4 Replies Latest reply: Jul 30, 2009 7:47 PM by S.U.
itzamirakul Level 1 (0 points)
My MacPro laptop was gifted to me in 2006 along with a relatively inexpensive HP ink jet printer purchased at the same time. (I chose the printer without doing any research and have been unhappy with said printer ever since.) The HP printer does scan, but does not fax and now it no longer prints anything at all except the test pattern page. I do not want another HP printer. I would appreciate suggestions re the best printers for this computer.

The foundation that made the original gift is prepared to buy a new printer for me and they suggest that I get a laser printer that is all-in-one. It is left up to me to make the selection. I was not given any price limitations.

What I need to know is, does the laser printer use ink cartridges and if so, are they more expensive that the ink jet cartridges and do they last longer? What is the benefit of the laser printer over the ink jet computer?

From reading other posts on this topic, I see that the Brother laser printer all-in-one comes highly recommended.

Mine is a home office and personal use computer and is used for book and script writing projects and art projects (needlework patterns and design printouts). My last Mac and separate flat top scanner (ca 1995-96) had capabilities of image size adjustment and many properties found on copy machines. I do not see anything like this scanner any more.

I would appreciate any help I can get.

Mac Pro Laptop, Mac OS X (10.4.5)
  • iyacyas Level 4 (1,535 points)
    Brother printers seam to work well with Macs. This has nothing to do with OSX accept that Brother keeps their drivers for Mac OSX up to date, unlike HP wich has really caused problems with Leopard. I would definitely recommend looking at the Brother printers Laser or Ink jet. If you are even thinking of color you may want to stay with the ink jets, as color ink replacements get really expensive, but they do last longer.

    Check out some of the reviews on Newegg and Amazon.
  • S.U. Level 6 (8,360 points)
    Laser printers use toner cartridges and they are more expensive and last longer than ink jet cartridges. I have 4 mono HP Laserjets in various locations and I have never had a moment's trouble with any of them. The black cartridges I use cost $60-$70. So far I have only bought one, as the starter cartridge for my oldest printer lasted me for 2 years. The three other printers are still on the starter cartridges.

    If you get a color laser all in one, you will need to buy separate black and color cartridges--usually black and three color cartridges--yellow, red, and blue. 4 in all.

    One thing to consider is how many prints you will get from a laser toner cartridge vs. how many from an ink jet cartridge. I have two ink jet machines--an old office jet and a newer photosmart. I hate both of them, as it seems the ink dries up or goes bad so I really get very few prints per ink cartridge. I don't have occasion to print in color very often, so I feel I waste a lot of ink just in the cleaning operation. I mostly use the mono laser jet for documents, and it always prints without issue. When the toner cartridge starts to run out, you can shake it up and get quite a few more copies.

    All in all, I think the laserjet copies may turn out to be cheaper, even though the toner costs more. All of the toner goes into your prints and is not wasted in cleaning operations and the like. So your price per print may be less with the laserjet when you take into consideration the waste that seems to be intrinsic to inkjets.

    If you go to an office supply store like Office Depot or Staples, they sometimes have demos set up so you can get some actual prints and judge the color print quality of a color laserjet vs. an ink jet. That might be an issue for your needlework and design printouts.

    I have had one Epson inkjet and 3 HP Ink Jets, and I hate all of them. Two came free with my Macs, and I bought a used Officejet and a cheap HP printer, which failed almost immediately. I am no fan of cheap inkjet printers, and when the office jet finally dies, I plan to replace it with a color laser all in one, possibly the Brother you mention.

    I think there is also the matter of synching your computer to the printer for true color reproduction, so that what prints out matches what you see on the screen. I know nothing about how to do this, but if it is important to you, you will want to be sure you can do it with whatever printer you choose.

    I don't know what size scanner you might need, but it is always useful to be able to scan legal documents. I have even seen a machine that will do 11x17 scans, but I don't think it was a laserjet.

    Once you have narrowed down the possibilities, you might want to run them by the iPhoto forum. The photographers can probably give you some very specific opinions on the various printers available as well as possibly on scanners.

    Good luck!
  • itzamirakul Level 1 (0 points)
    I meant to mark your response as "solved" rather than helpful but I did not realize that I had only one choice of response that could be marked as "solved." Your response was so detailed that it was certainly deserving of a star. Thank you so much.
  • S.U. Level 6 (8,360 points)
    You are very welcome--glad I could help. I'm perfectly happy with the helpful star and appreciate you awarding it to me.

    Happy Computing!