What to spend ~$360 on at Amazon.com? (Printer, Router, etc. Recommendations)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by KylePowers, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. KylePowers, Jan 23, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012

    KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    TL,DR: Looking for recommendations on a reliable, cost effective laser printer (not Lexmark, Epson) and a reliable, never-dropping-connection wireless router. Also looking for some bluetooth headphones.

    Hey everyone,

    I've decided to trade in some textbooks to Amazon as they offer the best rates I could find. That, of course, means it's simply Amazon credit. As a prime member, I get most things on Amazon, so assuming they hold to their ~$360 quote, I'll be making a few purchases soon.

    Now, these aren't superfluous expenditures (to an extent, I suppose). I'm in dire need of a new printer as this Lexmark inkjet POS I got with my iMac doesn't cope well with my network (it's also out of ink right now). Its duplex printing is often more miss than hit and the amount of ink it goes through makes printing nearly as expensive as my higher education :mad:

    I also need a new router (which may, or may not, relate to my printer networking issues). The current one I have is a D-link from like 5-6 years ago and has a broken antenna lol. I live in a studio apartment, so a wide-expanding network isn't much of a necessity. I do split my network with my neighbor, but the router is against our shared wall... so again, I don't think the network coverage is a big concern.

    These are pretty much the only two things I need, but any other recommendations on how to burn through the Amazon credit is certainly welcome (especially with Valentine's day coming up :p). Follows are some of my thoughts/needs:

    • Laser; want the 'best' (in my price range) print to cost ratio
    • Wireless; printer not near my desk/router
    • Used for college, resumes, etc
    • Mainly printing black/white documents, but occasional color diagrams, etc
    • Duplex preferred, but not a necessity
    • Doesn't have to be a scanner/copier, but it wouldn't hurt
    • Printing speed and paper tray size are not big concerns
    • Preferably not Lexmark or Epson
    Thoughts so far: I've been doing extensive research via Newegg and Amazon. I think I would prefer to go with the Brother brand, but not too sure. I know Amazon has this wireless, duplex, monochrome laser Brother printer for $99 with some fairly positive reviews, but also some negatives, so I'm not sure. Color laser printers seem to be pretty pricey, especially when you throw in wireless and duplex features.

    • iMac (wired), Macbook Air, Xbox 360 (wired), PS3 (wired), Printer (wireless), iPhone, neighbors desktop (wireless), my and his visitors
    • Would like to hook up my 2TB external USB HDD directly to the router for Time Machine backups rather than sharing it through my iMac as that seems to be a little tricky (possibly related to networking issues)
    • Reliable; I'm sick of dropped connections and inability to connect
    • Preferably one that will deal with an apartment complex with numerous networks in the vicinity (interference, etc), so maybe 5GHz?
    • I get 30Mbps down through my ISP if that's of any relevancy
    • I sometimes transfer large files from computer to computer wirelessly
    • I sometimes stream videos from computer to game console
    • Only need to cover a ~15x40ft area (two adjacent studio apartments)
    • Advanced networking options/settings/etc are not a big concern
    Thoughts so far: I really want an Apple Airport Extreme Base Station (need the ethernet ports), but its price puts me off. I'll pay the premium on Apple computers because I simply prefer OSX and the industrial design, but it doesn't make sense to me for a router where I have no desire for all the advanced networking it (presumably?) provides and when it'll just be stuck at the bottom of my desk. Now granted, it's probably more reliable than any other brand, but the price is meh.

    So I was looking at maybe a Linksys e3200 or e2500, but the reviews are pretty mixed (especially if you do Amazon vs Newegg). The most popular on Amazon is some Medialink branded one, which is weird as I've never heard of them. So in the end, I'm not really sure what I want or what I even need.

    And this is just for kicks, but I've been thinking about getting some bluetooth headphones. Any recommendations? I already have some Motorola S9s from, idk, 4 or so years ago, but I don't really like them. Not too sure if I want over the head, or behind the head, or over the ear, or on the ear, or in the ear. haha. I currently use some Klipsch s4i's and they're nice, but the wire seems so unnecessary this day in age. Anyone know of any upcoming bluetooth 4.0 headphones?

    Prefer to stay under or at the allotted ~$360.

  2. js81 macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008


    IMHO, Lexmark printers are decent enough, but guzzle the ink. I've always had WONDERFUL luck with HP (though the cost of ink is high), including the $29 Walmart special I use right now. :)

    As for a router, I formerly owned an Airport Express; though I was quite impressed with the ease of setup with Airport Utility, that was about it. Since it died, I've gone back to Netgear for less than half the price with no trouble at all.

    One other suggestion: Do you have a backup solution in place? If not, get yourself an external hard drive, NAS, home server, etc. Personally, I'd LOVE to have one of these: HP Proliant Microserver. Windows Home Server 2011 runs about $50 or so, and you can even do Time Machine backups to WHS now (with a free add-in).
  3. KylePowers thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    Ah, forgot to mention that! OP updated. I have a 2TB USB WD connected to my iMac that I share across the network with my MBA. But I have so many problems with my MBA and my network that I often just unplug the hard drive from my iMac and plug it into my MBA. Thanks for your response!
  4. dlim macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2012
    I have the Brother HL-2270DW laser printer and I love it.


    It has automatic duplex, you can buy cheap aftermarket toners through meritline (I've bought 2 and I've had 0 issues with them), and it can also be hooked up wirelessly. It's actually across my living room and just plugged into an outlet. It's set up to be wirelessly connected to my Wi-Fi, and my MBA had no trouble downloading and installing the drivers.

    I got it for less than $99.99 on amazon (B&H had some kinda special for like $70 or something? a few months back). But it's definitely one I would recommend to anyone and everyone.

    Edit: It's also black/white though, not color. I have some HP "All-in-one" printer I got from a slickdeals from Staples for my scanning/copying/color print needs.
  5. KylePowers thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    Yeah, that's the one I linked to in my OP. Great to hear some feedback on it though! The dual printer setup probably isn't a bad idea. I have two all-in-ones laying around doing nothing that could probably serve well for scanning (though truly I'd like to get rid of them). I could also bug my girlfriend to use her all-in-one when I need to print color/scan/copy... but she's already mad about how I've made her ink supply go low :p

    EDIT- How many pages would you say you go through before needing new toner? Any paper jams? Does 27ppm include printing with duplex? Speed isn't that big of a deal, just curious.
  6. dlim macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2012
    The toner that comes with it is a "starter toner" I think it lasted about 700 pages? There's a pretty detailed review on amazon (the most helpful review) that's spot on about the printer.


    That's the toner I bought. Every now and then there'll be a deal on it where you can get it for ~$20 shipped, or maybe less. Bought one to replace my "starter toner" and an extra one a few weeks after since I was so pleased with it.

    I've gone through about 3 reams of paper since 8/2011 and haven't had any paper jams, and I'm not too sure about the PPM. I'm sure detailed specs are somewhere, but it prints fast enough. I usually just start a print job and not even realize it's done. Or if it's a big print job, I'll start it and go shower or something.
  7. wordoflife, Jan 23, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2012

    wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    I have a Brother 2270DW and it is fantastic. Only paid $99 for it.
    Automatically prints on both sides of the page with a tick and I really like that. Plus, the wireless printing on my MacBook Pro has been working flawlessly. It still amazes me. The only problem is that it only does black and white but if you don't mind, then it's not bad. Plus, the 2600 page cartridge was only $40 or so on Amazon.

    (See the simple double side option)

    The only thing that concerns me is that the drum is about $80 to replace which is basically the price of a new printer. :confused: Not sure what I'll do about that but I guess I'll have enough time before I need to replace it.

    Looks like you guys are already talking about the 2270DW up there! Haha.
    Oh, here's a screenshot of the statistics page of my printer just so you get an idea of how it does.

    As you can see, minimal paper jams (3 out of 1200+ printed pages). And I'm pretty sure I caused those mess ups. As for the cartridge, you can see that under the log. I replaced the stock toner at 1076 pages (it's rated for 700 apparently ... or 1000) and right now I'm at 1353 pages so I'm at about 300 pages on my 2600 page cartridge.
  8. KylePowers thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    Woah nelly! How many pages do you get before you have to replace the drum? Thanks for the review and pictures though! I think I'll go with it :D

    Anyone have any reviews/recommendations for wireless routers and/or bluetooth headphones?
  9. dlimes13 macrumors 6502a


    May 3, 2011
    Perrysburg, OH
  10. KylePowers thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    Hmmm thanks for the recommendation! I'll look into it. It doesn't do duplex though, correct? I think I'd use duplex more than I'd use the all-one-features to be honest. I have some time so I'm still going to do some research.

    Anyone else have any other printer recommendations? Or router recommendations? Or opinions on bluetooth headphones?

    Cheers :D
  11. Corrosive vinyl, Jan 25, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
  12. KylePowers thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    Thanks for the links and suggestions! I'll be sure to poke around on Head-Fi and look into some Netgear routers :D
  13. KylePowers thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    Alrighty, so I just ordered a Brother 2270DW. It was on sale yesterday for $99, but now it's up to $105ish. Prior to yesterday, it had been at $130ish, but I had seen it the week before for in the $90s, so I waited it out. Can't wait to get it!

    Other things I ended up ordering (tech related, at least): The Apple Battery Charger (since I have a trackpad, keyboard, and magic mouse) and a 6ft MDP-to-HDMI cable to carry around in my backpack for my MBA (it was only ~$8).

    Decided to wait on getting a new router as the one I have hasn't been crapping out on me lately. So we'll see. *knock on wood*

    Still looking for a good bluetooth stereo headset. I think I would prefer something in the ears like these Sonys but the reviews aren't too great. And also, they came out in like 2009. Why haven't bluetooth stereo headsets progressed at all!?
  14. amy88 macrumors newbie

    Jan 29, 2012
    Totally agree.
  15. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2006
    ASUS RT-N66U is the best router I've ever had in terms of speed, reliability, and range. In fact, going on 32 days of uptime.
  16. unitethenations macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2007
    Can you read HFS+ drives when the drive is connected directly to the router? How about time machine backups?

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