Laser printer advice

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Hi everyone,

I'm trying to decide between a monochrome and colour laser printer:

Samsung ML2010 Laser 22ppm 1200 dpi x 600dpi USB Includes Toner -

Samsung CLP-300 Colour Laser Printer 4/16ppm 2400x600dpi USB -120.99

I will be using the printer mostly for printing out technical papers
(which are 99% black & white) and printing out my own draft papers/
upcoming thesis before getting them professionally printed + bound.

I have a colour inkjet printer but the last time I printed out
something in colour was more than a year ago.

I am tempted to get the colour laser printer but being on a student's
budget, I thought it is better to get the monochrome one first and if
my needs for colour printing increases, I can buy one later when I
have more money to spare.

Also, I reasoned that buying a colour laser printer to mostly print
B&W pages is a waste because printers have a finite life beyond which
their rollers stop working well (does print quality degrade?). Thus
the best way to print is to have a B&W printer for B&W pages and a
colour one for coloured pages (so you minimise work on the more
expensive colour printer and just use it for what it is for).

Apart from page size, how does a colour laser printer's photo-print
quality & cost per sheet compare with direct photo printers?

Thanks for any input/advice/suggestions.
skate xx

Re: Laser printer advice

sk8terg1rl wrote:
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Did you read the reviews on the Ebuyer page ? They give plenty of useful
advice, such as the cheapness of toner, and what kind of toner to order
for the B&W. Toner costs as much as the printer.

ML-1610 toner 41.04 inc VAT
"supposed to be able to print around 2500-3000 pages"

As a student, I'd buy the B&W and put the 80 into beer :-)
Gotta get your priorities right...

Note that one dirty trick with printing devices, is the cartridge
you get with the product, may not print as many pages as the
replacement cartridge will. They tend to be a "teaser" cartridge,
to save on manufacturing costs and force you to buy a replacement
sooner than expected. Otherwise, you might be tempted to buy a
new printer, each time the toner was emptied :-)

Now all that remains, is searching Ebay for bulk toner, so you can
refill it yourself :-) Note that the whatever they use for a
photosensitive surface will have a limited life, so toner is not
the only thing that wears out.


Re: Laser printer advice

sk8terg1rl wrote:
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The print engine has a limited life. On most lasers, the cartridge is
actually a print engine. On some, you buy the toner(s) separately, but
these machines usually cost more to buy (as their print engines must
have a longer life.)

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Well, in the short run, a cheap printer will probably do the job, but it
will have a short life, and you may have to buy another before you've
finished your thesis. ;-) Get the b/w machine, as you don't do much
colour printing, and the little you do, you can get done on a friend's
machine (for the cost of a beer or two?) or commercially.

Aside from that, here are few comments that may confuse you further. ;-)

Cheap Colour laser printers are not worth the money IMO - compared to
inkjets, their quality is poor, and they are not much cheaper to
operate. Laser printers which require replacement of the whole print
engine may be cheap to buy but expensive to operate - check out the
number of pages printed by the Samsung replacement cartridge. You may
wish to spend a little more for a B/W laser that uses separate toner
cartridges. When I researched laser printer costs a couple of years ago,
I found a range of around 3 cents a page to over 25 cents a page. The
printers with lower printing costs generally cost more to buy, but cost
less over their expected life spans.

If you do want to print colour, and expect to print enough to make
owning a colour printer worthwhile, I suggest you look at multi-tank
inkjet for colour. Only a commercial colour laser would come close to
its quality. My advice is to look for recently discontinued model --
much cheaper. Canon, Epson, Panasonic are all good brands.

But note that colour printing is inherently more expensive, whether
laser or inkjet. The last time I took the trouble to calculate my costs,
a page of b/w text cost about 4 cents on the laser, and 25 cents on the
inkjet. Images are much more expensive: plain paper colour prints cost
about a dollar a page, on photo paper they cost $2 a page and up (photo
paper is expensive.) 4x6 prints cost 50 cents and up. BTW, I also looked
at colour lasers: replacing all four cartridges in a nice little Minolta
cost about 50% more than the printer... Keep in mind that new printers
come with partly filled cartridges!

I have a Canon Pixma i8500 for colour (8 individual colour tanks), and a
Canon ImageRunner 1630 (copy/scan/print) for b/w printing. Cost a lot,
but worth every penny. I print/copy upwards of 500 to 1,000 pages a
month (I've hit as high as 2,000), so this office quality machine is
ideal for me. Cost is 3 to 4 cents a page. It has a toner cartridge. The
service contract includes toner cartridges whenever I need them. When
the print engine gives up, that will be replaced, too.

For a b/w laser, figure per page cost based on the replacement
cartridge. It's better to pay more for a printer that has lower running
costs - cost of ownership is what matters, not cost of acquisition. HP,
Canon, Minolta, Xerox, etc are all good brands. I don't know about
Samsung printers, but their other products are good buys IMO. If you can
afford it, get an office quality machine, and buy a service contract.
Ask the shop about reconditioned used machines. Many businesses return
leased machines at regular intervals, well before their end of useful
life. They usually will have been well-maintained, so they can be a good
buy for someone on a limited budget.


Re: Laser printer advice

On Sat, 22 Sep 2007 01:19:01 -0700, sk8terg1rl

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They are both low end printers so the real question was
about volume of color printing.  Since your volume is so low
the B&W is the better answer.

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If you think you really need an on-premises way to print
color, and that the method doesn't have to be quite as good
as "photorealistic" quality, then my suggestion would
change, that you buy the color laser instead of another
color inkjet, or instead of more color carts for the inkjet.
After a year of sitting opened most inkjet cartridges are
shot, while an installed laser cart can sit for far longer
in a moderate (climate controlled) environment.

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The color printer is more likely to break, all else being
equal.  It may also have a transfer belt that requires
replacement separate from the carts at addt'l cost, and the
carts are probably only 2K pages for black, meaning it will
cost more for your far more frequent jobs in more ways than

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Generally, you're not going to wear out a printer like these
because anyone printing that much would not buy such a low
end printer, because it would be cheaper to print volume by
buying a printer which accepts more than the 2K carts of the
color printer, or the 3K carts of the B&W.  

For lower volume, say under 5K pages a year they make more
sense.  When the time comes that you want a decent color
printer I recommend getting a nice one instead of low end
and doing all your printing with it, not worrying about wear
because for personal use a decent printer's rollers will dry
rot before you could wear them out (Unless it had some
defect in manufacturing or design).  

Most of the cost of the color lasers are the toner.  Prices
increase correspondant to how much toner is included with
them, but by buying more toner capacity you also get a more
durable printer with more features.

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I feel what you describe as a limited student budget is not
going to allow printing photorealistic images from a color
laser.  I Mean not enough pages to consider worthwhile,
because a 2K page cartridge will be consumed fairly quickly
printing pictures.  I'm not familiar with the output from
the CLP-300 but generally modern color laser output is still
a couple notches below inkjet photo printers, it looks more
like fair magazine pictures until you get a few feet away
from it, which is quite good compared to how it used to be,
but in a low end laser I would not assume it a substitute
for another way to print photorealistic images for more than
temporary uses.

Cost per sheet is hard to relate because there are so many
different inkjet photo or non-"photo" designated options, as
well as some that can work fine from 3rd party inks at lower
prices.  IMO, unless you have a clear need for color which
you originally claimed you did not (99% B&W), it would be
most cost effective to just get the B&W laser for now.
Beyond cost, color laser is more convenient and faster
printing.  We can't know how much $$$ that is worth to you,
but if printing many pictures I would move up to the next
better quality printers because any low end laser printer is
great at text but the cheapest color lasers aren't as good
at pictures.

Re: Laser printer advice

kony wrote:
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Are there any gotchas to look out for when buying50 B&W HP
lasers? Looked at the 1018 and 1020. Thinking of replacing an
inkjet with one for very low volume use. Inkjets just dont have the
reliability needed, too much downtime refilling, too many
substandard pages printed. It isnt used much but when it is it
needs to work now without muck about.

Cheers, NT

Re: Laser printer advice

On Sat, 22 Sep 2007 14:49:09 -0700,

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I think at least one of these two (or both) have only 2K
page cartridges which is unreasonably small for a B&W
printer, IMO.  I would accept a printer that takes 3K page
cartridges for $50 USD, but would want even more for 50.
However, I don't know what your market prices are like.  I
would get a Samsung 2010 instead in this price range, or
even better the older Samsung 1710 or 1740 (if you can find
one still) because the 1710/1740 cartridges have a refill
cap on the end for more easily dumping in cheap bulk toner,
while the 2010 requires taking off a few screws to open the
toner hopper (more time consuming and messy).

Either way, all these Samsungs do just as well at B&W text
and will cost 50% less for toner since toner price is about
$65 USD for a replacement cart but with the HPs is only 2K
instead of 3K pages.

However, if you are really needing "reliablity", then
ultimately the more expensive business class laser printers
would tend to be more reliable, though it depends a lot on
what the problem is.  Certainly with any of them, beyond
running out of toner every 2-3K pages, you should have no
issues of clogged heads/etc like you would on inkjets,
practically any laser printer will *just work* without any
problems, except that lower end B&W also tend to have rather
poor dithering of (then greyscaled) pictures, don't expect
photorealistic output from them.

Re: Laser printer advice

kony wrote:
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Thanks Kony, thats what I needed to know. I'll also take a peek at
a better machine, a kyocera.


Re: Laser printer advice

Thanks Paul, Wolf & Kony - much valuable info posted! :-)

In the end I bought the B&W printer as suggested. I didn't think about
the fact that colour lasers aren't as good as colour inkjets!

skate xx

Re: Laser printer advice

On Sat, 22 Sep 2007 15:17:58 -0700, sk8terg1rl

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At a distance you might not notice the difference but at a
foot or two away or closer it becomes apparent.  Color
lasers are much better for high speed color printing
pictures though, sometimes you just need a job done and
nobody is going to be really picky about the picture quality
as it is still pretty good, just not "as" good as with a
decent inkjet.

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