Mac network color laser recommendations??

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by enginerd, Sep 14, 2005.

  1. enginerd macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2004
    So I'm currently shopping for a new color laser printer for my mixed network of macs and PC's. Budget's around $1000usd.
    My experience with a variety of HP, Samsung and Lexmark B&W lasers is that while they more often than not, do print with macs, many of the various print options like duplexing, watermarks and n-up printing are unavailable.

    While these won't be terribly missed by most users, I'd like to get some feedback from other users who have used various color lasers with their macs and can tell me what works and what doesn't. There are reviews out there, but they're all PC-focused so I'd like some opinions from people who actually tested on a mac. Can anybody help??

    By the way, for a better idea what printers I'm going for, I'm looking at the HP laserjet 3500 series, Xerox Phaser 8500, Dell 5100cn and lexmark c510 right now.
  2. Silencio macrumors 68020


    Jul 18, 2002
    The Xerox Phaser 8400 has recently been replaced by the 8500 and 8550 models.

    All three of those are solid ink printers, not traditional laser printers. In comparision to laser printers, the solid ink printers are somewhat faster and a little less expensive in the consumables department. The solid ink formulations have improved a lot over the years, but you can still scratch the ink off the surface of the paper with a fingernail if you try really hard.

    I've used a Xerox Phaser 860 for 3+ years, and took delivery of an 8550 not too long ago. For the type of high-volume, solid color line-art work we do, they're both great. Printing in enhanced mode with SWOP color matching hits our Pantone solid colors pretty well. The printers don't do quite as well for photo printing, but are decent enough.
  3. dogsbody macrumors regular

    Jun 13, 2004
    Channel Islands
    HP Office Jet 8550DN

    We have an Office Jet 8550DN on the network at work. It's an impressive beast - does duplex/A3 full colour printing and even has a nice icon appear in the dock when you print with it (I wasn't actually sposed to print on it at work, but I connected to the network anyway and printed some things out - knowing the print server address :)

    I think they're about £5000 / $6000 or so - that's if they're still is about 5yrs old now.

    Just my 2p / 3c worth.


    SCRATCH THIS POST - just saw your budget!
  4. simie macrumors 6502a


    Aug 26, 2004
    Check some of the manufacturers websites, as some offer free test prints.

    Konica Minolta offer this service - you send them a file and then select the printer model/s that you are interested in and they print it out on the printer/s of your choice and then post them to you.

    America Link

    UK Link

    Don't forget to check out Oki's LED printers - toner does last quite while with these printers. They can produce some nice results with photo's. Colour calibration is recomended though, as they do tend to print colours like reds darker than the actual screen image.

    Oki does support the Mac..

    The Dell 5100cn supports the Mac in theory.

    But do they provide a driver - well for Windows yes but there is no driver for OS X

    There are no drivers for the Dell on or currently under Gimp Print.
  5. enginerd thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2004
    Thanks for all the advice, everybody. :)

    Silencio, actually the 8400 was a typo; I just happen to catch it as you were typing your post apparently. The 8500n looks really nice for what I need. Easy serviceability and good print quality and the base model will do for what I need.
    Dogsbody, the officejets are really cool--got to use them at school before but the good ones are a bit too pricey. It seems HP prices are always a step higher than the others...

    Simie, I'll have to check out the oki's. Thanks for the rec. :cool:

    My needs aren't demanding: print quality isn't a huge concern as much as media handling. I'll be printing various brochures and handouts for presentations, along with plain black and white text documents, so I'm more concerned how it handles various types of media. Unfortunately, most reviews just gloss over this and concentrate more on speed and quality.
    I'll keep looking, thanks everybody!
  6. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    I'd seriuosly check out Konica-Minolta's printers; they're not as commonly mentioned of a name, but Minolta bought the color laser specialist QMS a while back before merging with Konica, and I've been pleased with the results both way back and now.

    In my case I was shopping for a wide-format color network laser recently, which is a much smaller field to choose from than letter-only, and I ended up going with the Magicolor 7300. I've not been disappointed at all--the quality has been good, it does reasonably well on thick stock, and the auto duplexer didn't cost a fortune and is quite handy. It has been used for short-run brochure and postcard printing (1-2000 pages per job) successfully.

    A much earlier model of the same printer, the 330, has been in service on my workplace network for around 7 years, and though it was serviced a few times early on, it still works relatively well, so that speaks well of their reliability.
  7. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    I'd suggest you make sure you get a printer with at least emulated PostScript. I bought a Samsung without real or emulated PS, and I'm not at all happy with the dithering pattern it uses to print color photos. After years of looking at PS halftones, not having it on a color printer is a drag.
  8. Silencio macrumors 68020


    Jul 18, 2002
    Agree with that 100%. Further to the point, I prefer the Xerox color printers because they have genuine, honest to goodness Adobe Postscript 3.
  9. enginerd thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2004
    Looks like it will come down to either the Xerox 8500 or HP laserjet 3550. They both have full classic support and seem to provide updated tiger drivers and PS support. Right now, I'm leaning towards the Xerox because it comes standard with a 500sheet tray and a decent sized multi-purpose tray.

    Silencio, any thing you found about your Xerox's that you don't like? Good handling of various paper thicknesses? Does the waste from the solid ink make a mess? How about noise? It's going to be within 5 ft of some users.
    Also, does it take standard DDR SODIMM's or do you have to get the pricey stuff from Xerox?
  10. Silencio macrumors 68020


    Jul 18, 2002
    Ink waste was never a problem in our old Phaser 860, and I expect the same to be the case to the 8550. When the overflow ink gets in the waste tray it cools off and solidifies quickly enough, and is easily broken off in little solid clumps for disposal.

    The printers handle card stock as well as any old laser printer out there. The 8550 is a big improvement over the 860 in paper handling in general: the built-in 500 sheet tray holds legal paper, and the multipurpose tray holds some 200 sheets of paper. That's the main reason we upgraded.

    The printers are not terribly loud. I don't think it being 5 feet away from someone will give them tinnitus.

    I was able to put a standard 512MB PC2700 SODIMM leftover from my 12" Powerbook in our Phaser 8550DP and it recognized it no problem.
  11. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    I posted a switch story about the Lexmark C510 a while back when I switched to the Powerbook. I think I called it the "zero config printer story".

    In a nutshell - the Mac found the printer instantly -- no drivers even needed -- through the printer's included network-server box which was Rendez^H^H^H^H^H^H Bonjour aware, while I had to spend a few hours installing/reinstalling drivers and rebooting on my Windows PC's (partly due to a bad driver CD that mine shipped with..)

    The Lexmark is PS-compatible and is doing a great job in my home, and I got it for real cheap too ($600 Cdn last year; it's even cheaper now).

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