best laserjet printer?
April 28, 2006 8:45 PM   Subscribe

What is the best postscript monochrome printer for the mac?

I'm dizzy with the choices, and I put it to the mefites for some real-world experience in this.
Here's exactly what I want
Laser printer
Monochrome (I already have an inkjet for color, and laser color sucks pretty much anyway for the cheaper models)
Mac Compatible (osx, and on a wireless (airport) network)
High print quality (1200dpi)

Now, this is for personal use, but I want it for both text and pictures, my hp1200 laserjet is impossibly slow with images. I want something faster.
Funnily enough, I don't need it to be the fastest kid on the block for text. Just within a reasonable time period please.

If I really had my druthers, I'd get it 11x17 and with a duplexer, but neither is a dealbreaker.

Oh, and budget? how about 600 bucks, give or take.
What the hell should I get. HP seems to have like 8 models at every price range. I don't need scanning, I don't want fax. Just a great, high quality, fast workhorse that can handle my image printing.

Finally: a side question- anyone have any experience with hooking up multiple usb printers through a hub to an airport express base station?
Is it mind-numbingly difficult?
posted by asavage to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
can't help you pick a printer, but I can tell you that the airport express will only recognize one printer, even if you connect omre than one via a hub. To share multiple printers wirelessly, you need something like this.
posted by pmbuko at 9:09 PM on April 28, 2006

I don't think any laser works well with photos. Desktop B&W photos work best printed on an inkjet with all the colors (and yes, you can get very neutral tones). Are you talking about line-art? What resolution do you need for the images? Maybe I'm thinking of printers with higher quality than you need.
posted by johngumbo at 9:10 PM on April 28, 2006

To get 11x17 and duplexer for $600 you are going to have to go with a used printer - try checking ebay for the Laserjet 5 Si.

The photo output will be marginal - large areas of black will not saturate very well..
posted by Chuckles at 10:24 PM on April 28, 2006

I don't know if there's a wifi adapter for it yet, but I love the HP 2100 I use at work. They seem pretty adaptable and the output is great.
posted by lekvar at 10:38 PM on April 28, 2006

I recently picked up a Brother HL-2070N for real cheap (200 CAD). It is an amazing printer. Network support, USB2, 1200dpi. My macbook picks it up without any additional drivers. It will start blinking red once in a while if i leave it on while attached via USB, and the host computer goes to sleep. Doing a power cycle fixes it usually, but I just moved it off onto my lan and it hasn't happened since.
posted by clord at 11:15 PM on April 28, 2006

I bought an HP Laserjet 5 on ebay for £50. It does everything you say, and I've never noticed it being slow. Our picture desk use one at the office for the hundreds of pictures they print a day, and have never noticed a problem.
posted by bonaldi at 5:23 AM on April 29, 2006

agreeing with lekvar - I like my 2100 as well, and it's speedy enough with extra RAM. (if you go that route make sure you get one with the postscript upgrade kit - the base model only supports PCL.) FWIW, if your printer is slow you may want to see if you can upgrade the RAM - it doesn't take long for the mechanical bits to print stuff, but it does take awhile for the computery bits to render your page. more memory helps there.

if you want something new and inexpensive, newegg has this, which is a Lexmark. or, if you want to stick with HP, you could try this. both HP and Lexmark make wireless adapters for their network lasers, though since they both have just plain ethernet ports on them, you could always bridge them to your wireless network using a wireless bridge if you don't wanna fiddle around with the printer sharing stuff on your airport express. (note that the wireless bridges will not work with a printer that doesn't have an ethernet port.)
posted by mrg at 10:58 AM on April 29, 2006

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