Color laser printer - school me!

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by motulist, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. motulist macrumors 601

    motulist

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    #1
    I'm sick of ink jet BS. I want a color printer that *JUST WORKS*, all the time, every time. I'm willing to spend several hundred dollars for a wifi color printer that never errors out, prints every time I tell it to without any problem, doesn't paper jam, doesn't run out of ink every month, and holds a good number of pages in the paper tray. It should print reasonably fast and produce reasonable color photo images that don't look too dot-y.

    I just want a wifi color printer that works well all the time every time.

    Suggestions?
     
  2. Spitroast Panda macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Location:
    Wirral, UK
    #2
  3. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #3
    My suggestion is to not attach your printer to your network via wireless. Instead, if at all possible, connect via hard wire to your router. You can still print from your wireless devices attached to your network. When I help friends, family, or neighbors with printing problems... it is almost always related to them using wireless vs wired connection to their network.

    I find it amazing how many people believe that to print from a laptop... that their printer must be attached to the network wirelessly.

    /Jim
     
  4. motulist thread starter macrumors 601

    motulist

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    #4
    The wireless part of printing seems to work nearly perfectly for me using my current epson ink jet printer, so that's not a problem. The problems I have with the epson are that the ink is really expensive, I have to replace the ink cartridges WAY too often, which requires a lot of time to charge up the ink and often happens when I need to print something quickly, and even after aligning and cleaning the print heads the printouts still have some dark/light banding if I'm not using the highest print settings (which goes very slowly and uses up a ton of ink even though I don't want the print quality to be great, I just want it to not have color banding artifacts).

    I just want a printer that'll reliably produce good home-quality color printouts.
     
  5. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #5
    Color laser printers have come down in price quite a bit. I have an "industrial strength" Xerox that I bought several years ago and it is a work horse. The thing never jams... even when I throw heavy duty 80lb card stock at it.

    In general, color lasers are great for printing documents, websites, general printing, etc. They are not very good for photos. I have also owned various photo printers over the years... and they suffer the same issues you describe and are very expensive to keep operating. I now send all of my printed photo needs (very limited) out for printing. I find the quality to be better and the cost to be cheaper.

    Color toner cartridges seem to last a very long time for me (5+ years) for home use. They are expensive when they eventually need to be replaced... but overall, they are more reliable and less expensive than operating an ink jet printer. One think to watch is that most laser printer companies now include "starter" toner cartridges instead of fully loaded cartridges. You may find that replacing the 4 cartridges (assuming CYMK) cost more than the printer... so check what is included.

    Some of the options you may want to consider (in my order of preference)

    - Ethernet connectivity
    - Automatic Full Duplex printing (two sided)
    - Ability to handle multiple media types (ex: card stock)

    /Jim
     

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