Laser versus Ink

We get asked to recommend a printer by a large number of our customers who are ready to purchase an upgrade.  Being our customers, one of their main concerns is the cost of the printer’s consumables.

Our advice is consistent; the printer you should buy is the one that will best accomplish your particular printing needs.

If you’re the average home user who prints emails, photos and the occasional document, an inkjet printer will most likely suit your needs the best.

But we do advise our customers to keep a laserjet printer in mind.  Students who print only text reports without images, businesses who need an economical way to print invoices, letters and office documents, the home user who hardly ever prints in color; these folks will find their cost-per-page to be far lower using a laserjet than an inkjet printer.

Even those who need a color printer should consider using a laserjet.  Hewlett-Packard is selling their 2550n color laserjet direct for only $299 currently.  It comes with a set of starter cartridges that, when empty, can be refilled through us for around $285 for all four cartridges (based on current prices).  That may seem excessive, but consider; an HP #56 black ink cartridge is rated at 450 pages, an HP Q3960A black toner cartridge for the 2500 series is rated at 5000 pages.  The Dell color laser printer (3010cn) and the HP 2500 series printers both produce beautiful color images, as do most of the new color laserjets on the market.

Our standard recommendation is to note what you use your printer for during a month of usage then buy a printer that excels at performing those tasks.  Take the printer you think you might like for a test drive at a Best Buy or Fry’s.  Make sure you aren’t paying for features you don’t need, like wireless connectivity if you don’t have a wireless network.

And give us a call if you’d like to know what replacing the cartridges will cost you once your starter cartridges run out of ink or toner.

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