LJ 2100 to a 3500 - is there another way ?
January 21, 2008 5:58 PM   Subscribe

Going from a LaserJet 2100 to a LaserJet 3500 has been disappointing - does that surprise LJ owners out there ? What should I do instead ?

We've had a HP LaserJet 2100 for six years and it's been great and then the past 12 months it's been a bit flaky.

Of course you can't get a LJ 2100 any more so we got a LJ 3500 as it seemed to be close to a LJ 2100 but as soon as we got it out the box it seemed quite flaky (just sort of 'light' if you know what I mean ? Not as sturdy as the 2100). Compounding that it never worked properly. It had a weird problem that they tried to fix with a new cartridge and then firmware and now the time to has come to send it back to where it came from.

Could order another LJ 3500 but I'm wondering is it a given that LJ's are not as they were ? I used to think they were the Toyota of printers.

We don't need much in the way of 'pages/month' or 'pages/minute' but I would like a printer I don't have to think about for another six years.

So my question/s are : are LJ's not what they were or did we just get a Friday afternoon one ? and can we do better with a different brand ?
posted by southof40 to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Yes, Laserjets do seem to be getting flimsier. Back in the dark ages when HP got their reputation for bullet-proof, never-ending reliability, their printer engines were actually made and designed by Canon.

Unfortunately, the whole laser printer market seems to be in a race for the bottom. Lighter, cheaper, faster.

(If the laserjet has a JetDirect card in it, that could be contributing to the flakiness. If it's a 610n or a 615n, they all seem to fail eventually.)
posted by gjc at 6:09 PM on January 21, 2008

I pleaded with an adjacent department not to get rid of their ailing LaserJet 4. All it needed was a tune up, but they went ahead and got a 3xxx and now they are complaining about it flaking out. HP used to make M1 Abrams Tank of printers. Now they make the Yugo.


Sorry, that doesn't really answer your question. Gradually my school has phased out HP printers and increasingly gone with Dell. I've been really impressed with the several Dell Laser 3110cn printers we have around. I'm sure their B&W laser printers are just as good.

No, they don't rival the build quality of the LaserJets of yore, but they come closer to it that HP's current crop.
posted by wfrgms at 6:28 PM on January 21, 2008

Please note that Dell printers are rebadged Samsung, Lexmark and others. Not a good or bad thing, just an information point.
posted by gjc at 6:41 PM on January 21, 2008

I have had a very-light-use Samsung ML-2010 for a couple of years.
No problems except the paper must be riffled or the printer grabs a bunch of sheets and chokes.
And it was dirt (<>
I should note that I am morally opposed to cheap crumby color.
posted by hexatron at 6:54 PM on January 21, 2008

I've bought older LaserJets for multiple clients via eBay--they always seem to come from California, where I guess the crash and burn cycle of tech companies makes for a lot of gently-used office equipment turnover. The only newer HP I've been happy with is a P3005 that does feel pretty sturdy but I still generally feel more comfortable with those older workhorses. So don't overlook picking up a refurb!
posted by bcwinters at 6:56 PM on January 21, 2008

seconding wfrgms - I got a LaserJet 4N off-lease a year or so ago - it's as good as new, but made well over a decade ago.
posted by lowlife at 7:19 PM on January 21, 2008

nthing LJ4s. I have a 4M+ with a page count of somewhere north of 980,000, and it's still very crisp. Refurbed, maxxed out with all the RAM it can take, a duplexer, extra paper tray and a new hi-capacity toner cartridge, it was a little under $200 all inclusive.

As I used to run a 4si that hit 2.5 million pages before it choked, I have high hopes of this printer outliving me. Unfortunately, it does make the lights dim when you turn it on, and is only fractionally smaller and lighter than I am
posted by scruss at 6:37 AM on January 22, 2008

If I hadn't just inherited a lightly-used LJ 1200 I'd be browsing for an old network-capable 4 series myself. The 1200 is built oddly, the panels feel flimsy, circuitry is exposed when you pop off the access panel to plug it in, and that stupid paper cartridge top is just begging for failure. Of course the 1200 was free and that beats paying to ship a battleship cross-country any day. The 4-series are incredible machines.
posted by Skorgu at 8:18 AM on January 22, 2008

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