please help: laser printer purchase

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by delirium, Jul 8, 2004.

  1. delirium macrumors newbie

    Jul 8, 2004
    I was hoping someone can help me.
    I'm looking for a laser printer. I did some research on them but I'm still not sure.

    This is what I need:
    1- Speed is not really an issue but durability really is. It needs to be a
    workhorse machine
    2- Print quality is a factor because it will be used for designed items
    (with photographs and illustrations)
    3- Postscript compatible
    4- Network ready
    5- Mac OS 9 and OS X compatible
    6- Automatic Duplexer
    7- Letter size, legal size (even maybe tabloid)
    8- Price range: $2000 to $3000

    I found
    Tektronix Phaser 540DT
    Xerox Phaser 6250DX
    Xerox Phaser 6250DP

    They are all Xerox. Maybe there is(are) another brand(s) better?
    Please don't be shy to recommend me a model.

    Please help me, Thanks.
  2. Sparky's macrumors 6502a


    Feb 11, 2004
  3. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    Not to hijack this thread, but I have been looking for a Laser printer for a client and I'm very confused about Postscript. From what I've read, Postscript takes what you see on screen and converts it to geometric shapes, which the printer then prints. But what is the difference between this and printing, say a PDF file, which uses a similar process?

    Is the print quality of a Postscript laser printer with 1200dpi higher than another 1200dpi laser printer without Postscript? What about printers with Postscript emulation?
  4. EminenceGrise macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2004
    Those look suspiciously like color laser printers - does it need to be color, or will B&W do? As was mentioned above, HP makes some nice laser printers (both B&W and Color), at least on the high end - and they should meet all your requirements. Minolta ( also has some pretty decent looking color laser printers, but avoid the cheaper models as they are Windows only...

    Postscript is just a way to format the commands that are sent to a printer to get it to print out your document (the main 'competing' format would be HP's PCL). The advantage of Postscript is that it is also a complete programming language. In fact Sun's (now long dead) NeWS windowing system was written almost entirely in Postscript; later Sun incorporated Display Postscript in Solaris (but it's not used much). NeXT also used Display Postscript for NeXTStep - the advantage of using Display Postscript to draw the display is that what you see on screen is exactly what you get printed out from your Postscript printer. The idea is precisely the same as Quartz in Mac OS X (which is of course directly descended from NeXTStep), which uses PDF (rather than DPS) to render things on screen. The reason Apple went with PDF rather than DPS in Mac OS X, is that DPS must be licensed from Adobe - PDF is a 'free' spec, but getting back to the question....

    As far as the print quality goes, 1200dpi is 1200dpi (for all intents and purposes), regardless of the format of the commands you sent to the printer. Postscript emulation just means that the printer can convert the Postscript commands in the file to whatever language the printer uses internally - it shouldn't do anything to the actual print quality, and there is always some conversion someplace regardless of the print format, whether it's in the printer, or the driver does it first before sending raw commands to the printer. Postscript has the advantage that anyone could send you a postscript file and you can send it directly to the printer, which the printer then renders and prints (PDF is similiar, except that your computer renders the page and then sends it to the printer). Another nice thing about Postscript is that any printer that supports Postscript will generally work with even the most basic Postscript printer driver (whether it was written for that brand of printer or not), making Postscript printers about the best for compatibility with just about any computer or OS. They also tend to be higher quality in general (not like the "Winprinters"). The best way I can put it is this: if a printer supports Postscript (emulation or not), then it's likely to be higher quality than one that doesn't, and it will cause you much less frustration later. They're affordable nowadays as well, for instance the HP 2300 does 1200dpi, 25ppm and postscript and it starts at only $645US - plus you can upgrade it to use wireless or ethernet AND it has a duty cycle of 50,000 pages per month. A printer with Postscript is still more expensive than the other alternatives, but in this case you really get what you pay for.... Unless you really have to go on the cheap, get a quality printer with Postscript. It will likely last forever - I've seen some 10 years old or more, and they still work just fine.

    For a really cool (if not particularly useful... :)) example of what Postscript can do, see this page:
    (the animated GIF is of a program called gv; it's like Acrobat Reader for ps files)

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