If you had to buy a printer today specifically to print small reports (~30 pages twice a week) from a Windows 2000 Pro system, what would you get? I'm tempted to get a Laserjet 4, but ideally I'd want something new.
Thanks for that. It was attached to an old HP 4200N, but we'll see if the service guys can get it running again. The printer started spitting up hard chunks of toner that had clearly pooled on the paper as it was going through.
Awhile back, I went through looking at printers for that sort of work. I found pretty extensive support and parts for the 4000 series, and their price points particularly attractive.
It was so good, that I ended up getting my 4000N fixed for 80.00, and haven't looked back. I'll be surprised if they don't fix the 4200N for a reasonable amount.
Merc: thanks for the suggestion. Just inherited a Brother Laser printer, and bought a new toner cartridge from Costco for 97.00.
They seem pretty solid. MFC 8860DN, but the newer replacement for it. 250.00 seems like a bit of a steal.
I bought my Brother HL-5350DN laser printer almost 5 years ago. I've never paid attention to the number of pages I've printed, but it's very less.
The drum is supposed to last for 12k pages on average. My drum went bad suddenly a couple of days ago; there is a 2-inch wide vertical band of white in the middle of the printed page, plus other white patches. I inspected the drum and it was clear it was a goner; had marks like stripes in the non-printing portion. Cleaning didn't help.
Replacement drums are as rare as hen's teeth. Apparently the bastards install a lower life drum and cartridge for here than they put in the US. I had to call Brother support; fortunately they were open Saturday, and they gave me the number of their guy in my city, who further gave me the number of two authorized resellers that are a 1 hour ride away from me. The resellers' quotes: Original Brother drum replacement: ~ $95. The guy offered to replace the roller alone in my drum assembly for ~$17, which I opted for. He offered no warranty for the job, but claimed the original Brother drum also came with no warranty since it was a "wear & tear item" because paper and paper dust are abrasive.
I printed some pages with the refurbished drum, and output is fine as of now. I printed a status page, and surprise! I've to date only printed 4,237 pages! This sucketh big time; the life of Brother consumables is a rip-off, and their cost is too high. I'm on my first replacement toner cartridge. Street price for the toner is ~$70.
HP consumables were far cheaper, and I always liked the quality of HP laser output. Brother output is meh for text and horrible for anything beyond. Unfortunate that HP started expiring cartridges. Also, I wanted networking and duplexing, and Brother was the only sane choice available to me at that time. When the Brother dies, I'm going to buy a USB printer and hang it off the wireless router, and screw the duplexing. This will mean buying a new router, but it will far, far cheaper than buying a networkable printer.
I don't suggest Canon system (separate drum) printers for anybody who isn't doing high volume. Drums aren't cheap, and they can be a pain to replace. The run isn't long enough for most low-volume users to make that up.
The page-yield rating of consumables is always at a 5% page coverage, which pretty much nobody does. Few get more than half of the rated number of pages. Around a third is pretty normal.
HP printers cost more, although their consumables tend to be cheaper. My last several printers have been Samsungs, which are cheap enough on sale (here, at least) that I tend to buy new ones instead of getting new toner.
1. Does even HP still bundle a drum with their toner cartridge? Certainly not with color laser. Otherwise, I agree with you that most home users don't print enough for it to make a difference.
2. I don't know which HP consumables tend to be cheaper than their competitors'. Maybe try shopping elsewhere?
3. Let's assume a new Samsung printer costs $250 and the toner lasts a year, while a set of replacement toner cartridges costs $300.
Over 3 years, buying a new printer each time costs $750, while just replacing the toner costs $550. Over 5 years, it's $1250 vs $850.
New printers come with half-size or "starter" cartridges, whereas replacement cartridges are full-size.