Non-inkjet Color Printer Recommendations??

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josehill
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Non-inkjet Color Printer Recommendations??

Unread postby josehill » Sun Nov 27, 2016 12:33 pm

I'm in the market for a non-inkjet color printer for my personal consulting work, and I'm interested in any recommendations from fellow Nekochanners.

Requirements:
  • Genuine PostScript or excellent PostScript emulation.
  • Ability to print color business graphics suitable for reports to my clients (meaning saturated colors with zero or very minimal banding or splotching across areas of solid color and without rippling the paper).
  • While the average print load is moderate (rarely reaching a thousand pages a month), the printer should be able to handle the occasional 250+ page print job in a reasonable amount of time.
  • The 250th page of a large job should look as good as the first page.
  • Built-in wired and/or wireless networking.

Nice to have:
  • Built-in 500 sheet capacity or the ability to add an additional paper tray.
  • Auto-duplex.
  • Relatively low cost per page.
  • Ability to print in b/w mode even if a color toner cartridge is empty.
  • Photo printing quality doesn't have to be great, but it shouldn't be awful.
  • Easy support for printing on card stock and envelopes.

I am ruling out inkjets because I don't want to mess around with clogged heads, rippled paper, ink that smears when paper is handled or when it is humid, frequent ink cartridge changes, printers that die after a year of use, and so on.

I'm willing to spend up to USD 1,000, but I have a feeling that there might be something suitable in the $450-750 range.

Any suggestions?

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Re: Non-inkjet Color Printer Recommendations??

Unread postby kshuff » Sun Nov 27, 2016 2:49 pm

Best bet is probably a color laserjet but the toner cartridges are pricey. I lucked out and picked up a used HP Color Laserjet 4600 for $60, hasn't let me down yet. Also have a Tektronix Phaser 8200.
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Re: Non-inkjet Color Printer Recommendations??

Unread postby josehill » Sun Nov 27, 2016 3:52 pm

kshuff wrote:Best bet is probably a color laserjet but the toner cartridges are pricey. I lucked out and picked up a used HP Color Laserjet 4600 for $60, hasn't let me down yet. Also have a Tektronix Phaser 8200.

Thanks. I don't mind paying for laser toner cartridges since they need to be replaced much less frequently than inkjet cartridges. I have a couple of inkjet printers that I use for photos and other purposes, but the frequency of cartridge/ink replacement drives me nuts. I especially hate replacing cartridges on light duty printers as a result of self-cleaning routines.

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Re: Non-inkjet Color Printer Recommendations??

Unread postby noth » Sun Nov 27, 2016 6:23 pm

I'm using a Brother HL-3170CDW, does colour laser with duplex, PostScript, AirPrint, wifi, ethernet, the works. Can emulate an HP LaserJet 4 if you're on an OS with driver problems. It's colour, takes about 20ish minutes to do 500 b&w pages. Brother stuff is cheap but not nasty, they've been ghosting HP for decades. Consumables seem about or less than HP's .

Had good luck with colour laser Xerox as well, if you need an alternative.

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Re: Non-inkjet Color Printer Recommendations??

Unread postby smj » Mon Nov 28, 2016 9:38 pm

I picked up an HP Color LaserJet 476dn in the past year. Does everything I liked from my Color LaserJet 8500dn, but faster for random/occasional printing, and it fits reasonably on top of a lateral file instead of requiring 4'x5' of floor space... I'll regret losing the ability to print 11x17 paper, but it was only used rarely.

I got a B&W Brother all-in-one for WFH from my last employer. Solid unit, works well, reliable, no complaints - just below a model that can duplex, which I consider essential.
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Re: Non-inkjet Color Printer Recommendations??

Unread postby SAQ » Fri Dec 02, 2016 7:10 am

The thing about lasers is that they often do not do a very good job on continuous tones or large raster images. This may not be an issue for you.
That said I haven't bought in a while, just using whatever old printers I'm given and putting up with their oddities.
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Re: Non-inkjet Color Printer Recommendations??

Unread postby josehill » Fri Dec 02, 2016 3:46 pm

Indeed. It's hard to get truly reliable, professional printing without actually paying for truly reliable, professional printing.

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Re: Non-inkjet Color Printer Recommendations??

Unread postby Jack Luminous » Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:07 am

So, this WE, I bought a HP Laserjet M277DW. I briefly tested it with my windows 10 laptop yesterday night and was very pleasantly surprised with the results. Printing several big A4 photos, the results were very good ! And the thing is damn fast. About 2s for a big A4 pic. It ticks all your boxes apart from the small 150 pages paper tray. I plan to use it with the SGIs also. Don't know how it will hold up in the long run though... 8-)
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Re: Non-inkjet Color Printer Recommendations??

Unread postby dexter1 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:01 am

Thank you Jack for that recommendation. I was looking for a printer/scanner combination for home use and decided i didn't want to go the Inkjet route.
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Re: Non-inkjet Color Printer Recommendations??

Unread postby Jack Luminous » Mon Dec 12, 2016 7:39 am

I forgot : I paid €285 for it, which is about $300. I had to disable the antivirus (Avast) because it messed with the HP driver install. All in all, it was pretty straightforward to get it running via ethernet. there's a guy on Ebay Germany selling a full set of XXL compatible toner cartridges for about €120. Very reasonable.
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Re: Non-inkjet Color Printer Recommendations??

Unread postby vishnu » Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:28 am

Guess I'll throw my 2 cents in; I bought an Epson Artisan 50 (color inkjet) for the sole reason that it can print to CDs and DVDs. For what it's worth it's got four out of five stars in 339 reviews on Amazon...
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Re: Non-inkjet Color Printer Recommendations??

Unread postby archaic » Tue Dec 13, 2016 10:00 am

I bought a used Xerox Phaser 6350 years ago and it prints pretty decent business color. Photo prints don't look great on it, but graphs and cover sheets look fine to me. I also like that there are drivers available for MacOS 7 - 10.12, AIX, HP-UX, Solaris, All Windows through to 10/2012R2, DOS, AS/400 and Linux. I also like that the image drums are not in the toner cartidges, so you can get the toner pretty cost effectivly.
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Re: Non-inkjet Color Printer Recommendations??

Unread postby Jack Luminous » Wed Dec 14, 2016 6:27 am

Success ! I printed from my Octane using Alias Studiopaint 9.5 and Photoshop. I just chose some random postscript HP model in the list from printer config and it worked right away. 8-)
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Re: Non-inkjet Color Printer Recommendations??

Unread postby smj » Wed Dec 14, 2016 12:35 pm

vishnu wrote:Guess I'll throw my 2 cents in; I bought an Epson Artisan 50 (color inkjet) for the sole reason that it can print to CDs and DVDs. For what it's worth it's got four out of five stars in 339 reviews on Amazon...

Price new is more than list for the LJ476. Even the used price appears to be over $220. Photo prints must be really nice - I hope something like that was at least a factor, given the price...

archaic wrote:I bought a used Xerox Phaser 6350 years ago and it prints pretty decent business color. Photo prints don't look great on it, ...

I think I saw my first Phaser printer in 1991? That was solid ink, versus normal toner-based laser printers. Print quality was unbelievable for the time, especially with special paper - the company I worked at was full of mathematicians playing with wavelet transforms, which led to some interesting prints...
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