What's a good monochrome laser printer?
October 8, 2010 10:35 AM   Subscribe

Any recommendations for a prosumer monochrome laser printer?

I haven't owned a printer for practically a decade and I've grown used to using print shops and other public printers to meet my needs. I'm looking for something to print (mostly) academic articles, maybe with a few graphs here and there, and the occasional rasturbation. Any recommendations?
posted by dkleinst to Shopping (14 answers total)
I've had good luck with the Brother 2140 I bought a year ago. Cheap, works great as network or direct USB, and the toner isn't terribly expensive.

They have a rebate on the factory reconditioned ones right now at newegg. $65 gets you the printer with a starter toner good for about 1000 pages.

posted by cosmicbandito at 10:42 AM on October 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Note, I've got the 2140w, which has network printing. The $65 model is USB only.
posted by cosmicbandito at 10:50 AM on October 8, 2010

What counts as prosumer? This is definitely upmarket from CB's recommendation, but I use the HP P4014 constantly in the lab. It's speedy and does duplexing-- I highly recommend auto duplexing to, you know, save trees and stuff.
posted by supercres at 10:50 AM on October 8, 2010

Second the Brother 2140. It is great!
posted by FergieBelle at 10:51 AM on October 8, 2010

It might be difficult to find one, but I love my old HP Laserjet 4+. The thing just keeps going and, unlike more recent models that I am aware of, is practical to repair. I literally found it on a curb and replaced the exit roller assembly to get it running.

The downside is there is a parallel jack but no USB port. I got around that by finding a cheap ethernet board for it on fleabay and plugging it into my router so it appears on my home network.
posted by exogenous at 10:55 AM on October 8, 2010

I second the finding an old 4xxx series printer. If you can find the 4100 it would be better since that printer is supported by windows 7 still . The 4050 can work via the universal driver. These old printers are built like tanks. The ones we have here at work dont jam and are still running unlike all other printers hp or otherwise.
posted by majortom1981 at 11:14 AM on October 8, 2010

Nthing Brother's low end printers. I have a three-year-old Brother 2070N, which seems to be the older version of the 2140. It's excellent, and it was cheap.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 11:17 AM on October 8, 2010

I had an entry level Brother laser multifunctional, and everything worked great.
posted by qvantamon at 11:21 AM on October 8, 2010

At work, our workhorses are the HP Laserjet 4xxx series. I'm not certain what they're up to now, but these HPs all still Just Work. They're expensive as hell ($800+), but they have lifetimes in the decade range. We use them for has-to-be-right-the-first-time time-critical stuff. I have about 20 of so on various pieces of equipment and haven't had one fail on me since the old LJ4s (which had tractor feed problems).

At home, we use a Samsung 2851ND. It's networkable, plugs into the router, and prints double-sided. It cost about $230, I think. Very happy with it.
posted by bonehead at 11:25 AM on October 8, 2010

The Brother 2140. After a year, the cartridge announced that it was dying out and refused to print, but I performed the black tape trick on it. Printing started up again, still going strong, and it has been six months and counting.
posted by Xere at 11:52 AM on October 8, 2010

I have a LaserJet 5 that I got from an old job when they were getting rid of old equipment. It's built like a tank, has a monthly duty cycle of 35,000 pages, and pretty much all I've done with it is replace the toner cartridge. I think I've had the thing since 2003 and replaced the toner cartridge 2 or 3 times, at under $30 a pop. Did I mention built like a tank?

Note: steer clear of the 5L/6L models, they have known paper feed issues (there was a class action suit). Go for the big boxy ones.
posted by reptile at 11:53 AM on October 8, 2010

Having dealt with dozens of HP 4s over the years, I can't vouch for one. Their parts are going out of production. This means a year or 2 down the road, you may or may not be able to find cheap replacement parts. Also, print drivers for the Mac, though you can make them work with Gutenprint, are not exactly rock solid.

I also can vouch for the 4xxx series- it does indeed rock. Look on eBay and Craiglist for them- a lot of people don't realize their worth.

For the cheapo alternative, I do like the Brothers. I use a couple of 2170w's at work, which has wireless built in. It has a quite higher price per page print than a 4xxxx, but single users rarely get into the realm of that mattering.
posted by jmd82 at 12:15 PM on October 8, 2010

Nthing the Brother 2140. I've had the Brother 2040 (the older model) for 5 years and it's still going strong. Back then it cost me $50 after rebate. What a sweet deal.
posted by choochoo at 12:45 PM on October 8, 2010

I have a slightly higher-end Brother (the MFC-8860-DN), and I really like it. Having the ability to print in duplex mode is great, and having a duplex scanner has saved my bacon on multiple occasions. It's a pretty big beast, but it's well worth the footprint, in my opinion.
posted by tellumo at 6:13 PM on October 8, 2010

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