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#333365 - 26/05/2010 12:22 printer recommendations?
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3714
My four-year-old color laser printer (Xerox 6110, rebranded from a Samsung CLP-310, I believe) is starting to flake out. I got it from Costco, at the time, for the miserly price of $169 and it's now printed just over 2000 pages over its lifetime. These days, it will print a few pages and then jam. I'll open the front door, pull out the mechanism, wiggle it around, then put it back in, and it will work again for a few more pages. This is getting old.

Poking around Amazon, it seems there are very few color laser (or LED) printers under $400 these days. Brother makes several $200-ish options, but they get mixed reviews (slow, loud, etc.). HP offers a similar range of prices ($220 for the cheapest, $400 for a model with duplex). Again, reviews are mixed. Dell offers a variety of different printers, but then you're dealing with Dell, dude, which could be a problem for my Mac.

Thoughts?

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#333368 - 26/05/2010 12:55 Re: printer recommendations? [Re: DWallach]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5356
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: DWallach
Thoughts?


I have a Samsung CLP-300, probably very similar to the 310. This a common complaint for this model.

When it happens, I clean the rubber pickup roller with alcohol and then I'm good for another couple hundred pages.

If you get a jam in the fuser, that is a very bad thing requiring serious disassembly. Take pictures as you do it, reassembly is... complex.

tanstaafl.
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"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

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#333369 - 26/05/2010 12:59 Re: printer recommendations? [Re: tanstaafl.]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
I'm very pleased with my Samsung CLP-610ND duplexing color laser printer. It's *gigantic*, but the quality is great, the toner cartridges last a long time, and I managed to find it new for $200 late last year. I wouldn't expect to see it at that price again, but if I was shopping now and saw it for $350 or less, I'd jump on it.

Adding: Okay, it looks like the successor to the CLP-610ND is the CLP-620ND, which is available for $299 from TigerDirect here. Even better, you can get 12% cash back if you sign up for Bing cashback and search for the printer through Bing's cash back page.


Edited by tonyc (26/05/2010 13:04)
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my empeg stuff

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#333373 - 26/05/2010 13:29 Re: printer recommendations? [Re: tonyc]
matthew_k
pooh-bah

Registered: 12/02/2002
Posts: 2295
Loc: Berkeley, California
I love my B&W HP LaserJet 4350dtn that I got on ebay for ~200. It had about 10k pages on the clock, which is probably half a month's duty cycle. On a big month I print 10 pages. I expect this printer to last at least the 8 years I got out of the used HP LaserJet 4 that it replaced. The drivers are built in to every computer and the thing spits out pages whenever I want to print, and I'll never have to clean the print heads. You can get a lot when you give up color.

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#333374 - 26/05/2010 14:05 Re: printer recommendations? [Re: matthew_k]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12021
Loc: Sterling, VA
I have to agree with Doug and Tony. Did you miss the Samsung printers, Dan? They sell color laserjets for WELL below $400. Heck, WELL below $200. I'm seeing $139 for the CLP-315W.

I've been using monochrome Samsung laserjets for the past 7 years. Just two printers in that time, and we're not talking about their top of the line, we're talking about their $110 printers, which was cheap for a laserjet in 2003/4.
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Matt

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#333376 - 26/05/2010 14:13 Re: printer recommendations? [Re: matthew_k]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3714
tanstaafl: tell me more about your fix. Your printer is exactly the same as mine. Where exactly is the roller you're cleaning?

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#333377 - 26/05/2010 14:18 Re: printer recommendations? [Re: DWallach]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3714
dignan: What's interesting is how many other printer vendors seem to use Samsung guts. This appears to include Dell and Xerox. The CLP-315W, the successor to my printer, gets pretty shaky reviews. The CLP-620ND seems more likely to be a good choice if I end up giving up on my current printer.

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#333378 - 26/05/2010 15:10 Re: printer recommendations? [Re: DWallach]
larry818
old hand

Registered: 01/10/2002
Posts: 987
Loc: Fullerton, Calif.
I've come to hate all things HP over the years. Even the classics, like the Laserjet 3 and 4, while they live forever, never really just work either.

I bought a couple of Samsung printers, 'cos I like their other products, and found them to be junk too.

So, I remembered from back in the day, that Okidata was the best you could get, so I bought a new one a few years ago. It's the C5500 color laser. I'm really happy with it. Oki's quality seems to be as good as ever.

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#333380 - 26/05/2010 15:27 Re: printer recommendations? [Re: DWallach]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31150
Loc: Seattle, WA
Dan, see if http://www.fixyourownprinter.com/ has any info on how to fix your particular problems.

I once got new life out of an old failing laserjet thanks to that site.
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Tony Fabris

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#333381 - 26/05/2010 15:32 Re: printer recommendations? [Re: DWallach]
Redrum
old hand

Registered: 17/01/2003
Posts: 994
Donít get an Epson. It works great, very cheap to buy, however eats an expensive ink cartridge about every other day.

That appears to be the way their making money with new printers Ė About give the printer away but rake in the cash on the cartridges.

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#333392 - 26/05/2010 20:34 Re: printer recommendations? [Re: larry818]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12021
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: larry818
I've come to hate all things HP over the years. Even the classics, like the Laserjet 3 and 4, while they live forever, never really just work either.

I despise HP printers. Actually, I think the printers are alright, but HP wins the prize for WORST SOFTWARE CDs EVER! I don't know what they're installing that requires about 20 minutes to complete, but it's just too much.

Of course, this is mostly aimed at their all-in-ones. If I bought an HP single-purpose printer I'd just use Windows drivers and it wouldn't be a problem smile
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Matt

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#333396 - 26/05/2010 21:59 Re: printer recommendations? [Re: Dignan]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7868
Loc: Seattle, WA
I'll give HP credit for doing things right on the Mac side. They were one of the first to support Bonjour, and starting a little while back, killed off all their own weird software in favor of just using the built in OS X services. Need to scan a document? Just hit scan on the printer, and up pops the OS X Image Capture app.
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Tom

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#333397 - 26/05/2010 23:44 Re: printer recommendations? [Re: drakino]
matthew_k
pooh-bah

Registered: 12/02/2002
Posts: 2295
Loc: Berkeley, California
Quote:
Of course, this is mostly aimed at their all-in-ones

Are there any all in ones that actually have good drivers? And by good I mean PC and Mac, all functions working the same over the network, and using native OS widgets and dialogs for all interactions?

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#333398 - 26/05/2010 23:45 Re: printer recommendations? [Re: drakino]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12021
Loc: Sterling, VA
Yeah, and they could easily do something similar in Windows, or make very simple apps to accomplish the tasks that users need. So what's with the bloatware? I guess, in their twisted minds, they think they're helping users, when actually the software is even harder for them to use. Ick.

It's like the Apple side of HP doesn't have the bigwigs breathing down their necks. Maybe they don't...

Oh, and ATI is also a huge fail on Windows but (I've heard) is good on Mac. I just dealt with their awful Catalyst drivers this afternoon, and I want to slam my head against a wall.
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Matt

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#333404 - 27/05/2010 01:18 Re: printer recommendations? [Re: Dignan]
larry818
old hand

Registered: 01/10/2002
Posts: 987
Loc: Fullerton, Calif.
I hate HP for their mechanical problems, mostly. When my last HP died (or rather, could only reliably feed one sheet at a time), I actually bought another HP brand new, as they were on sale. It jammed on the second sheet... I returned it about an hour after I bought it and got the Oki.

I really dislike ATI as well. Probably 99.99999999999% of my windows problems over the years I've finally come to realize are the fault of the ATI drivers. I use nothing but Matrox now, and have no issues.

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#333409 - 27/05/2010 04:04 Re: printer recommendations? [Re: DWallach]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
The only printers I have ever been actively pleased with were QMS, and they got bought by Konica/Minolta fifteen years ago, and since then they are just as mediocre as everything else.
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Bitt Faulk

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#333410 - 27/05/2010 04:06 Re: printer recommendations? [Re: Dignan]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Originally Posted By: Dignan
ATI is also a huge fail on Windows but (I've heard) is good on Mac

Macs simply don't have the same sort of invasive video drivers like you see under Windows. Somewhere under the covers, I'm sure, the guts are equivalent, but you just don't see the useless cruft under MacOS that you do under Windows.
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Bitt Faulk

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#333411 - 27/05/2010 05:58 Re: printer recommendations? [Re: Dignan]
peter
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/07/2000
Posts: 4146
Loc: Cambridge, England
Originally Posted By: Dignan
I despise HP printers. Actually, I think the printers are alright, but HP wins the prize for WORST SOFTWARE CDs EVER! I don't know what they're installing that requires about 20 minutes to complete, but it's just too much.

I bought a Lexmark printer a while ago, and its Linux software install was a 20Mbyte binary RPM (i386 only, of course). Yet the whole reason I chose it was because it's networked and has a built-in LPD emulation that takes Postscript -- so installing it required adding one line to /etc/printcap, about 20 bytes. However much you feel your HP software was bloaty, I suggest that Lexmark beats it by being bloated six orders of magnitude beyond what it needed to be...

Peter

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#333416 - 27/05/2010 13:05 Re: printer recommendations? [Re: Redrum]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5356
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: Redrum
Donít get an Epson. It works great, very cheap to buy, however eats an expensive ink cartridge about every other day.

That applies to virtually any inkjet printer, but we are talking about laser printers here.

As I have said on several occasions here on the bbs, the initial cost of the printer is almost irrelevant. If you are looking at bottom line costs, by far the most important consideration is the cost of the toner (or ink cartridges). Do your research and find out what the cost per page is. That's what is going to eat your money over the years. An extra two or three hundred dollars on the initial purchase will be trivial compared to what you'll spend on consumables over the life of the printer.

That said, Kyocera/Mita has, in my experience, been unquestionably the best way to go. Before I retired, our big Kyocera B/W printer saved us more in consumables every year than we paid for the printer, when compared to the big HP that Corporate forced on us and which for obvious reasons we seldom used.

tanstaafl.
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"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

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#333417 - 27/05/2010 13:23 Re: printer recommendations? [Re: DWallach]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5356
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: DWallach
tanstaafl: tell me more about your fix. Your printer is exactly the same as mine. Where exactly is the roller you're cleaning?

Unplug the wires from the back of the printer so you can stand it on its back. Remove the paper tray. There is a large, oddly-shaped semi-circular rubber pad on an axle that lets it rotate, right above where the leading edge of the paper would be if the tray were still in place. Clean this roller with alcohol and your problems may go away.

tanstaafl.


Attachments
Pickup Roller LowRes.jpg (2542 downloads)

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#333422 - 27/05/2010 15:31 Re: printer recommendations? [Re: DWallach]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5356
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: DWallach
The CLP-315W, the successor to my printer, gets pretty shaky reviews

Many times (although not, apparently, in this case) bad reviews are a product of unrealistic expectations.

Samsung is in good part responsible for some of those expectations, for example claiming a preposterous duty cycle of 20,000 pages per month for the CLP-315. Nearly all of the working parts (gears, rollers, etc.) are made out of plastic, and it would be miraculous if that printer ever made it to 20,000 pages before becoming worn out. It is a disposable printer, on sale for $139 at Amazon.com, and anyone expecting heavy usage will be disappointed. My CLP-300 is fine for my use -- a 100 page month would be a big deal. When it finally gives up the ghost, probably after eight or ten thousand pages, I won't complain, I'll just replace it with something similar and know that I paid one penny per page amortizing the original cost of the printer, on top of the 2.6 cents per page for toner. Shopping hint: When looking for a new laser printer, make sure that toner is available from aftermarket suppliers. My CLP-300 costs me $26.00 for a complete set (4 colors) of aftermarket toner, compared to $269 MSRP buying the toner from Samsung.

tanstaafl.
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"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

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#333424 - 27/05/2010 16:35 Re: printer recommendations? [Re: tanstaafl.]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3714
I'll see about cleaning that roller. Looks painless, worth a shot.

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#333452 - 27/05/2010 22:05 Re: printer recommendations? [Re: tanstaafl.]
msaeger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 23/09/2000
Posts: 3608
Loc: Minnetonka, MN
Quote:
Nearly all of the working parts (gears, rollers, etc.) are made out of plastic, and it would be miraculous if that printer ever made it to 20,000 pages before becoming worn out.


Don't let plastic parts prejudice you. Printers that can do 200K prints a month have plastic gears. I think plastic is used many times because they are quieter. Metal gears also get metal particles inside of the machines because they do wear down quicker than you would think.
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Matt

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#333453 - 27/05/2010 22:42 Re: printer recommendations? [Re: peter]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13867
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: peter
I bought a Lexmark printer ... installing it required adding one line to /etc/printcap, about 20 bytes.

We also have a Lexmark laser here for general (B&W) printing. But we did install the PPD file for it (about 40KB), to gain full control over the printer's features and to get it to print at max speed. The generic PS interface didn't give full capability on either front.

Cheers

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#333528 - 31/05/2010 12:52 Re: printer recommendations? [Re: DWallach]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3714
Cleaned all the rubber bits with rubbing alcohol. I also went out and bought a Samsung-branded replacement toner cartridge for my nearly-empty cyan toner. Guess what? It physically fits my Xerox printer without any problem but is nonetheless rejected by the printer. Samsung-branded toner costs $50. Xerox-branded toner? $70. Grrr....

EDIT: and I can buy compatible toner for a fraction of that. Any reason for me to buy "original" vs. "compatible" toner?

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#333530 - 31/05/2010 13:27 Re: printer recommendations? [Re: DWallach]
msaeger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 23/09/2000
Posts: 3608
Loc: Minnetonka, MN
I would say buy the cheap stuff since it is out of warranty. I don't know about that brand but for HP there are a ton of 3rd party toner cartridges and they generally work fine.
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Matt

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#333533 - 31/05/2010 14:51 Re: printer recommendations? [Re: msaeger]
tman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 24/12/2001
Posts: 5528
There must be an EEPROM or counter chip somewhere in the toner module that has an ID and running total of number of pages printed. You can get dongles that reset it for you but unless you're going to be buying a lot of different brand toner it won't be worth while to buy it.

In theory the original toner is designed and tested to work with the printer whilst the compatible toner may just be whatever the refiller people just put in there. You're looking for a new printer anyway so if it does go bad you've not lost anything by using the cheap toner.

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#333536 - 31/05/2010 16:34 Re: printer recommendations? [Re: DWallach]
tanstaafl.
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5356
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
Originally Posted By: DWallach
Cleaned all the rubber bits with rubbing alcohol. I also went out and bought a Samsung-branded replacement toner cartridge for my nearly-empty cyan toner. Guess what? It physically fits my Xerox printer without any problem but is nonetheless rejected by the printer. Samsung-branded toner costs $50. Xerox-branded toner? $70. Grrr....

EDIT: and I can buy compatible toner for a fraction of that. Any reason for me to buy "original" vs. "compatible" toner?

This is the toner I have been using on my Samsung. No problems so far, and it is less than 1/10 the MSRP of the genuine Samsung toner.

The tricky bit is that the Samsung toner cartridges have little electronic counters built into them, and if the toner you buy doesn't have compatible electronics to match your printer, you are SOL.

Have you tried your printer since cleaning the pickup roller?

tanstaafol
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"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

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#333548 - 01/06/2010 03:19 Re: printer recommendations? [Re: tanstaafl.]
larry818
old hand

Registered: 01/10/2002
Posts: 987
Loc: Fullerton, Calif.
For my HP 4V, I always used the HP toner, but the last time I changed the cart, it died like 2 weeks later. The printer service dude says he never uses HP, 'cos they die early, and carry no warranty. The off brand cart has a 1 year warranty...

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#333556 - 01/06/2010 11:23 Re: printer recommendations? [Re: tanstaafl.]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3714
Originally Posted By: tanstaafl.
No problems so far, and it is less than 1/10 the MSRP of the genuine Samsung toner.

...

Have you tried your printer since cleaning the pickup roller?

I ordered the no-name compatible toner. Should be here in a few days. We'll see if it works.

The printer seems to be happy, but I'll know better after it's gotten more use. Interestingly, when cleaning the rubber grabber you highlighted, it appears that the rubber is cracked and distressed. It's not smooth like it should be, which could certainly explain it's occasional inability to grab the paper. We'll see soon whether or not more invasive repairs (e.g., replace the rubber part) are necessary.

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