(6) Thu Nov 08 2007 07:41: This might be a futile question, but are there any printers that were designed as printers and not as ways to move ink units?
Looking around, this year's inkless printer has the air of Future Stuff to it, and gets us nowhere: "Unlike ink jet and thermal transfer printing, which need liquid ink cartridges and ink ribbon cassettes, with Zink all you need is the paper." Although this does make the printer small enough to build into mobile phones.Surely low-quality thermal printers should exist, that can just burn your throwaway text in ugly but legible brown, but the nearest I can find is Toshiba being environmentally proud of a printer that can reuse a sheet of paper 500 times. A sheet of "special paper", made by Toshiba, at ten dollars a sheet.
My experience is that ink-jet printers are subsidized by the expectation that you will be buying ink-jet cartridges. Laser printers have a bigger up front cost, but a single cartridge can last years.I have a samsung ML-1740 laser printer which is my family work horse, and an HP Photosmart printer/copier/whatever that does the low volume color tasks. As the latter is subsidized, I might as well have one.
Seconding Sam's post--I have a Brother HL-1450 laser that is on its third ink cartridge in three years, but only because we used the first and 80% of the second printing a billion copies of our ashcan comic.
Toner. Not ink.
What they said: laser printers print. I'm quite happy with my HP Laserjet 1022n network printer. Works great from Linux with Free drivers (prints via IPP with foomatic drivers). Works great from Windows and Mac OS X with annoying HP drivers.
Posted by Joe at Fri Nov 09 2007 15:52
Seconding the LaserJet recommendation. The LaserJet 4M is a solid workhorse that you should be able to find relatively cheap on eBay or wherever. The LaserJet is the Toyota Hilux of printers.