Phil Parker (tigertoy) wrote,
Phil Parker
tigertoy

Well, this sucks

My old reliable HP Laserjet IIP printer seems to have bitten the dust. It won't actually feed a sheet into the fuser, and the error messages it gives say "call for service" in the manual. I'm not sure what the scanner is, but apparently it is broken.

Considering that I've gotten about 15 years of service from it and the only time I ever had a problem was when the original toner cartridge got so old it wouldn't print reliably a few years ago (it worked like new with a new cartridge), I can't complain. But considering that it's a 15 year old printer, so obsolete I was worried XP wouldn't still support it, I'm pretty sure having it repaired is out of the question. Since it couldn't print a lot of my documents anyway, it doesn't really make sense to spend actual money on fixing it.

Now, however, I find myself in the market for a new laser printer. I despise inkjet printers for normal document printing (I'm happy with my Canon i960 for photos, but I won't use it regularly for documents).

Does anyone have practical advice on under-$1000 laser printers? In particular, I first need to decide if I'm going to spring for a color printer. What is the image quality of photos printed on plain paper on available low-cost color laser models? How quickly do they go through color ink, and how much do the cartridges cost? In particular, does anyone know anything about the Xerox Phaser solid-ink printer? And whether I go with color or good old black, what's a good, sturdy model that will be well supported by current and future software? It's been a very long time since I've bought a printer, and the old advice of "don't look at anything from any company other than HP" seems dated.
Tags: life, questions, tech
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