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Color laser printer?

Color laser printer?

Old Apr 2, 18, 1:00 pm
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Color laser printer?

Is anyone using a color laser printer? Any recommendations? I'm not opposed to expensive as long as TCO makes it worthwhile.

I have an existing HP color laser printer, but it's starting to show its age. Even after replacing rollers, it's becoming more unreliable. I'm also sure that a newer printer also won't need the ~30 seconds to warm up before printing the first page like this one.
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Old Apr 2, 18, 2:55 pm
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I've got a Laserjet Pro 200 M276nw. It's an all in one and does a superb job. All the HP printers are expensive on the consumables. The old 2600N I also have has a much higher capacity and prints with no issues. It is a tank but it has gone to generic inbuilt drivers on Windows 10.
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Old Apr 2, 18, 3:47 pm
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I'd go with anything by HP or Brother. Slickdeals often has a cheap Brother color laser printer with wifi and Airprint for around $100.
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Old Apr 2, 18, 6:07 pm
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I'd second the Brother suggestion, both for reliability and lower-cost consumables.
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Old Apr 2, 18, 6:11 pm
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Brother. HP *used* to be good but they've gone downhill. It's been some time since I dealt with HP equipment but I haven't heard anyone say they have turned around their quality issues.
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Old Apr 2, 18, 8:58 pm
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Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
Brother. HP *used* to be good but they've gone downhill. It's been some time since I dealt with HP equipment but I haven't heard anyone say they have turned around their quality issues.
HP went down hill long enough ago that it was before color lasers were mainstream.

I'd second the recommendation of Brother. I've had very good luck with Canon B&W units (in particular the multifunction print-fax-scan) but haven't used their color ones except the giant office varieties.

We got a super-clearance Dell one from their outlet like 7 years ago, and it's been very reliable. It's enough years old that I don't know if it is at all representative of the quality of current models.
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Old Apr 3, 18, 7:23 am
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The problem with Brother Laser Printer is that ... it doesn't break! LOL. I have a 2270dw for about 6 years and it is still running like it was new. I did get a new "generic" drum for it a few years back and it is really cheap. Been using generic ink cartridges since the original one went out 6 years ago. I kept wanting to switch to a Brother Color Laser but just can't throw away a perfectly good BW Brother printer. Have been patiently waiting for it to break, but so far nothing....
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Old Apr 3, 18, 7:44 am
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Are there any pros/cons of a LED color printer vs a laster color printer in terms of print quality, crispness, ink longevity and operating costs?
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Old Apr 3, 18, 9:01 am
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Originally Posted by Need View Post
The problem with Brother Laser Printer is that ... it doesn't break! LOL. I have a 2270dw for about 6 years and it is still running like it was new. I did get a new "generic" drum for it a few years back and it is really cheap. Been using generic ink cartridges since the original one went out 6 years ago. I kept wanting to switch to a Brother Color Laser but just can't throw away a perfectly good BW Brother printer. Have been patiently waiting for it to break, but so far nothing....
I have the same problem, I have a Brother B&W laser from 2004 that still chugs along.
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Old Apr 3, 18, 10:50 am
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Thank all of you for your responses! Looks like it'll be a Brother color laser (probably the HL-L9310CDW) that will be replacing the HP. I do see some reviews mentioning print quality issues, but we'll see how it holds up. The user who will be getting this (unfortunately not me!) does mostly spreadsheets, charts, and diagrams, so photo accuracy isn't a requirement here. I like that the HL-L9310CDW's cartridges can do up to 9,000 pages between changes and it'll still take the 6,500 page cartridges from their smaller models, so I can use one cartridge for multiple models if we end up standardizing on Brother printers here. I will post a full review once it arrives.

Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
Are there any pros/cons of a LED color printer vs a laster color printer in terms of print quality, crispness, ink longevity and operating costs?
In theory, LED should be the best option -- no scanning mirrors, fewer moving parts, etc. However, in practice, you'll find LED printers only in the low-end offerings while the business-class offerings still are laser-exclusive. Both are actually the same in terms of toner and imaging, the only difference is that LED uses a page-width bar of LEDs to excite the toner/transfer rollers while the laser uses a laser & scanning mirror to do the same. Lasers generally are more focused light sources than LEDs, but technology keeps getting better for LED. For generic home use, either would be fine.

Last edited by KRSW; Apr 3, 18 at 10:58 am
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Old Apr 3, 18, 4:32 pm
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Originally Posted by nkedel View Post
HP went down hill long enough ago that it was before color lasers were mainstream.
I wasn't referring to their color lasers, I've never even tried one. It was a black and white laser that was the final straw. It was prone to responding to malformed codes (a document destined for another printer) by leaving the driver in a state where you had to reboot the PC to get it working again. (This was a network printer, the files were being sent from elsewhere.) The same thing would happen if it received an incomplete document. It was prone to doing for no apparent reason, also. (It behaved properly with locally generated documents printed from Windows, it was only the stuff coming from DOS or the network that would barf it.)
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Old Apr 3, 18, 4:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Need View Post
The problem with Brother Laser Printer is that ... it doesn't break! LOL. I have a 2270dw for about 6 years and it is still running like it was new. I did get a new "generic" drum for it a few years back and it is really cheap. Been using generic ink cartridges since the original one went out 6 years ago. I kept wanting to switch to a Brother Color Laser but just can't throw away a perfectly good BW Brother printer. Have been patiently waiting for it to break, but so far nothing....
So? I have a color laser all-in-one and a black and white laser that's considerably older. The black and white costs less to run and I use it unless I need color. I worry that the black and white might die of a lack of drivers. (It took a considerable jumping through hoops to get it working as a networked printer with Win 7. I haven't looked all that hard but I haven't found any means of getting it working networked on Windows 10. Drivers are only available through Microsoft's site--and the standard drivers will not do a network install.)
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Old Apr 3, 18, 6:18 pm
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Originally Posted by Need View Post
The problem with Brother Laser Printer is that ... it doesn't break! LOL. I have a 2270dw for about 6 years and it is still running like it was new. I did get a new "generic" drum for it a few years back and it is really cheap. Been using generic ink cartridges since the original one went out 6 years ago. I kept wanting to switch to a Brother Color Laser but just can't throw away a perfectly good BW Brother printer. Have been patiently waiting for it to break, but so far nothing....
That's not even that old. I've still got a B&W Lexmark from fall of 1999 or early 2000 that's still trucking. I've had two color lasers (one Tektronix that lasted years, and one HP that died at like a year and a month) die on me in that time. I think my current Dell color one must be around that age.

It's single-sided, not networked, and not very fast. OTOH, it's from one of the earlier generations of really small ones, so there isn't much space lost in keeping it, and it's just new enough to support USB (I think literally the first generation of Lexmark printers that did.)

Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
I wasn't referring to their color lasers, I've never even tried one. It was a black and white laser that was the final straw. It was prone to responding to malformed codes (a document destined for another printer) by leaving the driver in a state where you had to reboot the PC to get it working again. (This was a network printer, the files were being sent from elsewhere.) The same thing would happen if it received an incomplete document. It was prone to doing for no apparent reason, also. (It behaved properly with locally generated documents printed from Windows, it was only the stuff coming from DOS or the network that would barf it.)
Yeah, for small-department printers, my complaint was less about software issues as just the shift from "lasts forever" to "you're lucky to get a couple of years out of it" -- somewhere around 2000, their quality went way downhill. I know people who are still running Laserjet 5 series printers and at least one still-alive Laserjet 4000, but I know of a lot of only slightly newer 4100/4150 era printers that died within a few years, and my 2006 or 2007-vintage Color 4600 died of a motherboard failure at like 13 months, right after the warranty expired.

Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
So? I have a color laser all-in-one and a black and white laser that's considerably older. The black and white costs less to run and I use it unless I need color. I worry that the black and white might die of a lack of drivers. (It took a considerable jumping through hoops to get it working as a networked printer with Win 7. I haven't looked all that hard but I haven't found any means of getting it working networked on Windows 10. Drivers are only available through Microsoft's site--and the standard drivers will not do a network install.)
I'm really surprised.

Anything B&W that takes standard PCL3-PCL5 and/o6 Postscript can still be used, as Microsoft has both a generic postscript, PCL3 and PCL6 drivers and when Windows update for printer drives works (it isn't working today) I was able to get an old HP working with the Laserjet Series II (PCL4) driver which should still be there.

Jetdirect protocol and LPD haven't changed since before the millennium, and in a pinch for very old printers you can use a third party print server (USB ones even cheaper and more numerous.)

You won't get all the features of a fancier printer, and old scan features is often a lost cause. Scanner drivers have been a really long running upgrade annoyance; I've pretty much given up on scanning directly to my PC after Windows 8/8.1 broke the drivers for my last USB scanner -- it already had scan-to-USB stick and scan-to-network drive, and it still works ~5 years on, and it's actually proved more convenient to scan to the network drive than local scanning used to be.
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Old Apr 4, 18, 7:24 am
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Originally Posted by Loren Pechtel View Post
I worry that the black and white might die of a lack of drivers. (It took a considerable jumping through hoops to get it working as a networked printer with Win 7. I haven't looked all that hard but I haven't found any means of getting it working networked on Windows 10. Drivers are only available through Microsoft's site--and the standard drivers will not do a network install.)
Is that a Brother printer? My BW Brother printer on the Network is supporting Windows XP, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10, and quite a few versions of Mac OS. I actually don't remember having to manually install drivers. All of the above OS seems to detect the printer on the network and installed the driver for it. Maybe I had to do it for the Win XP, but can't remember as it was like 6 years ago.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 7:19 pm
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Originally Posted by Need View Post
Is that a Brother printer? My BW Brother printer on the Network is supporting Windows XP, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10, and quite a few versions of Mac OS. I actually don't remember having to manually install drivers. All of the above OS seems to detect the printer on the network and installed the driver for it. Maybe I had to do it for the Win XP, but can't remember as it was like 6 years ago.
It's not Ethernet, but rather hanging off another machine on the network. I've never had it detected and Add a printer refuses to deal with it. The only way I have been able to do it is through device manager--and that requires the actual driver extracted into a directory and those are hard to get out of Microsoft these days.
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