An unusual, corrugated finish isn't the only thing a bit different about this mid-range laser. Like many others here, it has good paper handling with a 250-sheet main tray and 50-sheet multi-purpose, with the option of a further, 520-sheet tray below. It also has an Eco button in front of its 16 x 2 LCD display, which saves three quarters of your paper costs, up to 50 percent of the energy and over 70 percent of the CO2. The speed claim of 34ppm isn't realised, though you do get 25ppm, which is nippy enough. Print quality is excellent, with the 1,200dpi resolution producing crisp text and smooth greys. Running costs of 1.6p complete a very attractive picture.
Reg Rating 90%
More info Samsung
Xerox Phaser 3435
The blue and white lines of this printer hide a simple, but effective printer, with straightforward controls and a 16 x 2 LCD. There's the standard 250-sheet main tray with 50-sheet multipurpose and optional, second 250-sheet tray. Networking is standard, as is duplex print and the machine is rated at up to 33ppm. I only saw 25ppm, but this is still respectable. Text print is sharp and precise but, even at the top 1,200dpi resolution, greyscales and photos showed some micro-banding. With toner cartridges of 4,000 and 10,000 page capacity, running costs come right down to 1.1p per page, which offsets a slightly higher asking price. ®
Reg Rating 85%
More info Xerox
Ten... mono laser printers
The first thing I look at in a printer...
... is whether it'll do PostScript[tm]. Still. Yes. No mention of that in the article.
If it doesn't do postscript, the thing is a waste of my time, a hassle, an annoyance. With postscript, it Just Works[tm] with just a few lines in the old /etc/printcap.* It'll work, regardless of your OS or whether the vendor has thought to update their several hundred megabytes big driver package for the latest version of the OS, and you won't have to spread that driver over all possibly quite numerous electronic desktop emulators on the local network. If I want something special, well, I'll take the postscript file and take the postscript tools to it, checking before I print what the output will look like.
Another point to mention is that laser printers tend to last, or at least the good ones. The old laserjet 4 and 5 series is still going strong and with a bit of trouble you can still find toners for laserjet 2 and 3 series. On the other hand, the toner for that xerox (4050 or so, "workgroup size") we bought years ago as end-of-lease proved to be unobtanium right away. How confident are these manufacturers about providing toners down the road? Or is that not what they're looking to "deliver"?
And, I'm not really expecting el reg to pick up on this, but another check I make is whether there are hardware maintenance manuals available from the manufacturer's site. I usually obtain a copy and store it somewhere for future reference, but it's nice if years down the road you can still find them. Some manufacturers are very good with this. Others, not so much.
With most computer hardware, nobody cares (much, most of the time--there are exceptions). With this sort of thing, well, notice how we've gone from 300 to 600 to 1200 dpi, and from a few pages to a score per minute, over a couple decades, but really, if all you need is black and white you'll still be perfectly served with a laser that's horribly outdated by any other standard usually used in the computer industry. And long as it uses postscript, your computer can talk to it too, no sweat**.
In fact, I prefer older laser printers because their toners don't come chipped to stop working after the vendor approved number of prints delivered, whether it still prints Just Fine or not. *I'll* be the judge of whether the output is still acceptable, thanks.
* This is also why programs that print stuff shouldn't rely on frameworks this and widget sets that. They should stick to outputting postscript. It's not hard. It's a programming language. You're a programmer. What's your problem?
** So maybe you'll need to use a converter of sorts, like from centronics to ethernet. Deal.
Paper cost saving
"It also has an Eco button in front of its 16 x 2 LCD display, which saves three quarters of your paper costs"
That is nothing short of impressive, I mean, saving power and toner can be hard, but making a printer eat less paper while producing the same prints must have taken some true ingenuity.
Come on, this is a tech web site and a lot of us want to know if they will work with Mac & Linux properly, and not just Windows.
What exactly did you test them with?
Greasey fingers are just the beginning
> Its the 21stC there's no need to kill trees with out of date documents.
I would rather get a bit of dead tree wet or covered with extra virgin olive oil than some overpriced consumer electronics device.
Ah - the paper free office,,,,
When an ipad can display an A0 (16 x A4) page at 1:1, and survive 6 months at the sharp end of a building site, I'll buy one. Probably 2, as the first one would get nicked as soon as your back was turned. Until then, paper and blu-tac get the job done.
Paper isn't broken, and has yet to completely replace vellum.