Bargain Laser PrintersIt wasn't that long ago that laser printers were only affordable for business use. Their higher speeds and better text print quality were reserved for the work environment.
They also tended to be large and heavy and only suitable to office workplaces, however this has all changed and modern laser printers can now be purchased for less than many inkjet printers and take up no more desk space.
There are essentially two reasons for preferring a laser printer to an inkjet.
Firstly speed - if you are printing a hundred or so pages a day you will quickly become frustrated at the slow speed of an inkjet printer.
Second is cost - if you are producing a great deal of black text hardcopy then you are going to quickly go through ink cartridges with a capacity to print 2 or 3 hundred pages.
Whilst toner cartridges tend to cost more, they have the capacity to print thousands of pages per cartridge rather than the few hundred of an inkjet cartridge.
The cheapest laser printers are now available to purchase for around £50 (about the price of a cheap ink printer a few years ago) and here we are going to compare three of the top selling models from Brother,HP and Samsung.
Both the HP Laserjet 1020 and the Samsung ML2010 are available for under £50 (we found both online @£43), the best price we could find for the Brother was £54.
If speed is your thing then the clear winner is the Samsung with 20ppm of A4 quoted as opposed to 16ppm from the Brother and a pedestrian 14ppm from the HP.
All of these printers will sit comfortably on your desktop, taking up little more room than an inkjet and are all light enough to be easily moved, the heaviest (Brother) still only 6.5kg.
Maximum print resolution varied from 2400x600dpi on the Brother through 1200x600 on the Samsung to 600x600 on the HP printer.
In real live text prints however the HP delivered the clearest sharp text prints, although all produce pages that anyone would be happy with.
Running costs are one of the most important features to consider when buying any printer and with a machine only costing £50, it will not be long before replacement toner costs will overtake the initial printer outlay.
Both the Brother and Samsung printers are shipped with stater cartridges which have less toner than replacement cartridges so the time to purchase supplies could come round quicker than expected.
Normal cartridge replacement for the Samsung would be required every 3000 pages against 2,500 for the Brother and every 2,000pages in the HP.
This would give a cost per page of 1.32pence for the Brother, 1.33p for the Samsung and 1.7p for the HP.
However it should be noted that in addition to replacing the toner cartridge the Brother printer also requires a new drum unit every 12,000 pages and this would bring it into line with the HP at a total cost per page of 1.7p.
So the least popular printer in terms of sales volume turns out to be not only the quickest but also the cheapest to buy and run.
If you are in the market for a cheap mono laser printer, at present look no further than the Samsung ML2010 and you won't be disappointed.
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About The Author: About author:
Alan Wilson has been employed in the imaging industry for over 10 years and is currently a director of Cartridge Concept which stocks cartridges for all of these printers.