[clug] Printer recommendations?

Simon Oxwell soxwell at gmail.com
Tue Jan 8 06:19:56 MST 2013

Hi all,

After months of struggling with a slightly dodgey  USB->Parallel adapter
and my 15 year old HP LaserJet, I've decided it may well be time to bite
the bullet and get a new printer.

I don't do a lot of printing, so will likely stick to a mono laser printer
(I think an inkjet will likely clog between uses), so was looking to see
what people are using these days.

I've done a bit of a market scan, ruled out Canon and Lexmark due to past
shenanignas, and there seems to be three vendors:

* Fuji-Xerox, who seem to be doing some really interesting stuff using LED
instead of lasers and have a sub-$200 colour printer with 2400x2400 dpi
resolution (and recommeded by a work colleague), but is GDI Host-based and
Fuji-Xerox offer nothing in the way of FOSS drivers. Seriously cheap kit.

* Brother - slightly more expensive, still GDI based at the bottom end,
resolution not quite as good (2400x600 dpi), but the CUPS drivers are
GPLv2, available is .deb and .rpm, but they rely on binary blob that is
Linux only as far as the FOSS OSes go. (I have a NAS box based on FreeBSD I
might want to run a print queue on)

* HP - even more expensive, but seem to have good FOSS support via hplip
and foomatic. Technology-wise, HP seem to be stuck with the same print
engine that's in my 15 year old printer (they're still on 600x600 dpi!)

There seems to be a sliding scale that ties price and openness in one
direction and price and spec in the other.

So, is there any vendors I've missed? Will I have have to suck it up and
pay more for something that supports PS or PCL? What would you recommend?


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