printer. Or I'll wait until a more complete breakdown
    occurs. Or maybe someone here will chime in and say, 'Go buy the little HP
    5L Laserjet paper feed repair kit; it will be the best $30 you spent in your
    printer's life!' And so I will.

    If not, then I will likely consider strongly your counsel that, if one wants
    reliability and long-run savings, buy the office version. 'Cause, man, I'm
    using words these days that would make a sailor blush everytime another
    jam/misfeed occurs... probably cheaper to spend $500 and keep my blood
    pressure low.

    Good day. :-)
  6. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    >Zakezuke, I think the cheapest price I've found for the refurbished toner
    >cartridges is $40. Are you buying these online somewhere?

    I was buying them from officemax online, a band called printmaster
    IIRC. It was not a brand they carried in their store, trust me I spend
    much time getting them to check. Keep in mind I was refering to the HP
    II carts, not the HP 4. The canon sx engine based printers are older,
    were used by everyone and their neighbor, and simply more used
    cartrages flooding the market.

    The cheapest lasers I had to maintain were the Panasonic 4450i and the
    TI Microlaser, both of took raw toner, but I haven't seen that feature
    since the 300dpi days, save a couple of Panasonics who's drivers caused
    win2k to crash under sp4.

    > Where did you buy the HP 1012 for $150 (new, I presume)?

    The parent is refering to the rebate when you buy any computer and
    printer you get $50 back.
    http://rebateimages.teg-online.com/179312.jpg
    Or Newegg has it for $142.00 shipped
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16828104266

    HP 1012 takes the HP Q2612A (12A) with a 2000p yeild @ $70/pop or
    3.5cent/page. Referbished seems to bottom out at $43 shipped or about
    2c/page. Local seems to be $60 or 2.5c/page No direct experence with
    this brand.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817403036

    Here's the kicker. Laserjet in the past has been cheaper/page than
    injket, penny a page vs pennies a page. But unless you go with
    referbished toner carts, a very legit option, the consumer level sub
    $300 printers on par with cheap inkets in terms of cost per page. Even
    then it's on par with the very cheap inkjets. This is assuming you buy
    OEM ink and not refills. Chances are the Laserjet will outlast an
    Inkjet, and chances are it's noise level will be less annoying. In
    this case, the trade off is speed.

    Also in the past, you got a full toner cart with your new printer. HP
    has been playing the game of only giving you a starter set with like
    90% the yield. Not on all printers mind you, nor is there a reliable
    list.

    I'm pretty pleased with my Canon ip3000 inkjet where my 6 month old
    epson r200 caused my desk to wobble resulting and is still in the shop,
    $70 mail order, with a $20 rebate. I got mine for a tad less, like $64
    or so. The way I looked at it was I could either buy new ink for my
    Epson at $75 or buy another printer who's ink supply could be replaced
    for $40, that came with $40 in ink. The puddle on my desk made me
    decide this was a very good idea and in the event I didn't like it the
    printheads fetch a pretty penny on e-bay. The IP4000 is $120 and the
    same $20 rebate if you're lucky. The ip4000 has an extra black, the
    large pigmented one and an ink photo one. They both have a sheet
    feeder 150p and a tray 150p and duplex printing. The IP4000R gives you
    wireless onboard but costs an extra $100 or so for that feature.
    Pricemark about the same, but you get color.

    But must admit i've only had this printer for a week or two but I was
    so pleased I bought the a Canon all in one a week later.
  7. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    "zakezuke" <zakezuke_us@yahoo.com> wrote

    > I miss it, with referb toner carts I was spending $20 for 4000 pages.

    Zakezuke, I think the cheapest price I've found for the refurbished toner
    cartridges is $40. Are you buying these online somewhere?

    Thanks, Impmom and zakezuke, for the detailed posts. They're very helpful!
  8. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    I recently replaced my old HP 4L with the HP 1012. Got it for $150. I
    think it's a great printer. Perfect for home use or a home office.


    "Elle" <elle_navorski@nospam.earthlink.net> wrote in message
    news:vIioe.710$HM.225@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...
    > "zakezuke" <zakezuke_us@yahoo.com> wrote
    >
    > > I miss it, with referb toner carts I was spending $20 for 4000 pages.
    >
    > Zakezuke, I think the cheapest price I've found for the refurbished toner
    > cartridges is $40. Are you buying these online somewhere?
    >
    > Thanks, Impmom and zakezuke, for the detailed posts. They're very helpful!
    >
    >
    >
    >
  9. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    Where did you buy the HP 1012 for $150 (new, I presume)?

    I like the features listed (150-sheet paper tray; horizontal feed; 15 ppm,
    though that may be on draft setting)

    I see CompUsa has it for $200 . Circuit City has it for $190 if you buy it
    via the web (free shipping for orders over $25)...

    www.pcrush.com has it for $139 + another $20 for shipping to my zip code.


    "AdMan" <phildahlnospam@itctel.com> wrote
    > I recently replaced my old HP 4L with the HP 1012. Got it for $150. I
    > think it's a great printer. Perfect for home use or a home office.
  10. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    "Elle" <elle_navorski@nospam.earthlink.net> wrote in message
    news:3S7oe.382$4u6.31@newsread2.news.pas.earthlink.net...
    > "Wolf Kirchmeir" <wwolfkir@sympatico.ca> wrote
    > > Elle wrote:
    > snip for brevity, but all comments read and noted
    > > > 5. I see the new all-in-one printers (print, copy, scan, and sometimes
    > fax
    > > > and other) going for under $200. Junk or, sure, they're good enough
    for
    > > > light home office use?
    > >
    > > I would avoid the inkjet versions of these machines. The laser versions
    > > are tougher (built for office use).
    > >
    > > Personally, I no longer buy any office equipment intended for the
    > > consumer or "small home office" market. It doesn't last, is unreliable,
    > > costs too much to operate, etc. It's false economy to buy such cheap
    > > junk. Go for professional quality machines, you'll find them hassle free
    > > and much, much cheaper in the long run.
    >
    > Thanks, Wolf.
    >
    > I just(!) found the single-paper feed slot on my 5L, and I'll see if using
    > it exclusively helps. I see from googling that I probably paid close to
    $400
    > for this machine back around 1996-7. When it prints, it does print well. I
    > do like the Laser result.
    >
    > I'm thinking I'll at least wait until the current ink cartridge is
    exhausted
    > before buying a new printer. Or I'll wait until a more complete breakdown
    > occurs. Or maybe someone here will chime in and say, 'Go buy the little HP
    > 5L Laserjet paper feed repair kit; it will be the best $30 you spent in
    your
    > printer's life!' And so I will.
    >
    > If not, then I will likely consider strongly your counsel that, if one
    wants
    > reliability and long-run savings, buy the office version. 'Cause, man, I'm
    > using words these days that would make a sailor blush everytime another
    > jam/misfeed occurs... probably cheaper to spend $500 and keep my blood
    > pressure low.
    >
    > Good day. :-)
    >
    >

    OK, I'll chime in. My 5L started misfeeding after about 18 months (a known
    problem)
    The $30 kit from fixyourownprinter (IIRC) has worked perfectly for the last
    6 years or so.

    It was a problem with the composition of the original HP paper feed roller.
    For some
    time HP were sending out replacement parts for free.

    Not too difficult to do the repair if you are comfortable taking things to
    pieces.

    CJK
  11. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    "CJK" <CJK@nowhere.com> wrote
    snip
    > OK, I'll chime in. My 5L started misfeeding after about 18 months (a
    known
    > problem)
    > The $30 kit from fixyourownprinter (IIRC) has worked perfectly for the
    last
    > 6 years or so.
    >
    > It was a problem with the composition of the original HP paper feed
    roller.
    > For some
    > time HP were sending out replacement parts for free.

    Ultimately I discovered reports that there was some kind of class action
    suit that made this happen. Apparently HP only had to provide the parts
    until sometime in 2003, though.

    > Not too difficult to do the repair if you are comfortable taking things to
    > pieces.

    I am.

    Thanks for the report!
  12. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    <Tony> wrote in message news:11a21k4ch3o0k03@news.supernews.com...

    > I am surprised that your 5L failed after only one year to pick up paper, I
    have
    > found the 5L and 6L printers to be very reliable although slow (they are
    after
    > all pretty old technology). The fix is almost certainly the replacement of
    the
    > pick up roller and separation pads, this needs to be done by someone with
    a
    > reasonable degree of mechanical skill because the printer needs to have
    several
    > components removed to achieve the replacement. The parts are available and
    a
    > printer repair shop should be able to do the job in about 30-45 minutes
    tops.

    I have had similar problems with my 10-year old 5L over the years. I remove
    the roller, clean it with isopropyl alcohol and roughen the surface, and
    that fixes it for another year or two.

    Dismantling the printer requires care, but if you follow the very clear
    instructions in the service manual (which I found on the internet) it's not
    too difficult.

    Mike
  13. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    Inkjet printers are higher maintenance than your laser printer. In
    general, they don't do well if they sit for long periods without use.
    You can get head clogging resulting in inferior output.

    They use up ink from each cartridge each time they are turned on, even
    if you are not using those inks in your printing.

    Cost of consumables is much higher than laser toner. In spite of the
    numbers you are reading, they tend to be slow, especially relative to
    the newer laser printers. Often the numbers you see on inkjet printers
    are based upon sparsely covered pages and in draft or economy mode which
    isn't the quality a laser printer will provide.

    Pricing is all over the map these days on printers. A great deal
    depends on how much of a consumable yield the product comes with (amount
    of ink or toner) and how much replacement inks or toners will cost you.

    In general the model which is cheaper to purchase will me most costly to
    keep in ink or toner.

    Art

    Elle wrote:

    > This printer is at least six years old. I think less than a year after
    > purchasing it new, its batch paper feed failed. It only works if I feed it
    > one page at a time. Lately even that is not reliable. Some questions:
    >
    > 1. Anyone ever seen this problem repaired easily?
    >
    > 2. This laser printer's speed is four pages per minute. I am surprised to
    > see that the latest color injet printers are printing in excess of 15 ppm
    > now. If I replace this printer, is there really any good reason not to buy a
    > color inkjet in the $80 to $180 range? I don't have a need to print color. I
    > just want something I can throw a ream or so of paper into, and it goes...
    >
    > 3. What is the quality of HP printers these days? I am very disappointed
    > with this one, given that it failed to operate correctly after less than a
    > year, and I think I paid over $300 for it. Unfortunately, Consumer Reports
    > doesn't appear to check for reliability of printers (that is, how likely
    > they are to fail). Does any online consumer site do so?
    >
    > 4. Is a printer priced at $100 necessarily notably inferior to one priced at
    > $150? Does one get what one pays for in such a small price range?
    >
    > 5. I see the new all-in-one printers (print, copy, scan, and sometimes fax
    > and other) going for under $200. Junk or, sure, they're good enough for
    > light home office use?
    >
    > 6. Anyone have any experience with the HP PSC1610, going for around $130 at
    > places like CompUSA and BestBuy? I hate buying another HP, unless they've
    > really got their printing act together, but they are apparently now the
    > biggest manufacturer of printers.
    >
    > 7. Any other all-in-one printer for under $180 that people would care to
    > recommend?
    >
    >
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