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Comparing New vs Refubished Printers?

Cliff posted more than 10 years ago | from the getting-your-money's-worth dept.

Printer 40

GraWil asks: "Does anyone have advice on purchasing a color laser printer? I'm trying to decide between getting a new small 'personal' color laser or a used/refurbished workhorse. For the roughly the same money, I can either buy a Xerox 6100 or a refurbished Tektronix 740/750 or even a tabloid sized 790. I've had mixed luck with color HP and Lexmark printers but I'm open to any suggestions at this point. There are a fair number of reviews but none of them ever compare new with the old."

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Refubished? (3, Funny)

Maxite (782150) | more than 10 years ago | (#9782074)

A new printer is great, but a refubished printer, well those just don't exist.

Re:Refubished? (2, Funny)

crmartin (98227) | more than 10 years ago | (#9782091)

I can't decide whether to mod this offtopic or funny.

Re:Refubished? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9782844)

I can't decide whether to mod this offtopic or funny.

Well, it's a moot point now.

Toner cost (4, Insightful)

wpc4 (169892) | more than 10 years ago | (#9782087)

Besides the technical differences one of the things you may want to do is check toner costs. Our department has a Lexmark High Output color printer and a full set of toner for all the colors costs about $1000. Happily we haven't had to replace them yet, but the bigger printer may prove itself to be much more expensive.

Re:Toner cost (2, Informative)

crmartin (98227) | more than 10 years ago | (#9782131)

He's got a good point. I've got an old IBM 3316. Lovely printer, cost me $500 refu(r)bished five or six years ago, works great.

New cartridges cost $220 or something like that.

I bought a LaserJet 1300xi at Sam's Club for about $320. It's not quite as fast, and you have to load it twice to print 500 pages, but cost per page is miniscule.

Re:Toner cost (2)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#9782235)

toner cost and reliability are pretty much the only points you should consider nowadays.

Re:Toner cost (1)

spooky_nerd (646914) | more than 10 years ago | (#9786251)

Don't just focus on toner. Yes, you will replace toner more often than anything else. But there are other consumables, like the fuser, the imaging drum, transfer kits, and pick-up rollers.

Re:Toner cost (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9782366)

I had a Tektronix Phaser 740. Each colour (C-M-Y-K) was it's own toner cartridge. To buy a full set of four toner cartridges was about $1300.

Also check what they say for coverage when estimating how many 'pages' a cartridge can print. You, like us, will be unpleasantly suprised just how little one of those toner cartridges lasts when the boss is printing off pictures of his family on it.

Re:Toner cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9789146)

it's own toner cartridge

"its".

Re:Toner cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9783792)

Toner is typically priced by the amount, not by the type. I'd bet $1,000 worth of toner is a shitload of pages. If this guy wants to use it in a home office he can ask a toner refill company to fill it up only partially instead of buying a full retail pack.

We have several copiers and printers here for our small business and always use a company that just refills the carts. We don't jump on a mail order site and buy a new set. That's just wasteful.

For us, we use a lot of toner so we fill it up all the way, but we could just as easily ask for only half. If you're concerned about price check the price PER PAGE, not the price for a fillup. Most inkjet buyers fall into this trap and buy ink packs that print about 500 pages for $50 when you can fill up a laser printer with enough toner for 6,000 pages for only $110. That's a big difference in price per page but apparently some BUSINESSES can't figure it out.

Re:Toner cost (3, Informative)

nytefyre (238418) | more than 10 years ago | (#9784414)

Having worked hardware support for UMD (maintained, repaired, replaced printers and recharging toner cartridges, among other things) and having owned (and still do) refurb laser printersl I whole-heartedly endorse buying a refurb printer with certain caveats:

While toner cost does make a difference, for a refurb you can generally find toner on Ebay or the like for cheap. You can also find recharged toner cartridges from most printing companies for cheaper than the original, though you'll have to be a bit more careful in the care and handling since recharged laser toner cartridges always leak more easily.

In particular, I once found a Phaser 760 being tossed out at a corporate site and brought it home to work on. There was little wrong with it, and I found toner cartridges (all four colors) for around $80 apiece on Ebay. They do print a ton of pages, but that also depends on what you're printing.

I would say that the primary deciding factor (for refurb vs. new) is that reliability of original. If the new printer was a POS then I would steer clear of the refurb. I have a Lexmark Optra S that I picked up particularly because I'd worked with an Optra S for a while and found it such a rock solid printer. I even sprang $$ for the duplexer for it (new, couldn't find a refurb/second-hand one at the time).

The track record of the printer will also advise you as to what spare parts to stock on hand. Laser printers are much more repairable and reliable than inkjets, but you do need to have replacement parts available - fuser, roll bars, paper feed rollers, and imaging drums in particular for color lasers. I remember that the paper feed roller (little rubber wheel that pulls the paper out of the tray into the printer - nubby when new and smooth, dusty rubber when worn) was the thing that wore out the most on HPIVsi's and we stocked those by the truckload. The rest of it was pretty rock solid and like most B/W lasers the imaging drum is part of the toner cartridge, so much less hassle.

After that I would think about the size both in terms of the amount of space these heavier duty printers require and the weight (the Phaser 760 was one @#$% heavy printer and I think lugging it around was a good part of what re-injured my back). If your don't have a lot of desk real-estate to spare or a really sturdy printer stand/table then you might want to think twice.

A lot of the pricier but nice features in printers are more affordable when you buy a refurb. Think about networking built in on the printer and any built in spool disks or memory. The down side is that refurbs seldom come with a manual or warranty and some of these things are what will kill the printer in the end. The primary reason I ended up throwing away an old HP of mine was that the spool disk went bad and I couldn't replace it.

How comfortable you are tinkering with the printer definitely is the last thing I would list as a factor in choosing refurb over new. If you have to get the copier repair guy in to fix a paper jam, stick with new, however, if you're comfortable with getting a little toner on your hands and reasonably handy tinkering in the guts of a PC, then there's no reason to shy away from the refurb printer.

It depends (2, Insightful)

bagofcrap (260283) | more than 10 years ago | (#9782127)

on (among other things):
What do you want it for?
How long does it need to last?
How much are you willing to pay for disposables?
(mainly ink & paper)
Interface? USB vs. lpt vs. Ethernet?

Re:It depends (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9782741)

A good question... I'm thinking the exact same thing at the moment. I can get a used color laser on ebay for dirt cheap.
What do you want it for?
Printing text and color figures for a text book I'm writing.
How long does it need to last?
Is forever an option?
How much are you willing to pay for disposables? (mainly ink & paper)
I'd prefer to buy something that is cheap on toner but has good output (600dpi or better). Paper comes for free from my office ;)
Interface? USB vs. lpt vs. Ethernet?
Ethernet would be best but I have no aversion to setting up a print server. Ethernet + Postscript would be ideal for my Linux machines...

Re:It depends (1)

bagofcrap (260283) | more than 10 years ago | (#9783880)

What do you want it for?

Printing text and color figures for a text book I'm writing.

Assuming you'd leave the actual publishing to a commercial printing facility, I'd say go with a new one - it sounds like you'll be using it as a heavy duty inkjet.

How long does it need to last?

Is forever an option?

Its possible, but as with most tech hardware, wait a while and better ones are released. Maybe not as quickly as, say, processors, but things still get old. You can, however keep a new one for a solid 5 years.

How much are you willing to pay for disposables? (mainly ink & paper)

I'd prefer to buy something that is cheap on toner but has good output (600dpi or better). Paper comes for free from my office ;)

Be sure to calculate the cost per page as your metric, amortized over the expected lifespan of the printer (say, 5 years).

Interface? USB vs. lpt vs. Ethernet?

Ethernet would be best but I have no aversion to setting up a print server. Ethernet + Postscript would be ideal for my Linux machines..
I'd say any worthwhile laser printer will support postscript, but depending on your usage, usb may do just fine.

I use two printers (2, Informative)

linzeal (197905) | more than 10 years ago | (#9782242)

I use a HP 1012 [amazon.com] and an Epson Stylus [amazon.com] for color. I've found that not buying the damn black inkjet cartridges has saved me about 50 dollars a semester since I bought the laser, but if I really want to print some color the epson does a lavish job. If I want anything bigger or slightly nicer I go to Kinko's. Don't waste your money on a color laser printer, often times they are a pain in the ass to mantain. Maybe that is why there are so many refurb units coming out all of the sudden.

I print about 40-100 pages per day. I'm an avid reader and print out things to read on the bus as I don't want to show off my laptop to early morning bums.

Refurbished isn't that great (4, Informative)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 10 years ago | (#9782287)

I actually design printer firmware for a living (although I do inkjets), so take that as a bias. But from a technical perspective, anything refurbished that I didn't know the age and use model of would scare me.

Printers have a fixed lifespan. Gears grind down, aerosol builds up, capacitors burn out, internal memory has limited write cycles. Generally, a printer is rated for x number of pages. A cheap 50 buck one is maybe 10-15K, a 120 would give you 30K+. There's a large difference between a refurbished printer that someone used once a day for 3 years, and one someone printed 5-10 pages a day on (and as much as it surprised me, some people do print more than that). The second will have a high chance of breaking in the next 3 years, the first probably won't. Of course, this data is for inkjets so multiple by a factor of 3 to get better numbers.

I'm not saying that refurbished can't work. But with the price of lasers still fairly high, I think you get a better deal buying a new one rather than risking it breaking early.

Also, make sure to look into cost per page. Thats the cost of toner, divided by the number of pages printed per cartridge. This differs vastly between printers, and for heavy users can dwarf unit cost.

Internal memory has limited write cycles? (1)

mosel-saar-ruwer (732341) | more than 10 years ago | (#9783596)


I actually design printer firmware for a living... internal memory has limited write cycles.

Care to expound?

Re:Internal memory has limited write cycles? (2, Interesting)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 10 years ago | (#9783713)

Lets see, what can I say without getting in trouble at work...

All memory has limited lifetime. RAM has a very long one. Permanent memory, however, has much more limited. All printers have some small amount of permanent memory, to store configuration settings, code updates, internal states, data on pen problems (so you can correct for them) etc. These have much more limited number of times they can be written before they fail. Its a failure of all memory, those nice little USB storage devices and memory cards have them too. If you use a printer long enough, you could hit the boundayr where this part fails. You can buy parts rated for more writes, but the cost ramps up quickly. Remember, pennies count on embedded hardware. More than a 2 cent increase requires managers approval, and they fight to avoid 1 cent increases.

Now a good company will measure the number of writes it does and try and make sure the part is rated for at least as many writes as the mechanics. Mine does. So it shouldn't be the first thing to fail. But if you get lucky and get a mech that works beyond design specs, that part's the next in line to break things.

Re:Internal memory has limited write cycles? (1)

shepd (155729) | more than 10 years ago | (#9790126)

What kind of design are you using where you are re-writing EPROMs over 100,000 times?

The *only* sector of memory that I could see failing is the page counter. A good desgin would allow the printer to continue to function despite a broken EPROM sector containing the page counter. A cheap and nasty design would simply store the settings in capacitor backed RAM.

I can say this: I have seen laserjet IIs, which use EPROMs from circa 1992, with greater than 1 million page count that *still* function. And the EPROMs are still good, too.

*Everything* else is more likely to fail than the EPROM. The capacitors are likely to dry out in about 30 years, so they're most likely of the non-mechanical parts to break first.

I buy nothing *but* used printers. Normally I just open them up, give them a good cleaning, oil up what needs to be oiled, fix what's broken, and, for example, I now have a full featured Laserjet 5si for less than $150 US which is going to last a LOT longer than any of the cheap plastic garbage HP is shovelling now.

Re:Internal memory has limited write cycles? (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785369)

Yes, it means that his employer doesn't make any money if you bay a rebuild/used printer. So, it's better for his employers and his bank account if you buy a new printer.

Don't do it (2, Interesting)

vasqzr (619165) | more than 10 years ago | (#9782314)


The Phasers look like a good idea, but they're really not.

The 750/740's are the worst of them.

They weigh something like 100lbs. They only print 8.5x11" or smaller. They don't take many different types of paper well, like cardstock. The ink rubs off the paper if folded, scratched, or smeared. The ink comes off in fax machines and on copier glass. Certain colors look really bad.

They have a really long warm up time. Every time it cools down/warms up they eat a TON of ink. The black ink is free (all you pay is shipping), but the color ink is about $100 a box, and it doesn't last that long. They're also not that fast. 2-3 pages per minute. First page can take a couple minutes to print.

When we first got the printer, only one person could print to it at a time. If anyone 'barged in', it would puke. It took over a year for a new driver to fix this issue.

Outsource your printing. If you're not a big enough operation where you can lease a machine like a Canon ImageRunner 3200, don't bother.

Re:Don't do it (2, Informative)

GraWil (571101) | more than 10 years ago | (#9782594)

Actually, you are thinking of the Xerox/Tektronix thermal wax printers whereas the article lists dry-toner, laser printers.

Anybody have experience.. (1)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#9782317)

...with refurbished items that makes them shy away from them? I mean that in a general sense, of course. I don't have anything to add to this particular discussion, but I'm hoping this particular question brings up interesting points that the person asking this question will find interesting.

The Used Looks Nice, It Has PostScript (3, Informative)

MBCook (132727) | more than 10 years ago | (#9782340)

I only have a B&W laser that I bought new (HP LaserJet 2100). I'd like a color laser, but the fact is I don't have the money or the need. That said, I looked at the spec page for 6100 and it doesn't seem to have PostScript. The 740, 750, and 790 do. I'm a big fan of PS, and given the choice I would definatly buy a printer that has it.

I wrote a comment [slashdot.org] on PS a little while ago in the "printing on Linux" article.

Also, given the choice, get a printer with a built in network server (you know, ethernet). If you have a desktop, it might not seem important. But since I've gotten more computers and started to use my laptop as my main computer, having the printer seperate from any computer is great. I don't have to keep one computer on. Even if I only had a laptop, I could plug the printer into my network and print from anywhere in the house thanks to WiFi. I can keep my printer next to my computer, in the basement where my cable modem is, in a bedroom that has an ethernet jack, or in a bathroom (if I added a ethernet jack). And with a little ethernet->wireless adaptor, I could put the printer in the attic if I wanted. It's actually very handy.

Also, as a /. special, if you have both ethernet and PS on your printer, it's AMAZINGLY easy to configure with Linux, Windows, or OS X. Windows is a little weird (a network printer that's not attached to a computer is considered "local" when adding a printer. Huh?). But no messing with GhostScript or anything under Linux. The printer already speaks PS, and if it's like mine ACTUALLY RUNS LPD, so you just forward jobs.

I hope others can help you better with the which is best, as I said I've no experiance with color lasers, but PS and ethernet are fantastic features that you should be looking for.

Re:The Used Looks Nice, It Has PostScript (1)

ld_hrothgar (755793) | more than 10 years ago | (#9783706)

I have a Laserjet 2100 at home, bought it from a company I was working for when they went out of business. I've had it for 2 years and as infrequently as I print things I never have had to get a new toner for it (though I'm close to due). My girlfriend has used it quite a lot for reports and projects relating to her college work. What I need to find for it now is a network setup so I can reboot my windows machine when she's printing stuff and not worry about her print job being ganked up (and more memory would be nice but not critical) For color stuff we usually use Kinkos or Copy Co. because they have better color printers than I can afford and it's not all that expensive.

Re:The Used Looks Nice, It Has PostScript (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 10 years ago | (#9784250)

I had it for a while before we needed to be able to print even when my computer wasn't working. So we bought a JetDirect card for it (the price was a ripoff, but it's a great product, the wireless version is even more rediculous). Haven't had a problem with it. We've replaced the toner once or twice in the time we've owned it, but we've owned it for a VERY long time and use it heavily.

Later my brother got a Mac so we got a PostScript cartrdige (really a DIMM) for it, which made printing even better. I love the printer.

For color, we have an Epson that we use for photos and such, but otherwise we use the laser.

The coolest part of the JetDirect card besides that it runs LPR and such is all the statistics I can access about my printer through my web browser. Here are some examples:

  • Been up 119 days, 14:17:53 (this is only because of a brownout)
  • Status is "00: Ready"
  • Has printed 11463 pages as of this moment
  • Speaks PJL, MLC, PCL, PCLXL, and PS
  • The JetDirect card has recieved 336198 packets

I just wish the interface wasn't in Java.

Re:The Used Looks Nice, It Has PostScript (1)

ld_hrothgar (755793) | more than 10 years ago | (#9784450)

I looked at JetDirect cards, they are expensive. I guess I'll end up going with a Linksys solution, they have something that will plug into the parallel port that has a RJ-45 port at the other end so I can plug it into my network. Looking around Ebay a JetDirect would run me over $100, 16 Megs of RAM would run about 20 bucks (which isn't bad I guess)

Re:The Used Looks Nice, It Has PostScript (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785055)

I conned my parrents into buying the JetDirect card (I was a minor living at home then). It's expensive, but it's quite nice. We didn't increase the RAM on the printer, it works just fine. It looks like the JetDirects cards run $350 (which was about what we paid).

A Linksys solution (the Etherfast 10/100 server, model PPSX1) is $98 bucks on CDW. A HP JetDirect card (model J3113A) is about $80 on eBay after a quick search. J3110A is my model according to the status page, but I can't find any.

I'd get the JetDirect card, but that's me. The Linksys will let you use ANY printer, so you can keep it if you later get a new printer. I'm not sure how different the performance of the two would be.

The HP cards are great, and for a business I can see how they can sell them, but for a home user like me who happens to have a "high end" printer, they are very expensive (3.5x as much as 3rd party solutions). Of course you could always dedicate some aincent PC as a print server by putting Linux on it. Even a 386 with a 10base-T card would work fine. That would be the geek solution ;)

Re:The Used Looks Nice, It Has PostScript (1)

nmos (25822) | more than 10 years ago | (#9797846)

I recently picked up several cheap print servers from Newegg for a customer. The cost was under $30 each and they work fine. There's really very little reason not to have a network capable printer these days.

Re:The Used Looks Nice, It Has PostScript (2, Funny)

wayne606 (211893) | more than 10 years ago | (#9785310)

"I can keep my printer ... in a bathroom"

Great idea - any time you need some toilet paper just print up a few Slashdot stories :-)

Re:The Used Looks Nice, It Has PostScript (1)

threephaseboy (215589) | more than 10 years ago | (#9786144)

Windows is a little weird (a network printer that's not attached to a computer is considered "local" when adding a printer. Huh?).

This is actually pretty easy to understand. When you setup a LPD or CUPS printer, it makes a virtual port (like TCP0:) or something. Same as a local usb (USB0:) or parport (PAR0: or somesuch).
A "network" printer means SMB printer sharing, so no virtual port, but you can make it emulate a local parport for compatibility.

It's all about the warranty (1)

turg (19864) | more than 10 years ago | (#9782406)

IMHO, the thing to compare when deciding new vs. refurbished is warranty.

For example, when I was last shopping for a laser printer (several years ago now), Panasonic was the only manufacturer who offered the same warranty for refurbished printers as for new printers (in my price range with my desired features) while the others had warranties between 30 and 90 days on refurbished printers.

While I normally wouldn't purchase extended warranty plans, the one case when they are worthwhile is if you can buy refurbished and get a warranty that matches (or beats) the new product and still have a significant savings.

If the warranty is the same, I see no reason not to buy refurbished (and no advantage to buying the new model). OTOH, even though I'm an extreme bargain-hunter, I wouldn't buy a refurbished printer with less than a one-year warranty.

Real World Experience: Color LaserJet 3500 (2, Informative)

daviddennis (10926) | more than 10 years ago | (#9783147)

I bought one about six months ago, and have used it to print out photographs, web pages, and documents. I've probably printed about 200 8x10s out of it and it has a page count now of a bit over 3,000 pages. The Cyan cartridge is going to run out in about 200 pages, but all the other cartridges are just a shade under half full. I happen to print out a lot of green text, so this is perfectly understandable.

I work for a company that remanufacturers toner cartridges. One major disadvantage of buying a new model printer is that if your company doesn't make cartridges for your printer, it won't be able to give you free ones :-(.

That being said, since remanufacturered toner cartridges are a big help to anyone on a budget, you should bear this in mind when considering what to buy. I'd give the nod to HP because with the highest market share they also have a bigger remanufacturing industry. Lexmark has a lawsuit going that is trying to prevent remanufacturing entirely for copyright issues. As a result, I would strongly recommend going with HP if you want a shot at cheaper cartridges.

I've had many conversations with the guy who runs the factory about what to buy. I said "Gee, used color LaserJet 4500s are getting pretty cheap, maybe I should buy one". He talked me out of it saying there are all sorts of problems with those old printers, and the technology is much better refined in newer models. His opinion is that anything older than the 4600 is not worth getting, and he's not doing that to try to sell cartridges since at the time we made cartridges for the 4500 not the 4600.

I think his advice was sound, since I like the quality of the 3500 quite a bit better than what I've seen of the 4500.

Color lasers do not print as beautiful photographs as inkjets do, and you should be aware of this. At the same time, it might cost you $0.50 a page to saturate a laser-printed image with ink, while it costs about $2 a page (including special $0.50 a page ink) to print your photos on a typical colour inkjet. My actual printing cost has been a hair under $ 0.10 a page including a good mix of text and photographs.

Judging by the listings on eBay, you will get a Color LaserJet 4500 for about $450 or so but it may not include the toner cartridges, or it may include used-up ones. You're still going to have to buy about $400 to fill it up. That seems to imply that you're not spending much more to get a brand new 3500 with brand new full-life toner cartridges. I paid $999 for my 3500N (with the networking). Since the new cartridges are $130 each just about everywhere, that means most of the value is in the cartridges, not the printer!

Looks like my six months of printing has cost me around $54 a month for around 500 pages. Not bad considering how much I've used it.

In conclusion, I've been extremely pleased by my Color LaserJet. The photos aren't perfect, but nobody who has looked at them has complained. And the text printing is, as the C|Net review says, darn near perfect. I can say that printing in colour is downright addictive and I would never want to go back to the spattery inkjet or the boring monochrome LaserJet.

Hope this helps.

D

It's the same thing as buying a used car (1)

John_Booty (149925) | more than 10 years ago | (#9783245)

Inspect it carefully, make sure you can see it working, have it checked out by a qualified mechanic, and just accept the fact that you're going to be completely fucked when it breaks down in a week.

Re:It's the same thing as buying a used car (1)

mls (97121) | more than 10 years ago | (#9784144)

Yes, but as posted earlier, there is a limited life to the parts in the printer. Little plastic gears do wear and break.

This is true in a car too, but the aftermarket parts supply is much more prevelant. I can think of at least 3 auto-parts stores within about a mile of my house, this doesn't count dealerships.

And speaking of dealerships, I can go into my dealership, walk to the parts counter, and tell them I have a model year X car, and I need a new widget, and they will pull up the scematic on their computer screen and ask -- "This widget?", and often I can collect the part on the spot.

Try asking your sales droid at Best Buy for a tractor drive assembly for your HP Color Laser 4xxx, and watch the blank stare on their face.

Depending on the printer model, it is often cheaper to dispose of the thing and buy new.

You can get a great deal... (1)

dustman (34626) | more than 10 years ago | (#9783347)

Very recently, I bought a used printer on ebay. I got a real steal ($300 for an HP Color LaserJet 4550)...

But, I'd been looking off and on for a long time. Make sure you look at the cost to run, and how much expected lifetime it has left in it.

Mine has 19,000 pages printed total, and the printer is rated for 35,000 / month, so that's pretty good :)

But, of course, you don't get any warranty coverage or anything.

On mine, it might be the case that the alignment is off or something. I don't know if that's possible with laser printers. There might (I can't tell for certain, it might just be in my head) be a tiny cyan tinge to the left of colored areas that shouldn't have it.

LaserJet 4050N (1)

green pizza (159161) | more than 10 years ago | (#9783465)

I bought a used HP LaserJet 4050N from a seller on eBay who specializes in reselling HP LaserJets and SGI workstations. For ~$250, I got a PCL + Postscript laser printer with a rockin' built-in print server (Win/Classic Mac/Unix-LPR/even ftp to the print queue!). I don't recall the published PPM rate, but it spits out a page every couple seconds. I think the page count was 74,000 when I bought it, yet it looks and works as though it was brand new. I think the duty cycle rating for this beast is 65,000 pages / month.

Refurbished is fine (2, Interesting)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 10 years ago | (#9796030)

If you KNOW what you are getting into.
I refurbish laserjets all the time.
I acquired three HP 4500n's and am very pleased with them. One was dropped and is parts only, one has minor problems and I'll get around to it one of these days, and one works great, I use it several times a week. I had to disassemble it completely and clean it up and do some minor repairs but it's great.

Only thing that scares me is what they refer to as "The consumables" and I don't mean toner..
There are a lot of user replaceable components in the 4500 that have a limited lifespan. And the price of those "consumables" is HIGH... One replacement part could cost as much as an entire used printer on ebay would cost.

Other brands may have similar practices, I don't know, I only do HP.. But be aware of it.

I also refill the toner carts myself. I have a large supply of color toner stockpiled and I'm covered for the next 20 years there..

One other thing to be aware of.

The NEW laserjets are all made in China and they are CHEAPLY MADE.. The frames are made of plastic or of very low grade Chinese steel that bends and warps very easily. They are NOT designed and built to last for years of heavy use, they are designed and built to fall apart after a year or two so you have to buy expensive parts or just buy a whole new printer.

The OLDER refurbished printers are usually made in the US with Japanese made engines are are much more sturdy, designed and built to take serious, heavy use and abuse. I have a lot of Laserjet III's and IIISI's that are in perfectly good working order and will give many more years of use because they were designed and built to last.

I'll take OLD refurbished stuff over new stuff just about everytime...

Xerox Phaser 6100 (1)

DrCash (800431) | more than 10 years ago | (#9805931)

We just purchased a Xerox Phaser 6100 (note: the Phaser line of printers used to be owned by Tektronix, and was purchased by Xerox - actually, Tektronix was purchased by Xerox). Anyway, the 6100 is a decent printer for a moderate amount of usage. We are setting up a new laboratory with perhaps 4-6 people in it, so printing is not going to be a huge demand. We do require a reasonably high-quality laserjet, due to printing of color graphs, charts, and molecular models. The 6100 is of sufficient quality (600 dpi / 1200 dpi enhanced), such that it will create a good professional quality image. Although printing on a high quality paper will produce a much higher quality image. By comparison, the previous lab that I was at used a Tektronix (Xerox) Phaser 780, is of notably higher (1200 dpi standard) print quality. This would not only do tabloid printing (which the 6100 won't do), but it is also much sharper (looking at a printout on plain paper looks like you've used some type of special paper!). However, the Tek Phaser 780 we had was also used HEAVILY. After only 2 - 2 1/2 years of heavy usage, we were spending a significant chunk of money just keeping it operational. So I would be very cautious if purchasing a used printer. Overall, I've found the 6100 very easy to use and will meet our needs quite well! There are drivers for windows, mac, linux, and it set up very easily on our network. We didn't need tabloid printing, so that wasn't an issue this time,...

How 'bout plain ol' used? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9808547)

At work we bought a pallet of 18 HP LaserJets off Ebay for $600; 4s and 4 pluses. What fabulous machines for B+W text printing. We beat them like a rented mule and they just keep cranking out the paper. Local, Jet Direct cards or hung off port 9100 on LTSP clients, there's nothing these things can't do for fractions of a penny per page. Except print color.
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