A good printer for my Intel iMac, under £100, for general personal use?
May 17, 2007 1:58 PM   Subscribe

Recommend a good printer for my Intel iMac, under £100, for general personal use? Mostly for text - doubt I'll be printing many photos. Thanks!
posted by Ira.metafilter to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I don’t own one myself, but a coworker has a Brother HL-2070N. It’s a B&W laser printer that should work with no problem with a Mac. Buy.com has had them on sale in the past for around $100.
posted by breaks the guidelines? at 2:16 PM on May 17, 2007

Don't know if they sell it in the UK, but you could probably find a black and white laser Samsung in the ML line for around US$120. They rock. (Expensive replacement toner cartridges though, like most companies.)
posted by phaedon at 2:31 PM on May 17, 2007

I like my B&W Samsung SCX4200 laser. It has a built-in scanner which is good enough for me. I like it because I print rather a lot of text documents. It works fine with my Mac.

However, if you're going to be printing only rarely, you may find it difficult to justify giving up so much space to a laser printer; they're much bigger than inkjets. In which case the best thing to do is probably to pick up a Kodak 5100 as soon as they become available in the UK.
posted by caek at 2:57 PM on May 17, 2007

If you're looking for cost-savings, consider buying and refurbishing an old HP Laserjet printer second hand. I bought an HP LJ 5L about 4 years ago for £25 as it wouldn't pick up paper properly (a common problem after about 6 years of use). All it needed was a new pickup roller and pads.

The printer repair places quoted £60 to repair. I spent £20 online for parts + instructions. It took about 15 minutes to do and I had never repaired a printer before.

I find these older printers last much longer than newer ones. I've used it for the last 4 years and it's been a great workhorse, performing well throughout my student years. It's also very economic wrt toner - about 4000 pages per toner.

I recently retired it in favour of an Epson C1000 color laser as I needed a lot of quality color prints.

Just thought I'd throw in a cheap alternative suggestion!
posted by TheAspiringCatapult at 3:00 PM on May 17, 2007

If you do the maintanence, any old HP or Lexmark/IBM laser printer will give you years of service.

New ones are fine, too, and don't need to be refurbished, but probably won't last quite as long. That said, we have Brother fax/scanner/printer combo that's been printing out a hundred pages a night worth of faxes for the last 5 years and is still going strong, so they're even useful for more than light home use.

A laser printer really is the way to go, though. You can always have photos printed online or at a store on a far better printer than any that you can buy. Also, inkjets clog if not used regularly, making them a poor choice for occasional printing, IMO. Laser printers are both cheaper per page and don't have those problems. The only thing to keep in mind with a laser printer is to remove the toner before you move it farther than across the room, unless you enjoy opening them up and cleaning the mess of toner off the innards.

FWIW, you can get used a used IBM Infoprint on eBay for a song. They're really easy to work on.
posted by wierdo at 3:55 PM on May 17, 2007

a Brother HL-2070N. It’s a B&W laser printer ...

An office I worked in bought some Brother 2060/2070 printers. They were very good value (about £60 each as I recall - though the main cost of a printer is in the replacement toner, not the initial costs), but 2 out of 5 printers did break down soon after the warranty expired. Maybe we were unlucky, they get pretty good reviews as far as I've seen.
posted by wilko at 4:09 PM on May 17, 2007

I really like the HP LaserJet 1029. It's tiny and inexpensive. I've recommended this printer to my parents and my sister; none of them have had any problems with it. (I don't print photos, either. I'm a much bigger fan of laser printers than ink jet printers for printing text.)
posted by buriedpaul at 5:08 PM on May 17, 2007

One laser (low cost high volume black) and one inkjet photo printer.

You can get entry level Canon or HP AIO for $100 CDN, and again, a entry level laser for $100 CDN.

For my money it's the best long term solution, and better than any other one option in the $200 range.
posted by tiamat at 8:25 PM on May 17, 2007 [1 favorite]

You may find it helpful to compute the overall cost of ownership including upfront cost, paper cost, and ink/toner assuming you are printing X pages per year, whatever X is. Compute the overall cost for, say, four years.

Some machines will automatically print on both sides, cutting the paper cost in half.

Generally the cost per page for inkjet ink is greater than for laser toner, but there is some overlap. And just because a machine is a laser doesn't necessarily mean that the cost per page is real low; it varies depending on the machine. So you may want to do some arthimetic here (the challenge is finding out how many pages the cartridge is good for)

Agree with BrotherCaine: if used infrequently ink jets tend to clog and become unuseable even with plenty of ink remaining- very annoying.

As with the other respondents above I would recommend laser (assuming you don't need color). But it's worth checking toner cost per page before buying a particular model.
posted by Kevin S at 8:44 PM on May 17, 2007

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