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New b&w laser printer...

Replacing (or repairing?) my old HP5L


Robert Charlton

7:18 am on Jul 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

My HP5L crapped out this morning... It's been chugging along for a lot of years, and even though I suspect some of the insides are made of plastic-coated cardboard, I'm thinking of repairing rather than replacing it.

I'm guessing the motor's gone or going... it sounds like it... so the repair might cost as much as some of the newer personal lasers, which are amazingly cheap.

In favor of repair... I'm thinking the newer printers are made of even lighter-weight plasticized cardboard than the 5L, and the technology probably hasn't gotten that much better. Also, on the side of keeping the 5L, everything's installed on my system... and the driver works with some old DOS software that I occasionally use, whereas the new printers might not.

If I did replace the 5L, PC magazine gives Editors' Choice to the Samsung ML-1430, which is so cheap it might be good to have around as a backup printer in any event.

I just want black and white home-office laser, mainly for text, letters, and checks, or for printing out web pages. I occasionally print on light weight card stock and envelopes, so a fairly straight paper path is helpful. The HP LJ1000 doesn't have a manual feed slot, so that's out.

Anyone have experience with the Samsung, or any other suggestions?


7:56 am on Jul 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Yes, I used to work for Samsung and their products are quite good. They make rebadged products for HP, IBM, Compaq, Dell and Digital Dec, so that proves their quality.

I would not worry about the cost of the printer: look at the price of toners (and drums, and developers if necessary). The consumables are where your money goes in the long run.

For example:

Samsung, 300 for printer, 70 for toner (6000 pages)
Brother, 200 for printer, 25 for toner (3000 pages)

It immediately looks as though the Brother will be cheaper, but its page life is shorter (toner price comparison becomes 50), plus Brother lasers usually need separate drums (budget 120 every 20000 pages). The Samsung toner includes the drum (like your old HP).

So 100000 sheets would cost:
Samsung: 300 + (17 toners at 70) = 1490
Brother: 200 + (34 toners at 25) + (5 drums at 120) = 1650

Cost per 100 sheets (exluding paper):
Samsung: 1.49p
Brother: 1.65p

So you would be paying more than 10% more to run the printer that looks cheaper:
DONT GET STUNG - many people do with BT fax machines, cheap Lexmark inkjets and Epson printers.

Robert Charlton

8:30 pm on Jul 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

gsx - Thanks. I'm not a large volume printer, but wouldn't consider an ink jet because of the operating costs. The laser costs seem to all range in the 2.4 to 2.8 cents/page range, excluding maintenance. Right now, I'm only considering Samsung and HP. Lexmark gets bad press all around. I've been researching both by phone and on the web.

HP has a bewildering number of models, and their recent machines seem to lack manual feed slots. I can't believe how sketchy everybody's product specs are.

The HP 5L gets scathing comments on some of the more technical online printer forums because of its gravity feed... with some recommendations to buy an HP 1200 instead. Can't find out whether the 1200 has a manual feed slot, though.

A complete overhaul on the 5L is going to be somewhere close to $200. I hate to put money into it, but my system is set for it, so I won't be spending a lot of time getting it going.

A couple of repair guys suggested to me that I'd have trouble getting local techs to work on the Samsungs.

One intriguing possibility... one tech has an unused HP 220D for $450, more printer than I need, with not much info about it that I can find online. One has to wonder why it's been sitting around. Info I can find is all on European sites. It looks like an impressive machine at a bargain price; but it will take some time to set up, and, when all is said and done, I'll be spending an extra $300.

Does anyone know anything more about this printer, and about whether the LaserJet 1200 has a manual feed slot?


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