About Me

When not at work with students, I spend my time in my room either reading, calculating something using pen and paper, or using a computer. I read almost anything: from the pornographic to the profound, although my main interests are mathematics and physics. "When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes." -Erasmus

Friday, December 30, 2011

New printer

I bought a new printer two days ago, an HP LaserJet P1102. It set me back by PhP 5K. I got fed up with having to go to school just to get some documents printed. I decided to get a monochrome laser printer because I rarely print in color, and  was familiar with this printer. It's similar to the one I use at school, an HP LaserJet 1020.

I had almost no problems getting it to run with my netbook, both in ubuntu and in windows 7. It turned out that I didn't even need the CD, because the drivers were easily fetched by Ubuntu, and seems to be built-into windows 7 as well. I did make a silly mistake when I first tried printing. I tried printing a pdf (an article from Physical Review by Ronald Gautreau) and got two blank pages. To fix it, I did a google search and one of the first things I found is the question "Did you remove the tab at the left end of the toner?". Turned out there was a plastic protector attached to the toner so that it won't leak while in storage. I removed it and got it working.

Although I'm satisfied with the performance of the printer, there are a few things I dislike. It's HP's business model. Take the practice of including a starter toner (that supposedly prints 700 pages) instead of a regular toner (which, if you believe the product claims, can be used for 1600 pages)  when they could have easily done so. This seems to be a common gripe, not just with HP. Samsung also does the same thing.

Another issue is how much the toner costs: approximately three-fifths the price of the printer. I'm not surprised. It's like how Gillette markets its products. You pay a low teaser price for the shaver, and then they gouge you on the replacement razor blades. I understand that it's how HP makes money on printers; I've read somewhere that printers are one of HP's cash cows. But it sure alienates their customers. The printing, if you rely on HP's cartridges, will cost about PhP 2 per page.

Before I bought this printer, the home printer I used was my brother's HP  inkjet. The ink cartridges cost about PhP 500, and it was expensive, and so and my brother decided to get a refill kit. CDRking, for example, has a refill kit that allows you to recycle spent cartridges. Where a new ink cartridge costs PhP 500, for about PhP 200 you can get a refill kit that allows your cartridge to be used for printing about five times (this is a figure drawn out from air, I'm guessing it's an understatement since we've used such refill kits on my brother's printer, and they last for a long long time) what you'd get from the original cartridge. Could something similar be done for a LaserJet printer?  A quick search gave me a Youtube video (it's actually an advert for a toner refill kit) showing how you can refill an HP 85A toner.

One way to reduce cost is to buy replacement toners from CDRKing. If you look at CDRKing's online catalogue, you'll also find a toner cartridge that's compatible with my printer and costs only a third of the price of HP's. But if I could find a reasonably priced refiller, I'd rather go for the refill because of two things: it's a lot cheaper than getting a new cartridge, and also because it's  environmentally saner to do so. If HP had such a service here, with reasonable pricing, I'd go for it. But because they aren't doing the right thing by their customers, they'll have to live with customers who don't get their toners from them.


Tim said...

I'm not advising against refilling your own toner, but make sure you're prepared for a mess that sprawls great distances.

You'll need a smock, latex gloves, a small vacuum, alcohol (for cleaning) and rags on hand. It is a catastrophically messy endeavor.

I believe CDR King gives a credit if you return the consumed toner when getting a refill, as they can be used again. I'm not 100% certain though.

I'm planning on getting the same printer since the driver is so common. They play extremely nicely even with off brand wireless / wired mini print servers. I mostly print documentation for easy reference.

My wife and I both have tabs, phones, laptops and desktops that need to be able to print documents at home, and it would also be easy to plug into Google's cloud print service.

Still, refilling toners is likely one of my least favorite things to do. If CDR King doesn't accept my empty cartridges, I'll find a place to recycle them.

Yepyep said...

Hi! Great Blog :)
After years of experience, I think that hp laserjet refill kit are definitely the superior alternative to OEM cartridges, especially today, where everyone wants to make the most out of their limited budgets.

Patronizing hp laserjet refill kit from reliable websites is truly a must for wise consumers of today and it also promotes environmental conservation. It's like hitting two birds with one stone :D