Nearly 6 years ago (March of 2004) I paid $210 for my HP Laserjet 1012 Printer. When I did so, I took a look at the cost to replace the toner cartridge in it and saw that it would run me about $80 per cartridge.
Given that the cost for just black and white inkjet cartridges at the time was between $8 and $14 (depending where you shopped and if you bought in bulk) I decided that the LaserJet was worth the gamble.
My needs were:
- Black and White only is sufficient.
- Printing Color photographs is ridiculously expensive, they have a tendency to fade quickly (aren’t “fixed” properly as they are in a proper photographic process)
- While pretty, color maps and printouts are not necessary for my personal use
- Any of the above that I need can be done for pennies a page by putting them on a thumb drive or emailing to a local Kinkos or CVS.
- Need a printer that can tolerate relatively long periods between printing (maybe even a few weeks)
- I found that inkjet cartridges tend to gum up if left inactive for any length of time, ruining the first page or so.
- Would like what I *do* print to be of high fidelity
- I did not like the propensity for inkjet printers to pick up some dust or to have a jet malfunction and have a smear or a blank spot through the entire print job.
- To be cost-effective
- When inkjet cartridges are reporting themselves to be empty you can ALWAYS feel that they have more ink remaning in them
- If you have a combo-inkjet where all the colors are in a single cartridge you need to throw a lot of good ink away in the remaining cartridge cells just because one of them is empty (at least reported empty)
Here I am, February of 2010 and I still have not had to replace my original toner cartridge. I have printed literally hundreds and hundreds of pages – I really wasn’t keeping count of how many reams of paper I’ve put through that little printer – and I’ve never had so much as a smeared page. I’ve not even had to tap the toner cartridge to loosen up any leftover toner or whatever tricks may be necessary to eek out those last few printed pages if I do not have easy access to a replacement when it finally does empty out.
If / when it comes time to replace this printer, I’ll be looking to the same technology again. Inkjet technology has likely come a long way since 2004, but I don’t see that it will ever hold a candle to the laser technology or whatever tech eventually supersedes laser.
This is easily one of the most satisfying and worthwhile purchases I have ever made in the computer sphere.