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Can anyone recommend an all in one color laser in the  300 - 400 range?

Posted on 2011-02-15
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
Hi All,

Our church had a Dell 3115cn go bad on us, parts to repair it are more than half of the cost of the printer.  That being said, we are looking to replace it.  We don't need the network features the dell had, just a good all in one color laser printer/scanner.  

Can anyone recommend one (Brother, Canon, HP, etc) in the 300-400 range max?  We have looked at lots of reviews but wondering if any printer experts might have some first hand reviews they can contribute.  

Thanks!  
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Question by:Jsmply
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:michko
ID: 34907603
HP has a decent "help me choose" tool here:
http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/product_advisor.do?landing=printer&storeName=storefronts

It will probably come down to something like the OfficeJet 7500A within your price range.  A decent printer at that price, imho.

Best of luck.
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Assisted Solution

by:nomorefuzzylogic
nomorefuzzylogic earned 200 total points
ID: 34908095
I suggest the OKI C5650N - prefer it to my HP any day - in fact I even prefer the OKI over the Epson I used for years. Have been using one for over a year and great quality.
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Expert Comment

by:hdhondt
ID: 34914452
"We don't need the network features the dell had"

For office use I strongly recommend a network printer. Any other connection will cause problems in the long run. Also avoid any inkjets, or pay the price.
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Author Comment

by:Jsmply
ID: 34919041
Thanks a,, the OfficeJet 7500A is not a laser so we are concerned with the cost of consumables since this machine will print a decent amount per month.  

The OKI isn't an all in one unfortunately.  

Lastly, in regards to the networking feature, we have two heavy duty network printers in the Church.  This printer is to be used in a remote location by one user, so that's the reason for the networking feature not needed.  
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Expert Comment

by:michko
ID: 34920984
sorry about that, should have picked up that the 7500a isn't a laser.

Here is a search return from CDWG with laser printers (specifically) color, with copier and scanner, and usb connectivity for under $500.
http://www.cdwg.com/shop/search/results.aspx?wclss=P3&Attr2935=TRANS50063859&Attr2926=TRANS50062939&Attr4382=TRANS50403681%7cTRANS50403679%7cTRANS50403680&Attr3208=TRANS50076755%7cTRANS50063863&prcn=200002

I'm normally an HP type person, just based on what my experience is with.  But any of those should do what you need.

hdhondt has a good point (as always :) ) - think about possible future uses. I have purchased printers in the past that were supposed to be for one user - then 2 years down the road someone wants it to become a network printer, and then there is a fuss about why it doesn't have network capability.

I believe all of the printers returned in that search have an ethernet connection also - so even if you don't use it now, it is available if needed.  Then you are the "forward-thinking" genius :)

Best of luck.
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Expert Comment

by:hdhondt
ID: 34922088
Another issue to consider: low-cost printers are usually GDI printers (also known as host-based), which rely on the Windows graphics engine to convert the page into dots on the page. The drivers for these printers are very dependent on the OS version, so that a Vista driver may not work under W7, etc. Sometime in the future the manufacturer will stop releasing new driver versions, and your printer may stop working when you upgrade your PC. The cheaper the printer, the sooner drivers will stop appearing.

More expensive printers support printer languages like PCL or PostScript, and drivers for these come with Windows. Even if the driver is not part of Windows, you can still get other drivers to work with your printer. For GDI printers, only the driver for your specific printer will work.

A last bit of confusion: only PCL5 and PCL6 are printer languages. Some HP printers support something called PCL3. These are GDI printers with a fancy name.
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Author Comment

by:Jsmply
ID: 34928256
Looking at the Konica Minolta magicolor 1690MF.  Anyone have any experience with this printer?  The price is right, just not sure how well it does with legal sizes.  Trying to determine if it accepts legal in the paper tray or if it loads from a seperate input (IE: on our Dell you open a seperate input on the front of the printer and load legal as needed, but the tray is always stocked with 8.5 x 11).

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Expert Comment

by:michko
ID: 34929260
The way i read Konica's info on the printer, it comes with their basic 200 sheet paper tray.  I don't see where they have a separate input tray you could pull out.  The standard tray will take all paper sizes, but if you want to print to a different size than what is loaded in the tray, you'll have to change out the paper in the tray itself.

It does have an optional 500 sheet lower tray add-on that will take Letter or A4 paper.  With that you could load letter in the lower tray and keep legal in the 200 sheet basic tray and print from which ever tray you needed.  Of course, that 500 sheet tray is almost the same price as the printer itself:
http://www.cdwg.com/shop/products/default.aspx?edc=2307272&enkwrd=ALLPROD%3a(500-sheet+lower+feeder+unit)

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Author Comment

by:Jsmply
ID: 34929614
Thanks, yep that won't work then.  Heh, it's tough working on a church budget sometimes.  We go back and forth between legal and letter all day long, so this wouldn't be practical.  Back to the drawing board.
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Accepted Solution

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michko earned 300 total points
ID: 34930340
Only one of those twelve I see that has a bypass try is the canon 8350.  You'll need either a bypass try or a second input tray - one or the other.  .... Sorry, but I'm about out of suggestions.  Can get you what you need - just not quite within that price range.
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Author Comment

by:Jsmply
ID: 34957820
Thanks all.  Any experience with the Canon 8350?  If not we might have to splurge 100 bucks or so.
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Expert Comment

by:michko
ID: 34962457
My experience has pretty much been on the HP side of things.  I've had to support some Canon copiers (networked) and been satisfied with their performance.  I'd be comfortable recommending the Canon.
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Author Comment

by:Jsmply
ID: 34974860
Thanks.  The Canon seems a bit outside of our budget too though, everyplace seems to have it for around $ 500?  We decided to go ahead and see if the Church finance committee can add a little more money to this projects budget.  We will see what we can work out.  Thanks!  I guess we should close the question in the meantime.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Jsmply
ID: 34974869
Thx
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Expert Comment

by:michko
ID: 34979577
yw.  best of luck.
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