Best inexpensive ethernet laser printer for my Mac?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by bigwig, Oct 9, 2005.

  1. bigwig macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 15, 2005
    #1
    Recommendations please. It will be attached to my wireless router, so it can be shared. Monochrome preferred, since I pretty much never print in color. Business use, primarily (printing contracts and letters and suchlike). I figure that given the ridiculous price of an Airport Basestation, a regular Linksys router + ethernet printer is less expensive and won't have some of the driver issues that Apple's USB-over-Wifi scheme has.
     
  2. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #2
    You might consider a Brother 5170DN monochrome laser printer.

    See:

    http://www.brother-usa.com/printer/printer_detail_AREA=PRINTER_1&PRODUCTID=HL5170DN.aspx

    I would be glad to tell you how it works. Unfortunately, mine has not arrived yet. Ordered from the states (cheaper than here in Japan). Hopefully it will arrive this week.

    I am replacing my Apple Laserwriter Select 360 -- which still works. Original owner. Had for about 13 years. But it's old and slow and does not work well with a mixed environment.

    One reason for the Brother 5170DN printer is that it has a built in Ethernet server that supports Windows XP, Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. I need all three to be supported for my personal needs.

    If you want to read reviews, go to Google or your favorite search site and put this in:

    brother 5170dn review

    That should give you plenty of reviews to consider.

    Hope this helps.

    Sushi
     
  3. wongulous macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 7, 2002
    #3
    I'm buying an HP Color LaserJet. I haven't decided if I want to get the 2550L (discontinued, $399; refurbished, $299), the 2550N ($579), or the 2600N ($399). I'm leaning toward the 2600N because it's current, it has ethernet, and it's the least expensive of the color LaserJets.

    I really would not consider anything else, especially not Brother or Lexmark. Minoltas and other options in the color laser arena just seem too expensive, as well.
     
  4. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

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    #4
    I'd stay away from Brother, too. Toner can be hard to find and way overpriced, and I've never been impressed with the print quality. To top it off, most Brother printers are unacceptably ugly.

    Since you're going for business use, I'd take a hard look at the service time/endurance type specs. For home use, fusers and drum kits last a long time, but for heavy business use, you'll be replacing those parts a few times. Another reason to stick to the HP, Canon, Xerox brands is the reliability and features/ease of setup of the ethernet connection. I've had nightmarish experiences trying to get a Konica/Minolta to behave on the network (mostly the scan to network function).

    As an alternative for a small work environment, you could just use a local printer shared over the network. The computer it's attached to has to be turned on at all times you want to print, but I've not encountered a business that shut down computers on a daily basis in several years. This is only a good idea for relatively small offices (< 25 people sharing the printer).
     
  5. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    #5
    Minoltas are great for quality but suck for maintenance costs. That's my 2¢.
     
  6. iGary Guest

    iGary

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    #6

    Ditto. Ditto. Ditto.

    I have a 2600N that I work the living hell out of and it was $399.00 - USB and ethernet.
     
  7. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #7
    The problem with color laser printers, is the consumables.

    Just be aware that if you use your printer a lot, consumable costs will considerably go up vice a monochromatic printer. Also, a color laser usually takes much longer to print the first page. So if you have many small print tasks, a color printer can really hold you up.

    Sushi
     
  8. mklos macrumors 68000

    mklos

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    #8
    I beg to differ. I have a Brother HL-1435 Laser Printer ($149 w/no e-net)and it gives out great quality prints, and the toner is very inexpensive. ($60.00US). Mine is connected to my AirPort Express Base Station and shared out wirelessly and it works like a charm. I've always had good luck with Brother Laser Printers.
     
  9. Err macrumors member

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    Aug 19, 2005
    #9
    dell 1700n is 200$ at amazon, toner is cheap, mac support is great using lexmark drivers (the dell is just a lexmark on the inside, PC even finds it as a lexmark). lots of options, and again.... 200$!!!!! :D
     
  10. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

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  11. mklos macrumors 68000

    mklos

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    #11
    I would stay away from Dell. You're only asking for trouble. Dell is way too proprietary if you ask me. Sure, its probably a Lexmark printer, but you can ONLY use Dell toners as far as I know.
     
  12. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #12
    Disagree with some of your points.

    Just check PC/Mac Connection for various toner cartridges for Apple, HP and Brother printers. It looks to me like it is very dependent on which printer you have. In many cases the Brother one is cheaper.

    As for Brother printers looking ugly, I think it depend on what models you are comparing. Same holds true for any brand. To say a comment like that is a gross generalization on your part. I like my LW360, but others think that it looks weird for example. That is just normal variation of people's tastes.

    Printing via print sharing in today's world is old hat and slow. This is espeicially true if the shared printer is on a busy computer. A printer with a built in network connection/print server is the best way to go. Another option if you already have a printer, is to buy a print server. They are around 50-60 bucks. That way all computers/OS can share easily the resource.

    Anyhow, just wanted to give some balance to your comments.

    Also, the original poster was looking for a monochromatic printer. Not a color one.

    Another item to consider is overall ownership costs based on usuage. Some printers have a much higher consumable replacement cost than others. This results in a higher cost per page.

    Just my .02.

    Sushi
     
  13. djkny macrumors 6502

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    Sep 30, 2003
    #13
    what variance ...

    I suppose that's what posts are for -- widely divergent opinions on anything and everything. You go to other frequented Mac forums, and users swear by the Brother 5170ND -- built in networking, duplexi option, etc. -- all for less than $280.

    Now, I'll give my two cents --- STAY AWAY from HP cheapo color lasers. They are TERRIBLE.
     
  14. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

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    #14
    And I disagree with a few of your points.

    What I mean to say by that (which was a generalization, absolutely) was that Brother printers are often the least consistent with a Macintosh office. They tend to be boxy and have very traditional fax-machine like panels on them, and some models still use a form of beige for coloration. They've started to evolve their printer design, but their entire foundation in business sales is a no-frills, low cost market that appeals to budget-conscious businesses. In many ways, they are the Dell of printers (but offer generally higher quality). They've never been recognized for aesthetics, but I can see that possibly changing now that they realize they need to compete on all fronts.

    Adding a print server is a smart way to go, if the printer works well with them. There is no guarantee that a printer on a print server will work with any more OSes than a locally shared device, and often you'll run into more problems doing so. If you don't have a technical staff on hand, dealing with a broken print server is just an added expense. I also disagree that shared printing is any slower. It would be poor planning to have that computer also serve as a file server, but if it is taking just standard Internet traffic, it won't make a significant difference in print spooling. And along those lines, having a disk print spool available is preferable to the printer running out of memory, compared to cheap print servers. An ethernet printer is great for big offices, but it's unnecessary complication and spending for a very small business.

    And you're right on many points, so it was a good decision to do so.

    I'll assume this was meant for other posters, because I didn't say anything about color, and I mentioned fuser and drum kit replacement as considerations, in addition to toner price (and toner capacity, which can vary greatly by model).
     
  15. iZach macrumors 6502

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    West Bloomfield, MI
    #15
    I have a question about laser printers. I too am looking to buy one.
    I have an AEBS and was considering plugging the printer into USB.
    Now I'm wondering - is it faster to get the SAME MODEL printer (same pages/second) with a network card, and plug it in via ethernet than usb?

    Thanks,
    zach
     
  16. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

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    #16
    How fast is your wireless network? It probably won't make a difference unless you have a 54Mbps network all around with good connections, in which case the Ethernet will be faster. DOes the AEBS have USB 1.1 or 2.0? I can't remember.
     
  17. iZach macrumors 6502

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    #17
    dont know how fast my network is....but using ap extreme cards and the extreme base is usb 2.0 with 802.11g
     
  18. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

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    #18
    I don't think you're going to see a difference, then. You get more geek points for buying the ethernet version, of course. Neither connection (USB or ethernet) is slower than your network, and the ethernet is only faster if you've got a gigabit wired system planned for the future.
     
  19. macbaseball macrumors 6502a

    macbaseball

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    Northern California
    #19
    I've had great luck with HP Laserjets, whereas my Brother printer died. Then again that was about 5 years ago, so I'm sure the technology is much better by now.
     
  20. mkaake macrumors 65816

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    mi
    #20
    I've got a brother 5140, and if I had to do it over again, I wouldn't.

    It's noisy, despite a regimented cleaning schedule. The toner light comes on at odd times and will remain lit for long periods of time, and then go off again as silently as it came (and no, it's *not* low on toner).

    I could write a long rant, because I've slowly come to hate the thing, but basically, it's really really loud, it prints images that can only be described as crappy (they're actually worse than crappy - I didn't know it was possible in this day and age to print images so poorly), and the tech support is worthless. I spent two weeks trying to find out why my toner light was on (after 500 pages of light coverage), to be told that my toner was low (I'm now at 2500 pages, still printing strong w/no indication of low toner). But the loud thing just drives me nuts - the whole thing squeaks like you wouldn't believe. Sometimes the recommended cleaning works, and it's silent for a whole 10 pages or so, but most of the time, it's just noisy.

    And did I mention that the images are CRAP? I wasn't expecting much (as far as image quality), but I got even less than that...

    On the other hand, it prints fast and has crystal clear text.

    But I wouldn't touch it if I had to do it over...
     
  21. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #21
    Printer technology has changed considerably in the last 5 years.

    I used to be a big fan of HP printers. We used many different models and all worked very well, if not great.

    However, as of late, HP seems to have gone a bit downhill on the quality. Also, they seem louder than before. Part due to cheaper parts these days. Their original laser printers were built like tanks. Now days, everything is so cheaply built.

    I looked at Canon, HP, Lexmark, Epson and Brother monochromatic printers before deciding on the Brother 5170DN. Still waiting on delivery. We shall see if it is a good decision or not.

    The one big thing that I read many reviews that the Brother 5170DN was very good at was working in a shared environment with Mac OS X, Mac OS 9 and Winders XP. I use all three on my home network so that is important to me. The proof will be in the pudding when it finally arrives.

    Sushi
     
  22. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #22
    Thanks for the feedback on the Brother.

    I wonder how much different the 5170DN is vice the 5140.

    Is yours a duplex model?

    Sushi
     
  23. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #23
    Well, it finally arrived. Picked it up from the Post Office yesterday.

    Decided to set it up this morning. Taking my time, while watching TV, I set up the printer for two computers (PC running XP, PB15 Mac OS 3.9 & Classic 9.2) in well under 30 minutes. Set up is easy. Brother has a very nice install CD. Simple to use. Lot's of information.

    It works great and is simple to use. Duplex printing is handy to have for those occasional 2 sided needs.

    For a laser printer that you can purchase well South of $300, I would say that it is a good choice worth considering.

    Sushi
     
  24. aloe macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    #24
    HP laserjet 1020 or 1022?

    Hi,

    I am trying to decide which printer to get, either the Hp laserjet 1020 or 1022 (price is only $30 different, so not really part of the decision)... The hp site says that the 1020 is not mac compatible, but I have been reading many reviews online saying that you can download the driver meant for the 1022. Does anyone use either of these printers with their mac, or know which one is better/works better on Mac? Like or dislike these printers?

    Thanks!

    aloe
     
  25. mustard macrumors 6502a

    mustard

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    Dec 28, 2005
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    NJ
    #25
    I would recommend either the Xerox 6100/N or the Samsung CLP-510N (they are the same, both made by Samsung). The CLP-510N can be had for under $300 on sale/after rebates. The nicest features are the ability for additional paper trays & duplexing is standard. I have had the non-networked version for over a year with no problems. Also the toner cartridges are readily available in both standard and high capacity varieties.
     

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