Budget Mono Laser Printers
Low cost page churners to keep you in the black
Group Test A trip round PC World or Staples could easily convince you the only printers available for personal use, in home or small office, are inkjets. That ain’t so, with a good range of mono lasers still around from impressively low prices of well under £100.
Now, you may not need the squeezy wonders of coloured inks or may already have something for printing out snaps, but instead want a faster and sleeker print for the good stuff: day to day correspondence, reports, lecture notes, handouts.
Personal laser printers are designed for direct connection to a computer, almost inevitably with USB, and networking is not provided and often not an option. These printers also tend to be aimed at the person who doesn’t print regularly, so are designed to fold up and look less ugly when they’re not being used.
This group test features the entry-level models from all the major manufacturers who make them, which is why Lexmark isn’t in there. It’s certainly a major vendor, but doesn’t start at the price point we’re working to. Its entry-level office machine, the E260, comes in at around £150, some way above the machines gathered here. The same is true of Kyocera Mita and its FS1120D.
What we have got is:
- Brother HL-2035
- Canon i-Sensys LBP3010
- Dell 1130
- Epson Aculaser M1200
- HP LaserJet P1102w
- Samsung ML-1665
These are all low-cost mono printers designed to plug in and go. What they lack in sophistication – none of them are duplex, for example – they make up for in simplicity. Most have easy to replace, single-part cartridges and most, these days, have tidy turns of speed.
Which one will go that few drum revolutions further and win a Reg Hardware Recommended or Editor’s Choice award? Run through our test results and contemplate our conclusions at the end of this group test to find out.
Budget Mono Laser Printer Group Test
Re: A timely set of reviews
I've had the Brother 2035 for a couple of years.
If all you wan't is a bog standard printer for light home use it's great value for money.
The toner can be easily refilled at home so cost per page is even lower than quoted.
2035 worked perfectly for a few months then an family member tried to print an 'iron-on' T-shirt transfer media. I bought another Brother HL-2035 and have instructed the family on how they work!
excellent printer - does recto-verso too, when you remove the just printed page and (eventually correctly) reinsert it the other way-up! All complex duplex printers seem to fail first in the duplex unit - and that's without iron-on T-shirts!
The family 11-yr old irretrievably pulled bits of the Samsmug in Dixons when I went asked him how to add more paper (we do family potential hardware Quality Assurance Training & assessment on the high street - then buy online once the shopping matrix has been whittled-down)
Why the dig at Staples?
Most, if not all, of these laser printers are available at my local branch. And I live in a fairly small town.