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Piyono

Your Prefered Colour Laser Printer?

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My mother just decided to buy a colour laser printer before the end of the tax season. She has her eyes set on a LaserJet 4600, but she's seeking my councel on the matter.

Problem is, I no nothing about these machines, save for the published specs, all of which seem pretty impressive to my untrained eye.

Is the 4600 a good printer in its price range or should we look elsewhere?

Piyono

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Thank you, honold.

Piyono, just 3 days ago I saw some color printouts that impressed me, and upon inquiry, found out they were made on a Tektronix Phaser 850N. I presume the 'N' stands for networked, and I'm sure they'll have a non-networked version for less. The 850N is $1660 according to PriceGrabber. I remember paying $950 for the HP LaserJet IIIP in 1991!

When you make your decision and after using it, post your comments in this thread, ok? Good luck!

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actually i have a wealthy friend that i think has a 4600 that he's looking to sell (and would probably ship to canda) if you're interested. it could all be handled through one of his companies, so you would have a reasonable guarantee of receipt.[/i][/b]

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I'd consider buying on the low side, since big improvements may be within the next couple years. I can't see spending more than $2000.

pcmag did some comparisons on color lasers within the past 6 months, you might find their review helpful since they got to put their hands on all of them.

Sean

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Hmmm... looks like my original reply got lost in space. Here's the summary:

My mom needs it to print out feature sheets of houses she's showing, and everyone in the house will use it for general color printing, as well. It'll be supplementing our ancient LaserJet 4, which we bought new in 1996, and which has served us well despite a long life of neglect and physical abuse (practically every door on the thing has snapped off, including the front-loading paper tray, and the main magazine, which was rendered useless after the machine was dropped from table height a few years ago).

I've not crunched the numbers, but I'm guessing that a laser printer offers lower Total Cost of Ownership than any modern inkjet, in terms of durability and consumables.

Opinions?

Piyono

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I actually acquired its older bigger sibling, an 8500DN refurbished a few years ago. It's been servicing the print jobs at my house since then and I've had no complaints. From reading the PC Mag review and checking out a 4600 at work I know HP has improved their color laser printers in the last few years.

My 8500 is a four pass printer, the image drum puts toner on the transfer drum once for each color of toner. This makes its print speed 6 page per minute in color and 24 page per minute in black and white.

The 4600 is single pass so it prints color or black and white at 19 pages per minute. The demos and printouts I've seen at work are excellent as well. If you are willing to spend about $2k U.S. on a printer I think the 4600 would be an excellent choice.

Free

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I believe that all laser printer manufacturers will move to Oki’s single pass LED technology over the next few years. Xerox and Xanté anticipate this since they are licensed to use Oki’s technology in some of their printer models. In fact, these models are visually identical to Oki’s line. Only their software is proprietary.

LED printers use regular, uncoated paper. Your choice of whiteness is the only cost consideration. Depending upon color coverage the cost per page for the Oki C7000 series of printers varies from 10¢ to 26¢. For the C9000 series it varies from 10¢ to 18¢ (expect twice as much for tabloid printing). These color costs are the lowest in the industry. HP color printer costs usually run about 1.4 times these costs.

I strongly recommend choosing a model with a built-in duplexer. I often print out large user manuals, two pages per side. This reduces paper usage by a factor of 4. At 21 pages per minute it takes little time.

If you are into publishing, purchase a model with both PCL and Adobe Postscript 3 typefaces. Also, with a 10/100 Base-T network connection you can transmit your files electronically.

I often use my LED printer for reproduction of high resolution digital photos. I get a very acceptable 1200 x 1200 dpi resolution. Resolution is not as good as that achievable with inkjet printers but I do not need high cost printing media (like $1 per blank page), I don’t face snail pace printing, I don’t worry about ink fading and I no longer deal with clogged, high priced inkjet cartridges.

Oki LED printers use standard SDRAM memory, so memory can be expanded at low cost. You also can get built-in hard drives for storing letterheads and custom fonts.

Hope this helps.

Joe

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I have to correct the page costs I presented in my prior submittal. For the OKI 7000 series costs range from 10¢ at 29% coverage to 26¢ at 74% coverage. For the OKI 9000 series costs are almost the same, but you can double them if you print on tabloid media.

Percentage of coverage is based on physical toner laydown based on 400% maximum.

The Lexmark C720 costs 30% more.

The HP CLJ 4550 costs 40% more.

The Xerox Phaser 750 costs 60% more.

The Xerox Phaser 1235 cost 50% more.

Joe

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The costs quoted are amortized over the life of LED or Laser printers. In the long term the cost of disposables for a corporate quality printer far exceeds the initial outlay. You do not realize low lifetime cost with a $1000 laser printer. Expect to pay $3000 and up for LED technology at this time.

Before you buy, do your homework and compare costs of toner and page capacity of toner cartridges (under uniform assumptions). Companies which market low cost laser printers jack up the price of toner or offer low page-count per cartridge. It's the same game as that played by inkjet printer manufacturers. Often the information you seek is hidden and difficult to acquire. You will find Okidata very open with this information.

Joe.

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I appreciate your feedback. I'm considering a color laser for home use - low volume, as I'm running a 12 year old laserjet 4l which is only 300dpi. It is due for a new toner change, and I kinda hate to put more money into it. Text printing is still perfect, of course, but graphics at 300dpi in B&W, well, they suck.

OTOH - I doubt too many people here are using a component on their computer system older than my printer! :)

I've stayed away from inkjets as long as I could because I've never yet seen one in real world use that prints a decent page of text. I was hoping that the color lasers would be reasonable soon for home use.

Regards.

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OK, say if consumables/TCO are of secondary importance for now and you're looking for the cheapest cash outlay, are there alternatives to Minolta-QMS's new magicolor 2300 DL? PC Mag seems to like it well enough...

$800 MSRP for the printer: host-based 200MHz PPC core, letter-size, 4-pass, 2400x600, 10/100BT.

$400 for the autoduplexer, $400 for each 500-sheet cassette, $80 for the 4500-page black toner, $120 for each 4500-page C/M/Y color toner (all MSRP). Now I just need to find out if it's compatible with their $500 SC-215 scanner/copier attachment. Anyone knows??

So for $1200 MSRP I can get a duplex network color laser, another $500 for an integrated multi-function copier (currently using a cheap Brother MFC-9600 laser copier at home). I also wanted tabloid/B-size printing, but what can you do when you're poor :)

Bad thing is w/ Minolta and at this price range, all the places I've seen sell the printer for around MSRP. Whereas for example, my boss had bought the Lexmark C750N for around ~$1500 new from Dell even though MSRP's like $2400 if I recall. So street price comparison isn't as straight forward...

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^ Also, I was being clueless calling the 2300 DL "host-based" even tho it has 200MHz PPC CPU. I was just referring to no built-in PostScript/PCL processing capability. Can anyone explain the disadvantages...

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