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.

Advertisements

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.

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.

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.

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.