I have been seriously thinking about buying an inexpensive black and white laser printer for home office use. The main reason being that most of my printing is black and white, and ink cartridges for my HP Photosmart Premium (C309a) all-in-one are $23.00 each and don’t seem to last very long. I end up spending around $100 just to replace ink when they all start to get low. A laser printer toner cartridge can easily yield over 1000 pages of black and white with the typical toner for an entry level laser coming in at under $50.
So I was at Wal-Mart the other day shopping for a few grocery items and some other small things when I thought to go look and see what they had as far as laser printers. Now I typically don’t go to Wal-Mart expecting to find a quality computer product or peripheral piece of hardware. The same is also true for camera equipment, tools, camping gear, etc., but I digress. I have always been a huge fan of HP printers. In fact, every printer I have owned since my first HP Deskjet 600C back in 1995 has been an HP. My local Wal-Mart currently carries the HP LaserJet Pro P1102w, Brother HL-2270DW, and they had a Samsung model as well, but I didn’t look to long at it since the HP and Brother caught my eye and they have a longer pedigree in the printer market. I took a couple of photos with my cell phone and went home to do some research. Amazingly both the HP and Brother models ranked very high in Comsumer Reports and other online consumer review websites. What a pleasant surprise.
So now it comes down to features. Both printers are equally matched, but I shocked myself by leaning more towards the Brother and here’s the key differentiating feature it has over the HP: the Brother has automatic full duplexing. That’s it. All the other features were identical. Both supported wireless networking (the Brother also supports USB and ethernet as well). The Brother was a little faster at 27ppm over the HP 19ppm. The Brother costs less per page (about half as much).
So if you’re in the market for a inexpensive black and white laser printer. Go down to your local Wal-Mart and see what they have.
Also, by the way, in case you were wondering: Target doesn’t sell laser printers, and neither store sells FireWire (IEEE 1394) cables. Like I said before, I usually have to go to a higher end store to find the good stuff.