Ten... sub-£100 mono laser printers
Read the fine print
Product Round-up Mono laser printers still produce better black text than any inkjet. If you want clean, pin-sharp characters on the page and don’t print colour, buy a laser. If you have a limited budget, look for one at under £100. Here are 10 you should consider, which can print fast, don’t take up much room on the desk and are very easy to use and maintain. They produce waterproof, black print, as good as anything you can produce at home or in a small office.
The sub-£100 part of this review is based on typical Internet prices – many of the printers on test are available at heavy discounts from their SRPs that are quoted below.
This is a squat, little pale grey printer, simply styled and with both a 250-sheet paper tray and a single-sheet feed for special media, like letterheads. A basic control panel is supplemented by a utilitarian driver and the only connection is USB, but it still manages to deal with all the mainstream printing tasks, apart from duplex. It gets close to its claimed speed of 20ppm, with a maximum of 17.4ppm under test. Print is fine for text but a little banded on graphics and with running costs of 3.5p per ISO page is high, compared with most of the lasers in this group. Fair value for an entry-level printer.
Reg Rating 75%
More info Brother
You can be forgiven for confusing this machine with the HL-2130. Apart from this one’s black case colour, it’s cosmetically very similar. The feature set, though, includes extras, such as duplex print, improved speed and both USB and Ethernet ports. Controls and driver are very similar to the HL-2130’s, but with a claimed speed of 26ppm and an actual speed of 22.2ppm, it's noticeably quicker than its stable-mate. Duplex print is moderately quick at 12.6 sides the minute. Print quality is comparable, too, but running costs are noticeably lower, at 2.7p, thanks to an optional, high-yield toner cartridge.
Reg Rating 85%
More info Brother
Next page: Canon i-Sensys LBP6000
Seems to me that half these printers cost more than £100 - judging by the price noted in the review and presented by Amazon on clicking the Amazon button.
Re: Electricity Consumption - a Real Cost
I'm a bit dubious about those quoted costs. As an example, the Brother HL-2130 is estimated at 215kWh per year. Averaged out, that's over 24watts 365 days per year, 24 hours per day. It's equivalent to the printer being in full ready mode (i.e. hot and ready to go) for 7 hours every day and printing for 1 hour. That's well over 1,000 pages per day, vastly more than the usage this sort of printer is designed for, an wholly atypical of a home office or domestic situation. Also, the printer defaults to entering deep sleep mode (0.8W) after 5 minutes. In a domestic situation this is how it can be expected to remain for the vast majority of the time (or switched off).
In fact Brother's estimate is 0.913kWh per week or 47kWh per year which is about £5 and an average of about 5W. I think that's much more realistic for typical home use - indeed it would be at the high end in my view.
I suspect that's typical of most modern printers. Until somebody puts an energy usage monitor on one of these for a few months in a typical environment, we won't know for sure, but for now I think the estimates are simply wrong for any environment where this class of printer will be used.
Re: sub-£250 shirley?
You can get a colour laser printer for less than some of these, without shopping around. Given the amount I was spending on ink* £150 was a pretty good investment for a Samsung
*Every single time I wanted to print something, the ink cartridge had dried up, clogged and needed to be replaced. For this reason I find a laser printer much better for my low printing volumes, despite them normally being associated with high volume.
For me, the ability to toss the shitty CUPS crap and just run lprng is important, so I want a printer that does Postscript. This also gets around "does my driver/setup know how to handle duplex" too, as PS deals with this natively.
My old Brother HL-5240 does PS just fine and cost <US$120, so it's not a high-end feature.
Re: Re: sub-£250 shirley?
It's out of stock at the supplier where it's selling for £107 and also at the supplier selling it at £118. It seems to be retailing around £170 at Ebuyer, Dabs etc.
It's very common in a Google shopping search to get the odd supplier offering the product at a price much lower than everybody else. Usually, they are out of stock or don't even have a page for the item.