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Best printer option for two teachers

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Member Since: May 19, 2009
Posts: 25
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Hello everyone...

I currently own a Brother MFC 9440cn and although I am happy with the printer overall my girlfriend and I are considering getting a different printer/copier. Why? Well this printer has the annoying issue that it waste color toner even though we mostly do black copies. As a result right now we need to replace all toners plus the drum (about 20,000 copies so far) at the whopping price of $450 and we only paid 500 for the printer. That's to much to stomach.

Both my girlfriend and I are music teachers (general music/band director) who on a typical school year make anywhere from 15,000 to 20,000 copies. Now all my copies are exclusively black but my girlfriend needs to have the option of color printing when needed. We would love to have a copier/scanner/printer and with duplexing and automatic feeder but don't need a fax at all.

What would be the most cost effective option for us. Do we:

1.Buy a monochrome laser mfc and just buy a separate color printer for those occasions we need color.

2.Buy a separate monochrome laser printer, high speed scanner (another option that would be useful for a teacher) and separate color printer (again for those occasions when we need color printing.

3. Another MFC color laser printer that does color, even though most have fax.

Well leave it to the pros. What brand and or models. We are willing to spend at most 500 - 600 dollars. We just need to buy one that is cost effective for us. We initially brought the brother for convenience but it's ending up being a money pit. Help us. !
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1.Buy a monochrome laser mfc and just buy a separate color printer for those occasions we need color.
I had the same problem and did the above. In my opinion it's the most economical way as long as your color requirements stay low. As far as which make\model, look for printers which support Mac OS X. (drivers and technical support)

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Mac SK

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Get a B&W laser. Go vist the local thrift store. People are getting rid of them and you can pick up a used one real cheap. I just got my friend an Hp 1022 for $7.00 and it works great. I got a Magicolor 2430 dl for $12.00, works great.
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Scott Baret

Member Since: Mar 30, 2008
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I also feel the B&W laser route is the best. I have used an HP LaserJet 1022 (the one Mac SK has) for four years and feel it is the best small laser out there. I've consumed only two toner cartridges and as an elementary education major in college I know exactly what you are going through with needing to print high numbers of pages.

The cost of a new black and white laser really isn't all that much, but if you want a used one, make sure you know where it's coming from. I'm not sure if the LJ 1022 has this option, but many laser printers will include an "odometer" on a test page. When buying a used printer you want the one with the lowest page count, just as you would want low miles on a used car. Some printers were rarely used (I bought a used Apple LaserWriter 4/600 to use with my older Macs last year with only 6000 pages or so) while others were obviously used in a print-heavy office.

If you're looking for a high-speed non-flatbed scanner I recommend Fujitsu. We use Fujitsu document scanners where I work and they do very well with both text and drawings. They are also extremely fast. Our scanners are two years old and I'd imagine the newest ones are even better in terms of scan quality.

I use a Canon i450 when I need color (and also with my iBook G3, as the 1022 does not work on OS 9). It's an older printer (I bought it six years ago) but the quality is more than adequate for any color application, including photos. It has a single tri-color cartridge for color printing, not separate cartridges for each color like some of the "photo" printers on the market. This printer won't win any speed competition but is quiet, prints well, and is fairly economical in terms of ink (the black cartridges are usually less than $10, the color cartridges right around $25; color cartridges should last a good while even if you print 40 photos at a time). I'd imagine these printers would be fairly inexpensive on the used market now that they are older.

I recommend against all-in-one machines of any sort. If one component breaks and it is taken to a repair center the user is now without other devices as well. Additionally, the scanners in some of the all-in-ones I've seen tend to be compromised.

I should also mention laser toner. Buy it on eBay or another online source, as Office Max and the other brick and mortar stores tend to charge too much for a new cartridge. The only occasion on which it may be a good deal is when Office Max places their 15% off brown bags in the newspaper; even if the toner isn't a great deal it is still the best way to buy paper. I recommend the use of recycled laser paper for the 1022 and have found that it actually works quite well in the i450 as well. (Inkjets seem to be less picky about paper; my old Apple LaserWriter won't print on inkjet paper although the 1022 does).
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Monochrome laser - I would stick with Brother brand (I use a HL-2040) as my choice and recommendation.

For the colour laser work, might it not be just as simple and more economical to have it done by a print shop/bureau/kiosk? Is that a feasible option for you? Burn the music files to a CD or copy it to a flash drive and deliver it for someone else to print. You could get a lot of colour printing done for the saving you made by staying with mono only.

Otherwise, I prefer and recommend Canon multifunction inkjet machines. I've found them to be very reliable and MacOS-friendly.
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