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January 09, 2007

The Case for a Home Workgroup Printer

I just find that printers are so much easier to deal with if they are workgroup/enterprise class lasers, support postscript and sit on the network. The toner tends be more readily available and cheaper per page, not to mention lasting forever. The units are built like tanks and are designed to work reliably. Being a network printer, the device just prints, you don't have to worry about sharing and computers crashing. Being postscript, you don't have to worry about custom drivers. Here's a summary of my reasons:
1) It's a good value. A used workgroup printer can be found for $100-200, new printers have also come way down in price.
2) It can be networked. Saves the hassle of printer sharing and is much more friendly in heterogeneous networks.
3) It will likely be faster and have more features, such as native postscript.
4) It has a duty cycle that far exceeds lesser models, meaning its much more reliable.
5) Consumables are cheaper. I've stocked up on toner, enough for my lifetime most likely, for the cost of a single set of replacement ink cartridges for a consumer printer.
6) Service information and parts are available.

PS: the HP drivers shipped with Windows are always better than the ones you can download from HP.

My motivation for posting this now: I was able to diagnose a problem I was having via http://www.fixyourownprinter.com/ and http://www.printerworks.com/Catalogs/EX-Catalog/EX-AssblyContents.html. Then was able to find the parts cheap and install them and get everything going again.

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