Laser Printer Recommendation?

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Fri Oct 19, 2007 5:34 am Post

Yeah,i agree with this word"Use the printer at work.
Or failing that get a friend to print out at work. " :D

Jolanth Szatmary
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Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:52 am Post

I'd like to throw in the Samsung ML 1510 (might not be the Samsung up-to-date built, though) I'm very happy with. Toner-save-mode makes cartridges last for a year or so, is still very readable. Hooking a printer up to an airport express and keep it away from the desk is also a good idea. I fell much less cluttered with no USB-cable on my powerbook and the printer sitting in a shelf at the other end of the room.

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Mon Oct 22, 2007 10:24 am Post

Like Arashi I highly recommend the Brother HL 5250DN laser printer :). It's by far the best printer I've ever had and I've had quite a few.
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Mon Oct 22, 2007 2:46 pm Post

So here's a question about printers in general and the Brother 5250 in particular.

What's the difference between a toner cartridge and a drum unit?

The reason I ask is I went online to our usual office supply store and looked for toner cartridges for the Brother just to price them. It came back only with the drum unit, which costs over $200 (although it says it's good for up to 25,000 pages, which is a pretty good cost per page deal.)

Anyway, it seems drum unit and toner cartridge are similar, maybe it's a brand thing?
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Mon Oct 22, 2007 4:51 pm Post

TCole wrote:So here's a question about printers in general and the Brother 5250 in particular.

What's the difference between a toner cartridge and a drum unit?

Laser printers and conventional copiers both make the image the same way. They use light to expose a photosensitive drum: exposed areas become conducting, unexposed areas hold a static charge. The toner powder--usually a very fine plastic--is attracted to the static charge, creating an image pattern on the drum. Transferring to paper, then heating to melt the plastic forms the copy that you see.

So the drum and the toner cartridge work together to create the image. The toner is a consumable, obviously: it gets used up when making copies and eventually you need to add more. (Inkjet printers don't have drums, so they only need ink replacement.)

The drum may also be a consumable. That really depends on the design of the system. A less expensive drum may drive the overall system cost down, but wear out and have to be replaced periodically. Or a more expensive drum may last for a long time, requiring no user attention. (Although nothing lasts forever. Even print shop scale copiers eventually need drum replacements.)

For color copiers and printers, an additional wrinkle might be that you might have four (or more) different toners *and* four different drums, each of which would wear out at a different rate depending on usage.

The long and short of it, though, is that each system designer decides what the user replaceable component should be. It might be just the toner, it might be a complete drum/toner unit, or it might be the toner and the drum separately on different replacement intervals. Read the manual. The important number, as you've deduced, is the lifetime of the component and the resulting cost per print.

Hope this helps,


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Thu Oct 25, 2007 1:17 am Post

I have a Brother HL2040. One year to use up the first toner. Replacement was $80 + Tax. Drum would cost more than a new machine!

Iain in Canada.
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Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:12 pm Post

I`ve sorted your problem.
Hang a sign, bearing the legend: BROTHER TO SUPPORT , around your neck, and whilst effecting the appearance of an impoverished welder (a heart rending sight at best), stand on the corner of some busy down-town intersection, with a tin mug in your hand. Prime the tin mug with a couple of coins of your own, so it`ll make rattling noise as you shake it at passers-by. Within hours, you`ll have made enough for two drums.


Take care

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Fri Dec 27, 2019 1:48 am Post

I know that this is an old, old OP. At the risk of being accused of thread necromancy (in my defense, someone just posted to it before me), I have to say that I am delighted with the performance of the Xerox WorkCentre 6515 DN which I purchased two years ago:
  • It's a commercial-grade printer, and built like a commercial-grade printer. I've had inket HPs which were supposedly office-quality printers, and they fell apart after a couple of years and literally couldn't be repaired. "Can't get parts; buy a new one" the shop said. Well, I did...but not an HP. Best computer-related choice I've ever made.
  • The one time I did need service (within the one-year warranty period), Xerox dispatched a technician directly to my home. No questions asked, and no charge.
  • It prints FAST. I spit out my 200 page manuscript, double sided, in just a couple of minutes.
  • As stated above, it prints double sided. It also scans double-sided in a single pass if you use the document feeder, or you can scan from the glass if you're scanning photos and such.
  • Print quality is first-rate, and full color.
  • Toner refills are a bit pricy, but if you get the high capacity they last a LONG time. I've purchased exactly one set of refills so far, I'm away from the house so I can't give you a precise page count as I write this, but I've done a good deal of printing including a lot of flyers for my church.
  • It works and plays well with others. I don't have a Mac, but my Windows and Linux computers talk to it over the network without a hitch and it scans directly to a network folder on my Synology NAS. I bought the wired version (6515 DN), but if you get the DNI model (or purchase the optional add-on card) you can connect it to Wi-fi.
  • In addition to the main paper tray (sized for US letter/A4, but can be stretched to accommodate US legal with no trouble) there is an auxiliary slot/tray where you can feed specialty paper or envelopes without having to bother with changing out paper in your main tray. When printing a screenplay I can load my 3-hole paper in the main tray and then print the cover on cardstock without missing a beat.

Again, this is a PRIMO printer. I can't recommend it highly enough!

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Sat Dec 28, 2019 6:45 pm Post

Now that I'm back at home, I can add some numbers to my earlier rather gushing comment. I just printed out a 208 page full-color PDF file; it was the guidebook for a video cooking course I'm taking (shameless plug for The Great Courses). Anyhow, the 208 page file printed out in under 12 minutes, double-sided. While printing I got my low toner warning for my black cartridge; that's the first refill cartridge I purchased aside from the one which came with the printer (and that refill cartridge has been in use for over two years). I currently have a print total of 7567 pages of which 3310 were all-black and the rest full color. The printer software estimates I have 605 pages left on that black cartridge which is running low. Screenshot attached.
XeroxScreenshot.png (211.91 KiB) Viewed 3285 times

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Mon Apr 20, 2020 5:53 am Post

halfbaked wrote:I have a Brother HL2040. One year to use up the first toner. Replacement was $80 + Tax. Drum would cost more than a new machine!

Iain in Canada.

I'll find the name of the Brother printer I have, it's done well for me for years now!