Wanted: Network-Ready Printer for Student Abuse
March 16, 2004 4:29 PM   Subscribe

My faithful HP 520 black inkjet printer, our very first ever networked printer, died after 10 years of use (and abuse) by high school students. (Sniff!) (Please see inside for more)

I wonder if anyone can recommend a good network-ready printer for student use, which mostly consists of printing word processing and from the internet. Are there websites that offer price comparisons such as the cost of the printer vs. its replacement cartridges that anyone can recommend? Thanks.
posted by Lynsey to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
Mac or PC? If Mac, my old school bought a LaserWriter II when they came out in the early 1990s and it's still going strong, so I'm told. My work uses HP LaserJet 4MVs and those things are bombproof. Five years of heavy, heavy service and it hasn't failed once.

Do you *need* an inkjet? From what I hear they work out more expensive if you're just making mono prints. They're razor-and-blade, unlike lasers. Hell, it's cheaper to buy a new inkjet each time than drop the money on a replacement cartridge.
posted by bonaldi at 4:41 PM on March 16, 2004

I'd look at some of the HP Laserjets. For black text, your cost per page will be about 2-3 cents (versus 10 cents on an inkjet).
Ours have stood up to amazing abuse at the hands of college students and not missed a beat.
posted by Coffeemate at 4:41 PM on March 16, 2004

Response by poster: Sorry, I should have said, we are biplatformic, PC and Macs, the printer will run off a Windows 2000 server. And to answer bonaldi's question, it was donated to our high school library by a Masonic lodge 10 years ago and we were ever so grateful....:)
posted by Lynsey at 4:49 PM on March 16, 2004

Start by looking at HP laser printers, choose the one that is most suitable for your needs from their range, then stop looking and buy it.
posted by dg at 5:55 PM on March 16, 2004

Or, if you can find a used one, i'd second the call for the 4MV. They really last forever.
posted by amberglow at 6:41 PM on March 16, 2004

Lynsey: I don't know about being network-ready but, thanks to the advice in this AskMe thread I bought a Samsung ML-1710 (but go to the official Samsung web site, if you're interested, to look at the full specs and manual) for around $200 (including a full replacement toner cartridge) and it's been fantastic. It's mono and a little noisy starting up but it's fast, robust and savvy.

There's a lot of good advice in the thread too. Good luck!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:29 PM on March 16, 2004

I <3 my samsung ml-1710, but i'm not sure how easily that could be networked. the paper tray is flimsier and of lower capacity than any hp, and the toner lasts 2500 pages (versus at least 5000 for an hp).br> For lab use, stick with HP.
posted by Coffeemate at 8:24 PM on March 16, 2004

The printers that have served us the best (high school) are HP laser printers in the 4 and 5 series. The toner is readily available and usually way cheaper than other varieties. Some of the 5 series have networking built-in, if not you can get one of these which has worked well for us too.

In a new school in the district, we are using HP 1300Ns.

Stay away from InkJets if you can. The cost of ink is prohibitive in a high-volume enviroment severely increasing the total cost of ownership of the device. On top of that several models that we bought came with "best if used by" dates as they are all starting to die around age 4.
posted by plinth at 5:37 AM on March 17, 2004

By networked, do you mean plugged into a Windows machine and then shared to the network, or actually physically plugged into the network?
posted by zsazsa at 10:37 AM on March 17, 2004

Response by poster: I meant plugged into the network. The old printer had a HP Jetdirect 150 (serial port) which of course, is way too old skool for the new fancy schmancy HP Laser Jet 1300n that I ordered just before MeFi went offline earlier today! Yes! Thanks everyone for your help. New printer is on the way; free shipping, too!
posted by Lynsey at 4:54 PM on March 17, 2004

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