I'm a college student, my printer stopped working, and I'm looking for a replacement. While I don't need anything fancy or high-quality, I'm not the best about maintenance. Basically, I want a printer that is:
-cost-efficient (including toner)
-able to take some abuse/neglect
Are you looking for an ink-jet or a laser-jet? I'd go with a laser jet myself, even though a color laser jet is far more expensive than a standard black and white. Even if it is just a black and white, you'll get the most bang for your buck in terms of pages per dollar spent on a toner. As you know, an ink jet cartridge may get you 300-500 pages before it runs out and you have to spend $30-50 on a new one. A laser toner may run you $100+, but you'll easily get 2500+ pages out of it.
Regardless of what you want, I'd recommend anything by HP. I've had nothing but luck with HP printers over the years.
When I said "cost-efficiency including the ink", I just meant it shouldn't be wasteful while printing. I'm thinking more in terms of pages per printer than pages per cartridge. An extra cartridge takes up less space than an extra printer. If there's a difference in sensitivity, that will impact my decision a lot more than how much I'll end up spending on ink.
Really, the main thing I'm looking for is durability. I never do any preventative maintenance, so it needs to be able to take some neglect and still function reliably. I'll look into HP's printers, but I would prefer specific recommendations on just which printers are most reliable.
Most laser manufacturers' model where the tones and drum are replaced at the same time -- but there are some models where the drum is semi-permanent.
Kyocera-Mita are in the latter camp, which reduces the environmental impact and cartridge cost (assuming you can find the toner at a reasonable price). But the sting could be when the drum eventually has to be replaced (though the printer may have died of other causes before then).
It's worth looking at that sort of option when choosing.
no, kyocera Drums wil unlikely last anywhere near as long as they say, same goes for brother (2 brands to stay away from). Drums are easily damaged and scarred from paper jams etc and are more than the cost of the printer in some models. Get a laser printer that has drum/toner/developer in the same unit. That way if you have any print quality issues, just get a new cartridge and your back in business. Its also very easy to maintain and diagnose any faults with an all in 1 cartridge. Reliable Brands to get (laser printers) are HP, Canon (canon make the engines for HP printers), Lexmark (good for b&w only). Samsung, kyocera and brother are rubbish. If you want a reliable printer, dont get an inkjet.
If you don't care about color, the most reliable printers are laser jets. I have an older HP 2200 that is running better than any ink jet I have owned. Probably went through 3 ink jets in the time I have had the one laser printer. And this printer before I had it was in a tax office printing out pages of tax forms. And you all know that is a LOT of paper :-)
If you want total reliability, get a business model that has a higher pages per month rating. It will cost you a bit more but the mechanisms will be of a higher quality.
I agree hang-the-9. My old HP laser jet 1020 has lasted me through college, grad school (A LOT of printing there), and to date. Throw in a high content cartridge (third party) and you're good to go for quite some time. My HP color laser jet, which I got off of ebay for $26 weights about 100 lbs and takes 4 toners, but the print quality is marvelous on it.