Feb 12, 2009

Looking for Printer Suggestions

Yea? Nay? What say ye?

I am in the process of pricing and evaluating printers for my home office. We have a variety of clunkers about the house, testifying to the near-disposable nature of many of these "free" printers that get packaged with computers we have purchased over the years, and I would like to have a higher quality, heavier duty printer to handle my academic needs.

On the higher-priced end, I am intrigued by the Brother HL-4040CDN color laser printer, which has duplex printing and and built-in networking. It is currently on sale at a number of major retailers, and offers a lot of the features I would find useful.

This machine allows you to print PDF and JPEG files directly from a USB flash drive without connecting to a PC, which would be handy for those endless academic articles graduate students are expected to digest. This printer also has a printing rate of up to 21 pages per minute (color and monochrome), and that would come in handy on the days when university printers are on the fritz, which is far too often in this age of hyperactive cost-controls. At one local university which shall remain nameless, graduate students in a number of departments found that administrators were holding print cartridges hostage because of budget cutbacks.

Of course, since those same graduate students pay hundreds of dollars per term in "technology fees," one might wonder where the money is really going, but I suppose that is the subject of a future blog post.

Anyways, please feel free to offer your suggestions on a printer that you have found especially hardy and efficient, or post comments about any models you think I should stay away from.


Hooda Thunkit said...


If you can get by with B&W, take a look at H-P http://hp.com; that's where I got mine and it's networked too!

Don't be afraid to look at the stuff on closeout/special/refurb too.

Usually refurbs are just returns that have been recertified and reboxed for sale.

steve said...

Hey! that printer is the exact printer I use in my office at work. It prints pretty good. The only anoying thing about this particular is that if it sets idle for awhile it will need to warm up to print again - which is sort of a noisy and time consuming operation. It whirrs and whizzes and after about 20 seconds begins to print at a pretty good pace.

dr-exmedic said...

Absolutely, never, ever buy an Epson inkjet.

I've found it's virtually impossible to go wrong with a Canon inkjet. I have an all-in-one from them that's performed flawlessly, has all the features of the Brother you're looking at; they have newer models that have those and can connect via wi-fi, allowing you to print even if you're not seated at your desk. I don't know if it's still true, but inkjet printers used to have lower ink costs over time than lasers--another thing to look at.

Barga said...

How fast does it need to print?

You can get great copier/scanner/printer/faxer combos for about 150$

Carol said...

Mike - check out www.tigerdiret.com for some of the best deals out there on printers. If you already know the model you are interested in it should be easy to find a very competitive price.