[eDebate] Laser Printer Recommendations?
Tue Mar 14 22:08:29 CST 2006
Its the time of year that we've got to put together tech requests at Wake.
(Not that convenient just before NDT/CEDA, but we're *very*, *very* lucky
to be able to make the request in the first place, since it doesn't come
out of our travel budget.)
I'm looking for recommendations for good traveling laser printers.
No matter what printer we buy, not one seems to make it through more than a
From luggage handlers, heavy use, and general tournament abuse, none seem
to live much longer than the warranty period.
Granted, there are tournaments where we print *far* too much *and* there
are rapidly diminishing returns to handing Debaters mounds of paper every
morning of a debate tournament. We definitely need to figure out how to
Granted, we don't treat our printers with much care. At this point in the
year, our printers are held together with tape.
But, I'm still looking for the "Timex" of printers:
Its got to be:
And, its got to have easy to find, fairly inexpensive disposables: Toner,
Drum unit (I'm sure everyone using a laser has had their drum unit fail at
a tournament in the middle of nowhere...Those things cost almost as much as
the printer and have a published service life of about 5 cases of paper. My
solution when I can't find a drum is: 1. Panic, then 2. Panic again, then
3. Find a 24 hour Wal-Mart and buy a 25 dollar inkjet. Yes, Wal-Mart.)
Printers I've dealt with:
Canon Image Runner 6000: Office copier. It scans, it prints, it copies.
Great for imaging back files, high volume scanning for OCR, & big print
jobs. Too bad we can't take it on the road.
Canon Portable Inkjets: Very, very nice portability. Dependable. Very nice
with low volume. Generally slow. High up front cost. High cost of use: They
burn inkjet cartridges too fast to be economical. Inkjets & hi-liters are a
sub optimal combination.
Inexpensive Inkjets: Very low up-front cost( $30 or less.) Easily portable.
I use one at home about once a year around April 15th. They usually make it
through about 3 reams of paper before they wear out. Inkjet cartridges cost
almost as much as the printer.
Ross's Lexmark laser (don't know the model): Fantastic, fast printer if you
don't have to pick it up and move it. Weak traveller.
Brother HL-1440: Most durable of the printers I've dealt with. Easy to find
toner etc. Larger than optimal. No longer manufactured. Paper jams become
frequent as the feed mechanism wears. Prone to sudden un-explained death.
Good for Office Space re-enactments when they finally crap out.
Brother HL-5140: Faster than the 1440. Easy to find (but fairly expensive)
toner. Larger than the 1440. Drum units last 20 thousand pages (4 cases) @
about $160. Prone to paper-jams after about 7 months. More fragile than the
good old 1440 -- We've got two of these, one has a year of use, the other
we bought in September. One is held together with tape. Both jam frequently.
I'd like to get more than a year out of a printer. I'd also like to find
one we easily transport daily at tournaments. We *can* definitely do more
to print less and care for them better. But, the things cost about a third
of what my car is worth but just don't seem to hold up [I treat my car far
worse, (when I use it...) but it still runs...]
Should I just accept that printers are a very expensive disposable
commodity? Or is there a good printer that can handle a year of debate
travel with a bunch of teams?
So...any suggestions, impressions, reviews, or recommendations would be
lacyjp at wfu.edu
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