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  1. #1

    Buying a laser printer

    I need to buy a laser printer, but I'm very wary of the actual print quality of the actual print quality of different makes and models.

    For black and white laser printers, is there really a big difference in actual print copy, or will they generally be the same?

    Aside from the cost of consumables, which I know I have to watch out for, is there anything else I should really bear in mind when buying a laser printer?

    Comments appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    South East U.K.
    You need to weigh the cost of consumables against how many pages those consumables will print. Last time I checked there was a big difference between (for example) HP & Kyocera (although (I think) Kyocera consumables are more expensive they claim a hell of a lot more pages)

    Can't comment on print quality, if you're just printing text I don't think you'll notice the difference between different models.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    FTL on the Information Super Highway
    I don't have a laser printer myself, but I'll mention this. The "personal" Lexmark lasar printers at work (not the big networked ones) smears when I try to highlight the printed text with a florescent marker. It was quite a surprise to discover it's toner was such crap. I can't recall the particular model at the moment.

    On another note: the newest issue of PC Magazine has an review of the big networked laser printers ($1K - $3k price range). You can also read the article online:,1759,1558403,00.asp . You can also go to for reviews for Computer Shopper magazine.
    Serial Beggar
    Hate Your Family? Have No Friends? Make Me Your Beneficiary!

  4. #4
    I'm not actually too worried about the cost per page - just a case of making sure I get good quality. I figure price is a good indicator, but because of the way the whole pricing for printers is skewed in general, it's hard to tell whether that expensive laser printer is really good quality, or just asking for less creamed from the consumables.

  5. #5
    can't say for other brands but this Oki color laser printer i bought 2 weeks ago is astounding!! i imagine the quality is the same for black and white

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Knoxville, TN
    With lasers, you have to look at the cost of consumables, availability of consumables, and how often you have to replace the drum and how much it will cost.
    Speaking from experience, Okidatas are bulletproof. I had one for seven years that was retired last year -- only because I dropped it from the top of the car to the street.
    I didn't hesitate to replace it with an Oki. Both have produced incredibly sharp, crisp type when I use the more expensive laser paper and the full resolution setting. Output is still nice and sharp when I use cheapo paper and the "draft" setting that saves toner. A great setting for every day use.
    Not all lasers have that setting. I wouldn't buy one without it. You also need to see how well the printer sets the toner on the paper and how long it takes to churn out the first page.
    Okidata and HP are probably the top of the line when it comes to lasers. The little Kyocera has gotten some good reviews. Check the cost of consummables, though. I've never had to replace an Oki drum and usually replace the toner once a year. Cost of that is $30.
    Only problem with the Okis is they have a relatively flat top that my cats love to sleep on since it will get warm while the printer is on. Usually have to remove a cat before printing.
    Laura K.
    graphic design for grownups

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Western Canada
    Personally I like the HP line

  8. #8
    haham laura why don't you put a brick under one end so it leans over and the cat falls of it lol

    the new oki i've just got quotes 5000 pages per color at %5 coverage, each color costs 120 which sounds expensive but is a fraction of the price for inkject cartridges for the same amount of pages printed

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