Looking for a cheap multifunction laser printer for Mac
July 14, 2011 1:15 PM   Subscribe

Looking for a low cost multifunction laser printer compatible with a Mac

I need to buy a printer to print resumes and cover letters. I'd like it to have the following features:

1. B&W- I don't need to print photos
2. Copier and scanner
3. No need for it to be wireless or networkable.
4. Fax would be nice, but isn't necessary.
5. Ideally cost under $200

posted by reenum to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: We just got a Canon Pixma that does do color and is wireless and faxes, for about $130. There were other MFCs on the shelf (Best Buy, it was an emergency) on sale around $99, but most of them were Brother, which the former printer - which just up and quit printing black without warning - was. So we decided to try something else.

Macbook Pro, Macbook, Windows 7 Netbook and Windows 7 PC all print happily to it and scan happily from it. Allegedly it will print from iPhones as well, but I haven't tried it.
posted by Lyn Never at 1:21 PM on July 14, 2011

In almost all cases, multifunction printers are garbage. I've seen it a million times.

They may work with the current generation of operating systems, but will never upgrade nicely. I strongly suggest you buy a nice refurb printer and a separate scanner/copier. You will be much happier, and the combination will work for many more years than a combo system.
posted by Invoke at 1:25 PM on July 14, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'm a big fan of HP home office multifunction printers. I have the HP Officejet 6500, it works very well and the spec page says it's Mac compatible.

If you want cheap: go for Lexmark, but you'll pay for it in ink.

I've heard good things about Kodak printers - and the ink costs are low.
posted by devnull at 1:33 PM on July 14, 2011

Best answer: I have this Brother MFC that has served me well. I can't remember exactly which one, but it does everything you're asking. As Invoke notes, I don't think it does anything especially well, but shit gets done. For instance, I think the out tray holds only 20 or so sheets, so if you're printing a long document, you have to hover and snatch the printouts before they cause a horrible jam.

But, again, it works. I've replaced the toner once in 4 years or so, and it cost me $40 for a knockoff on Amazon.

I paid $250 in 2007 for it. I don't know which are its descendants, but they have to be around your price point.

It was plug and play on the Mac (I've used it on a 2006 MacBook, a 2009 Mac Pro and a 2011 MacBook Pro).
posted by Admiral Haddock at 1:35 PM on July 14, 2011

I've had pretty good luck with Dell's line of multifunction printers. I have an 1815dn at home, which has been very reliable and easy to use in a house full of OS X and Windows machines. It doesn't look like the 1815dn is made any longer, but Dell is currently selling a slightly slower (but mostly comparable) 1135dn model for $140. It has the features you want (including fax), as well as a 10/100 network interface, which has proven to be very handy in my house.
posted by strangecargo at 1:37 PM on July 14, 2011

Much like the accursed WINMODEMs before them, Dell printers rely on software in Windows to operate, which is why they are cheap (and slow).

This also means they often do not work with Macs, and when they do, setting one up requires jumping through hoops. I'd recommend staying away from Dell printers for this application.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:45 PM on July 14, 2011

Best answer: I have a fleet of these deployed at work, and they are Mac compatible: Samsung SCX-4623F
posted by deezil at 1:48 PM on July 14, 2011

Best answer: We just bought an HP M1212nf MFC laser machine, $200 at Staples. So far so good, and yes, Mac compatible.
posted by tremspeed at 3:03 PM on July 14, 2011

I don't have direct experience with the 1135dn, but the 1815dn I have at home most definitely does *not* require software to operate under OS X. I wouldn't call the 1135dn "slow" at 22ppm, it's just slower than the 27ppm that the 1815dn does. Since it's got an ethernet port on it, all I had to do find the printer via Bonjour and choose the generic postscript driver. I eventually installed the Dell drivers for the printer, but they were not required for operation. I really have no idea how Dell sells their printers for so cheap, but I can say for a fact that there's a real postscript rasterizer in the one I have.
posted by strangecargo at 4:51 PM on July 14, 2011

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