Need recommendations for a new printer/scanner
November 21, 2017 6:52 PM   Subscribe

I'm planning to buy a new printer/scanner soon. I'd like to keep it under $100. I print mostly text documents (plus the occasional picture), and want something that will do auto double-sided printing. Oh, and NOT HP. When I look around online, most say they are wireless. I have a desktop computer and no WiFi. Can these wireless printers be attached to a computer the old fashioned way? Any recommendations for what to buy and/or what to avoid would be greatly appreciated.
posted by Dolley to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
If you only print pictures rarely I would get a black&white laser printer, then pay for color photo prints as needed, so much cheaper than an inkjet for supplies.
posted by TheAdamist at 7:08 PM on November 21, 2017 [4 favorites]

You can connect them the old-fashioned way through USB. I agree with TheAdamist -- assuming you rarely print pictures, I would get a B&W laser printer. To name a brand, I'm a big fan of Brother laser printers, and though I don't know this unit in particular the Brother DCPL2520DW looks like a decent combo printer/scanner.
posted by crazy with stars at 7:39 PM on November 21, 2017 [2 favorites]

Brother MFC-J680DW is $89. It's a color inkjet if you need that. Otherwise the laser crazy with stars recommended is a good pick.

It does have a USB connection if you don't want to use the wireless feature (most "wireless" printers do, they're generally not solely wireless).
posted by kindall at 7:45 PM on November 21, 2017

I'm really happy with my brother MFC-J680DW. It's a quiet workhorse and prints from my phone wirelessly which has helped in a pinch. I have a black and white laser as back up for lots of documents, but this is so easy, I end up using it 95% of the time. It works with a USB cable as well.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 8:36 PM on November 21, 2017

I got tired of buying cheap ink jet printers and having to buy ink every few months when the ink dried up or the nozzles failed. I would maybe print 100 pages a year and the cost per page was rediculous. Like those above, I decided to buy a Brother B&W laser because they were highly rated, affordable, and the toner lasts for thousands of pages and is not expensive. I got the MCF-L2700DW because I wanted a good automatic feeder. It was just over a hundred last year for Black Friday and probably will be closer this year.
For the Brother printers and most others with wireless, you can set them up and use with USB cable. You can always buy a cheap wireless router and set it up on an network with just the printer, even if it not connected to the internet. It really comes in handy to be able to print from your phone.
posted by Short End Of A Wishbone at 9:30 PM on November 21, 2017 [1 favorite]

Printers that tout their wifi capability can usually connect to a computer with a USB cable but it might have to be purchased separately; check the "What's in the box" description.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:58 PM on November 21, 2017

Seconding the Brother MCF-L2700DW (though the DCP-L2540DW has most of the same features except for the fax for a little lower price).
posted by fairmettle at 3:11 AM on November 22, 2017

I've fixed a lot of computers, visited a lot of houses containing computers, and seen endless problems with every brand of inkjet.

I've never seen a Brother laser printer cause trouble. Even their low-end ones seem pretty well built.

But all the really cheap to buy and cheap to run laser printers will be monochrome only, which doesn't help you much with your occasional picture printing task. My best advice there is to get the cheap mono laser anyway (if it's a multifunction, the scanner will still scan in color) and handball the occasional photo to Snapfish.
posted by flabdablet at 7:26 AM on November 22, 2017

The reason everyone is recommending laser printers is because ink-jet printers operate on an evil business model that will make you hate the universe. You'll find yourself unable to print out something in black and white because your magenta ink cartridge is out of ink. You'll find that the colored ink has 'expired' because it hasn't been used in a recent enough time (and then you'll have to replace your black ink), you'll encounter DRM schemes that might be a felony to bypass, you'll find that it's cheaper to buy a new ink-jet printer than it is to buy a new set of ink.

If you're only angry at HP now because they've all you've experienced, it's like being angry at American Airlines after only having flown them, or angry at Citibank after only using the, or angry at Comcast because you've only used them - all of those entire industries will fill you with rage after you've encountered the one or two competitors.

Anyway, Nthing getting a cheap laser printer. The first cartridge will last you a ream of paper or so, and then the next one will last you forever (well, a lot longer, as the 'starter' cartridge doesn't come filled). Your printer-company rage will subside, and you'll be a happy human being again.

Personally I'm super happy with Costcos printing services, they charge less than the ink would cost you to print pictures.

After we got our laser printer we handed two ink-jets to Goodwill, and have been happy as heck with our printing for the past couple of years.
posted by el io at 1:23 AM on November 27, 2017

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