Great HP Color LaserJet Printers

A few years back, the HP Color LaserJet 2550 series had some of the best color laser printers. The HP Color LaserJet 2550L was very affordable at the time for less than $500 and came with a nice design, very good print quality, network capabilities, and was highly expandable so you had the option to upgrade as your businesses printing needs changed. Due to this, the supplies for the HP Color LaserJet 2550 series are still in high demand. For a decent price, you can still replace your HP Q3964A Imaging Drum, HP Black Toner Cartridge for Color LaserJet 2550, 2820 and 2840 Series (part HP Q3960A), and the HP High Capacity Magenta Toner Cartridge for Color LaserJet 2550, 2820 and 2840 Series (part HP Q3963A). A family member of mine still has his HP 2550L printer in his home office, and it still works great. If you own one as well, you can find any needed support and download drivers and software at the HP website.

I will note that the HP 2550 Color LaserJet printers are discontinued currently and are, therefore, unavailable. What printer should you buy, then, if you are shopping for a great color laser printer? One of the best, affordable color laser printers today is the HP Color LaserJet 3600n. The design couldn’t make clearing paper jams and maintenance any easier and has a printing speed of 17 ppm (pages-per-minute) for black and color. It produces good text documents, sharp images and is fully networkable for your office. Not only is the printer itself a decent price, but it has a low cost for consumables as well. I found the HP Yellow Toner Cartridge for the Color LaserJet 3600 Series (part HP Q6472A) at the low price of only $127.99. The toner cartridge can print approximately 4,000 pages at 5% coverage – that’s a great value! The HP Color LaserJet 3600n will deliver performance and reliability right out of the box like many other HP printers. You can find better color laser printers, but you will pay a much higher price tag for a bit crisper text documents and additional features you probably won’t use. I feel the HP 3600n Printer is a great value and will suit most users’ needs.

Save Money on Ink and Toner Cartridges

Don’t you hate the fact that printer Manufacturers seem to rip us off with consumables such as ink and toner? It seems like they practically give away certain printers only to charge ridiculous prices on the ink and toner cartridges. Well don’t be discouraged; I have a few ways to save money on toner before and after you have purchased a printer.

After: If you already have a printer, there are a couple ways to save money on toner cartridges. First, if you see the “low toner” light on do not immediately replace the cartridge. Most often when that light goes off, the printer actually has enough ink to print several more pages – maybe even 50 or more. Just wait until the quality is actually reduced and then replace the cartridge. If you’re a home user and don’t really care about the print quality then wait until you can’t read the text anymore and replace the cartridge.

Also, as ridiculous as it sounds, shaking the toner cartridge itself actually lengthens the life of the cartridge. By taking the toner cartridge out and shaking it, you are actually waking up your cartridge for a few more print cycles. Lately, I’ve seen a few TV commercials poking fun at this practice, but they’re mentioning it because it actually works!

Before: If you are about to purchase a printer and want to save money on ink and toner take note of the tips to follow. Some printers come with the toner and drum unit as one and others they are separate. Because you usually end up replacing toner more than the drum, it will be more expensive if they are combined, so buy one that is separate. Always buy printers that have separated toners so you can replace them individually, otherwise you will be throwing your money away.

Another way to save money is to pay attention to the yield of the toner cartridge. The yield helps determine how many pages you can print before running out of ink or toner so it is important to understand what the yield number means. Yield is expressed as a number of pages printed at a certain amount of text coverage per page (i.e. 5000 pages at 5% coverage). The more pages the cartridge can print, the better. When buying a printer remember: the lower the cost of toner cartridges, the lower the total cost of ownership for the printer.

Generic vs. Name Brand Ink

Refill Ink Cartridge

In order to save money in hard times like these people often turn to generics to lower their costs. Ink is one of these items that people sometimes turn to generics because of their sometimes high prices. However, these cheaper generic ink cartridges may not be saving you money on printer supplies the long run. There are a number of factors to take into consideration when figuring out the ROI of your ink cartridge including prints per cartridge, longevity of prints, and quality of the prints. These factors actually make buying name brand ink over alternative “cheaper” options a better choice for you.

In addition, many of the re manufactured, refilled or generic cartridges can actually damage the printer itself. These ink cartridges are not designed specifically for you printer and have a tendency to bleed or spill into your printer causing damage and costing you more money in the long run.

You will actually save more money and time in the long run by buying the inkjet cartridges made specifically for your printer by the printer’s manufacturer, and this will ensure quality prints every time. One tip, however, to extend the life of the brand-name ink cartridges is to wait until the ink completely runs out versus replacing the cartridge as soon as the “low-ink” light comes on. This warning usually comes on well before you need to replace the ink.

You can visit HP’s website for more detailed information about the truth about discount ink cartridges.  They have even more fantastic photos and articles regarding the subject.