What's a good cheap Linux-compatible laser printer?
July 28, 2006 10:03 AM   Subscribe

What's a good cheap Linux-compatible laser printer?

B&W printing is all I need. I don't expect to print more than 200 pages a month. It doesn't need fancy networking abilities. It doesn't have to be super-high-speed. No need for a multi-function scanner/copier/printer thing either.

I run Kubuntu 6.06 machines. I'm not afraid to do a bit of extra configuration to get it working, but I'd rather not have to install anything from outside the main repositories.

My only other criterion is that it isn't an Epson (I've been burned too many times).

posted by hoverboards don't work on water to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've been looking for a printer for the same basic needs as you, and while I haven't actually gone out and bought anything, yet, I'm strongly leaning toward the Brother HL-2040. It's cheap, the toner doesn't cost more than the printer, and according to linuxprinting.org "mostly" works with Linux (as in, it'll print, but may not do all the fancy stuff you could do under Windows). I've also used another Brother laser printer from my Linux machine (the printer was shared via Samba from another Linux machine) and managed to get everything working (though I had some hassles using the basic CUPS utilities; your experience may vary with a direct connection and different config tool).
posted by Godbert at 10:08 AM on July 28, 2006

Buy a used HP... I loved my HP Laserjet 6MP I paid $100 for.. THe parallel jetdirects (ethernet to parallel) are like $20 on ebay. See if anyone locally has an old HP4000 series for sale (I got a Hp4050 w/ 3 toners, a duplexer, and two paper trays for $25 at a state surplus auction)

Any printer that does 'PCL' should work. Most of the new USB HP's are a pain to get working, but do kinda work.
posted by SirStan at 10:14 AM on July 28, 2006

Most cheapie Samsungs seem to come with Linux drivers these days. It usually says right on the box. Dependability-wise, I've have very good service from mine.
posted by bonehead at 10:28 AM on July 28, 2006

Second the cheapie Samsung. I have a Lexmark (rebadged Samsung) that I got for ~$70 on sale at Fry's. I've seen them as low as $50, I think. USB or parallel, and works great with Linux.
posted by spacewrench at 10:42 AM on July 28, 2006

Definitely look at linuxprinting.org before making a final decision.

I've been happy with my HP 1012, but they don't seem to be available anymore, and most other entries in the HP 10** series seem to have taken dramatic steps backwards in Linux compatibility.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 10:56 AM on July 28, 2006

Seconding the HP4000 series. They're tanks, and as long as you're not mixing paper types everything works nicely.
posted by djb at 10:59 AM on July 28, 2006

Second for the used HP's.

You'll pay under $50 on Craigslist for an HPLaserJet 4 with a working cartridge - Ones without cartridges are practically free. New cartridges go for about (you guessed it) $50 on eBay, or are $100 off the shelf at Staples. Reload/rebuilds are $50 from reputable dealers (Like Cartridge World, if you've got one in your area), a little less off of eBay.
posted by Orb2069 at 11:02 AM on July 28, 2006

Yep, it's all about the used HPs. I've got a 6P at home that works great. Stick with the flat ones, like this or this, not the upright ones like this that run into paper feed issues.

Also buy refurbished if possible, and if you can buy a printer that includes a brand-new toner cartridge, since toner will still be at new-printer prices.
posted by mendel at 11:30 AM on July 28, 2006

***************** Absolutely do NOT buy the upright models as mendel already warned. *****************

They are infamous for feed problems. The 6P/MP and 4k series are cheap and tanks.
posted by SirStan at 8:08 PM on July 28, 2006

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