ISO black & white laser printer w/ copier scanner functionality
September 22, 2017 9:15 AM   Subscribe

Hi folks. I would like some recommendations for laser printers. I am finding the multitudes of options and inconsistent user reviews to be overwhelming so I hope the trusted MeFite community can help. Details below.

So basically, I'm looking for a black & white laser printer, with copier and scanner functionality. Fax not necessary (and I'd prefer NOT to have a fax function at all - I will never use it).

I definitely want a laser printer rather than ink.

I'd like to keep the price lower than $500 if possible. (Maybe it's not possible, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.)

Suggestions welcome - especially from those who have actual experience using the printer you recommend.

Thank you!
posted by thereemix to Shopping (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
We have been very happy with this Brother Multifunction (for over two years). My two minor complaints are (1) scanning is not super-intuitive and it took me a few minutes to figure out how to do it the first time, and (2) sometimes it seems like the toner settles away from the toner fill sensor, and we get a false alarm that the toner is almost out. I have read that some people solve this by putting a piece of tape over the sensor, since you will know when the toner is low when the printing starts to degrade. Instead we take out the toner cartridge and shake it up really well.
posted by muddgirl at 9:21 AM on September 22 [1 favorite]

I've had consistent problems with my Brother printer (which lacks the scanner, but is basically the base model of the line that would include the scanner) falling into "deep sleep" and refusing to acknowledge print requests unless I turn it on and off. Google tells me I'm far from the only one.

You should definitely be able to get away for under $500, though--the printer/scanner in that line is under $150. B&w laser printers are way cheaper these days.
posted by praemunire at 9:25 AM on September 22 [1 favorite]

Brother is absolutely the way to go. I haven't tried their scanners, but their laser printer has been far and away the best, least expensive, most reliable printer I have owned since the Apple Imagewriter II.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:26 AM on September 22

Seconding the Brother DCP-L2540DW, it's treated us great for a couple years now. Got ours cheap at Staples. Only complaint I have is that it seems to lose its wifi config when we lose power unexpectedly, so we have it wired to the router.
posted by Sternmeyer at 9:27 AM on September 22

Every multi-function device I've ever worked with had lousy scanning features. Some of them don't document their limitations ("oh, the feeder only does 200 dpi; only the flatbed scanning allows 300 dpi" - actual answer after I called in because I was frustrated with scanning results), others don't have many options at all, and most of them have scanner settings that are buried and hard to use. Instructions for scanning tend to be sparse and incomplete.

If scanning's important, look for a separate device for that. If it's an occasional need, and you don't mind the default settings, an all-in-one device works fine.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 9:27 AM on September 22 [1 favorite]

I deploy a lot of these Canon MF-232w at work. The usual office supply stores have them for less than $200. It does have a fax, but that doesn't get in the way, the scanner is good, and the print quality is pretty crisp.
posted by deezil at 9:32 AM on September 22

I have this Brother DCP-L2540DW multi-function laser, which is regularly available for around $125. It has an arcane 2 line LCD screen as the main interface, but if you are doing the bulk of your printing directly from your computer then you will not have to deal with it that much. One thing that I looked for when purchasing was a printer that would connect via wifi, and that supported Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print. It is very convenient to be able to directly print from your phone.
posted by shanewtravel at 9:34 AM on September 22

I've had an older Brother laser printer for years, and when it dies, I'll definitely buy a new one. The scanning software can be sort of irritating to use, but it works.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 9:40 AM on September 22

Brother equipment is nice, but the scanner you want isn't connected to a printer. The scanner you really want is one of the Fujitsu ScanSnap scanners.
posted by Wild_Eep at 9:56 AM on September 22

Nthing the Brother DCP-L2540DW. Mine's from Target, I got my mother to buy one and she loves hers too. I rarely copy but print/scan at least a few times a week and except for some nonsense where I was trying to get it to connect to two different laptops and it never knew where to connect, haven't had any issues. A+ would purchase again,.
posted by jabes at 10:04 AM on September 22

Yes, I also have the Brother DCP-L2540DW and am very happy with it.
posted by ktkt at 10:47 AM on September 22

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