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.

Brother HL-4040CN Printer Review

Brother’s HL-4040CN printer was designed for small offices and home users. I tested out the Brother printer this weekend, and here is what I found:

Overall, the HL-4040CN printer has great print quality, decent speed, and plenty of useful features. The printer prints at about 21 ppm black, and a little bit slower ppm for color (it says 21ppm for color, but it’s probably more like 18-19 ppm). Black text was generally very crisp and color output was good, although there was a bit of yellowish, grainy, color-banding on large color images. I would say the quality is perfect for home users and office use, but not quite at the standard required to send out print materials to clients.

The Brother HL-4040CN is network-ready and offers additional features such as reprint and secure print, direct-print, USB port for cameras and flash drives, and has a great LCD control panel with basic functionality. The Reprint and Direct Print buttons allow you to print without touching your computer, which can be handy. The Brother printer also has a 250-sheet paper tray and a 50-sheet manual input tray, although the later is unmarked and hard to find. The high-yield toner cartridges are economical, but for a home user, it is a bit pricey to replace its four laser toner cartridges – It all depends on how much you print and what types of documents you print whether this printer is a great deal for you or not.

For its $350-$400 price range, the Brother HL-4040CN printer is a great deal for home users and small offices due to its easy and convenient features, great print quality and decent speed. Because of the quality of its average color imaging, it’s not the best match for users who need color images with excellent print quality.

Zebra Printers – Are They Right for You?

You’ve probably come across Zebra printers and wondered what and who they are for and if they fit your needs. Zebra is best known for their specialty label printing solutions and reliable bar code printing solutions and mainly serves the business and government markets. They have over 30 years experience and are a trusted brand for 90% of Fortune 500 companies.

Some of the most popular thermal label printers are the TLP 2844-Z desktop thermal laser printer, TLP 2844, LP 2844, ZM600, S600 and the LP 2824 direct thermal printer. Some of the most popular card printers are the P110i card printer, P330i, P640i and the P320i card printer.

Zebra printers typically get rave reviews and are very durable and reliable; a great investment for your company. Other than their most well-known products, their thermal printers, they also have a boat-load of other great products including software, networking products, and even enterprise solutions.

Zebra Resource:
Download a driver for your Zebra printer.

HP Photosmart A636 Printer Review

I’ve seen some rave reviews on the HP Photosmart A636 compact photo printer, and I do like HP printers, so I had to get my hands on one to see what all the fuss was really about. Is it as good as they claim, you ask? Here’s my take:

The HP Photosmart A636 has a great, compact printer body, weighing only 3.4 lbs., a built in handle for easy portability, and prints at a relatively decent speed. But what makes this printer so fabulous is its 4.8” touch screen that offers great convenience features. Directly on the touch pad you can edit photos. It gives you the ability to crop, adjust brightness, add a frame, draw on the image and even create greeting cards (which I personally love to do for the Holidays). It also has this “pet eye” feature which in addition to fixing red eyes on humans will find green, white and yellow eyes pets often have in pictures and fix them as well. The printer also has the ability to not only print 4×6” photos, which most standard photo printers are able to do, it also can print 5×7” photos at a touch of a button.

The other fantastic feature is the A636’s effortless driver installation – a truly innovative feature. You can actually install the driver directly from the printer by connecting it by USB and that’s it! To print from a USB flash drive, memory card or PictBridge camera, all you have to do is plug in the power cord, snap in the one cartridge and load paper; it’s as simple as that.

So, the short answer to the question is yes – The HP Photosmart A636 is a great compact photo printer. I would definitely recommend it.

How does a Laser Printer Work?

Courtesy of IBM Inc.

Courtesy of IBM Inc.

There are many different types of printers out there on the market, all with a different method to printing. Most people can guess how an inkjet printer prints due to the name it’s given, but do you know how a laser printer prints? How does a laser beam print text and images on a sheet of paper? It’s actually quiet interesting (at least I think so) and is based off some simple scientific principles – definitely worth taking a look.

Find out how a laser printer works and the history of a laser printer. The first laser printer can be credited to IBM. IBM built the first commercial implementation of a laser printer with the IBM model 3800 in 1975.

Dot Matrix Printers

Courtesy of Super Warehouse

Courtesy of Super Warehouse

While I thought these were gone long with the dinosaurs, dot matrix printers are still being built and purchased today. This is mainly due to the economy and the fact these printers are relatively cheap to buy, cheap to maintain and very durable, but also due to their unique features.

What is a dot matrix printer you might ask? A dot matrix printer is a type of printer that produces characters, or text, and illustrations by means of striking pins against an ink-soaked cloth ribbon on paper to print closely spaced dots in the appropriate shape (much like a typewriter). They do not produce high-quality output to say the least, but they do have the ability to print multi-page forms (carbon copies) and they can print relatively quickly.

A dot matrix printer’s speed is measured by characters per second (cps). The speed can vary between about 50 to well-over 500 cps. While I said before the quality is below-par, the quality actually is determined by the number of pins the printer has, because the pins are the mechanisms that print the dots. These printers can have between 9 and 24 pins; 24 pins being the best. 24 pin dot matrix printers can print near letter-quality type, but they do make a lot of noise when printing.

Popular dot matrix printer brands are Epson printers, Okidata printers, Panasonic printers, and Tally printers. While dot matrix printers may not be the “sexiest” printers on the market or have the best quality print out there, they are the workhorses of the printing world and are ideal for organizations that do a lot of invoicing each day. Dot matrix printers have touch, reliable performance and one of the lowest costs per page due to their ability to use paper rolls rather than expensive individual sheets.

Samsung CLP-315

Courtesy Samsung Inc.

Courtesy Samsung Inc.

If you are interested in a color laser printer, but aren’t sure if you can afford one (seeing how color laser printers usually carry a price tag of between xxx and $xxx), don’t worry I have the printer for you. I recently had a date with the popular Samsung CLP-315 Color Laser Printer because I wanted to see what all the commotion was about. Samsung proudly claims that the CLP-315 is one of the world’s smallest color lasers and I must agree. At only 9.6 inches tall by 15.3 inches wide by 12.3 inches deep, it is the smallest color laser printer I’ve ever had my hands on. Usually I find color laser printers to take up most of a desk and tower above you. These massive color laser printers are typically designed for the corporate environment. However, this little color laser printer is designed as a personal printer, and fits easily on a desktop without dominating it.

In order to keep the cost so low, Samsung has had to cut a few corners. The printer does not come with Wi-Fi, which is important if you want to network your printer. But, seeing how this is meant to be a personal color laser printer, then connecting the printer with a USB cord should be quiet alright. Samsung also had designed the printer with only a 150 sheet paper capacity and a slower color printing speed due to the four-pass printing. This means that for color prints the paper needs four passes – each one pass for each toner color. This results in a speedy 17 pages per minute for monochrome and only a 4 pages per minute for color. Setting up is really easy, however, seeing how it comes shipped with the toner cartridges already placed inside the printer. I did a price analysis, and the clp-315 toner is pretty decent – Shop around and you’ll find it for a great price.

The bottom line, however, is the Samsung CLP-315 color laser printer offers a lot for a small price tag (as with most samsung printers). For home users that are watching their money in this horrible economy, you’ll get a great compact printer that prints text and graphics better than inkjets, and graphic outputs better than most color lasers with vibrant colors and smooth fills. Text quality isn’t as crisp as other lasers, but this is okay for most home users. You do trade in speed, paper capacity, and Wi-Fi for the money, but your average home user will realistically be fine with this trade-in. In the end, it’s a great deal and would probably be worth more money.

Cat vs Printer

I thought I’d lighten up this Wednesday hump-day to get us through the week. It’s a YouTube video I find hilarious. Enjoy!

Cat vs Printer YouTube Video

Lexmark X7675 Pro Review

Courtesy of Lexmark Inc

Courtesy of Lexmark Inc

Recently I had the pleasure of playing around with a close friend’s new printer and I wanted to give you the full review. The Lexmark X7675 Pro Multifunction Inkjet Printer has its pluses and minuses, but overall, the printer is a great option compared to several other multifunction inkjet printers.

The pluses: This printer comes with extensive network connectivity as standard, including Ethernet and Wi-Fi support. I found that the Wi-Fi setup time and process was extremely easy compared to most. The onscreen guide helped me setup and print a page in only about five minutes! The Lexmark printer also has a duplexer for printing on both sides, auto document feeder, and is compatible with high yield cartridges. Additional bonuses include intuitive control panels that make the most common device settings easy to adjust, OCR scanning software, and an outstanding and generous five-year warranty program for great peace-of-mind.

The minuses: I’ll be honest; the printer is not as fast as it claims. I was definitely pacing, waiting for the sheets to spit out, but the quality was decent. The other negative is it can only hold up to 100 sheets of paper, while other competitors can hold up to 250 sheets of paper. I would have liked it better if it could hold more paper and if it came with some advanced paper handing options.

All in all, the Lexmark X7675 Pro gives office professionals and advanced home users an easy-to-use tool to print clear media, fax documents, and scan text and photos. The device holds-up to its promises to streamline initial setup processes and establish a Wi-Fi connection quickly and pain-free. This printer comes with some great additional features. I would suggest, however, that if you are a home user looking for a cheap plug-and-print printer, that this may not be the one for you, but it is excellent for more advanced users. Therefore, this printer gets a solid recommendation from me like several other lexmark printers from different printer categories.

Wireless Printers – How does that Bluetooth Technology really work?

Now a day, most everyone has a device with Bluetooth technology. Most people, especially California residents, have a Bluetooth hands-free headset due to the cell phone law. But do you really know how it works? Often times we take for granted these technologies and just accept that they work and leave it at that. However, I think you’ll find it interesting to know how Bluetooth technology works and how it differs from other similar technologies.

Bluetooth works by transmitting low-powered radio signals in the 2.4GHz range. Unlike other technologies that require line-of sight positioning, Bluetooth is omni-directional and can communicate with devices at a distance and even extend and penetrate through walls, doors and even different levels of buildings.

Bluetooth can be found not only in hands-free headset devices and cell phones but also laptops, computers, entertainment systems and printers. The cool thing about printers equipped with Bluetooth is that they can communicate wirelessly to digital cameras and download all your new photos in a flash. Just think: you can wirelessly download pictures and instantly print out your photos to show relatives who may be visiting.

For Bluetooth or wireless printers, I prefer hp printers. They are feature rich, have beautiful resolution and color clarity, and are very affordable. I also recommend the PIXMA line of canon printers. They are a good value and often come with an LCD display to preview your photos so you don’t even need to login to a computer.