[clug] Printer recommendations?

Scott Ferguson scott.ferguson.clug at gmail.com
Tue Jan 8 06:52:53 MST 2013

On 09/01/13 00:19, Simon Oxwell wrote:
> 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?
> Simon

I buy and use quite a few printers for Linux.
IMO the best value[*1] for money using your selection criteria is the
Xerox Phaser 3124 (mono). It's LED, a couple of years old now, sub-$100
to buy new.
About $25 for new toner[*2] which includes a new drum and gets you about
3 to 5 reams of printing.
USB *and* PP support (bonus!). Foomatic/GDI driver. Just works.

[*1]if you don't mind manual duplex
[*2]off brand from Melbourne including postage, as good or better than

P.S. Avoid multi-function devices - they tend to do nothing well.

Kind regards

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