[conspire] Recommended laser printer???

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Fri Jan 6 11:24:51 PST 2012

Quoting Ken Bernard (kenbernard at gmail.com):

> Rick, I would like to offer my condolences on the loss of your mother.

Thank you, Ken.

One of the consequences is that I'm now a member of the despised
landowning classes.  (The 1105 Altschul Ave. house where CABAL meets 
is now fully in my name.)  Thus, I might end up taking even more
personally any CABAL member or other visitor treating my house with
disrespect, as it's literally my house in a way it wasn't until now.

> I have run out of toner on my trusty old HP 6p Monochrome LaserJet
> printer and I am wondering if I should replace it with a new model or
> buy a new toner cartridge for $112.

Hmm, yes, interesting economic dilemma.  Let's do a little research.
The standard HP cartridge is HP model C3903A (sometimes called '03A'),
and is compatible with HP's LaserJet 5P, 5MP, 6P, and 6MP printers,
which one gathers all use the same Xerox print engine.

provides ten online sources for that HP product.  Two of the ten are
about $40.  The rest are around $100.  Maybe your best bet and easiest
solution would be to order two or three units from one of the cheap
vendors.  That might last you a really long time, as these cartridges
have a rating of 4000 pages each.  Even though the page ratings are
usually pretty optimistic, that's still a lot of pages before you have
to worry about supplies again.

Searching Amazon's 'Computers & Accessories' category for 'HP LaserJet
5P, 5MP, 6P, 6MP' brings up what you _really_ want to see, which is both 
vendors of the HP-branded model C3903A cartridge _and_ vendors of
compatible cartridge and 'remanufactured' units.  Prices for new
cartridges seem to run $40-90 for new C3903A cartridges, $20-30 for 
remanufactured C3903A cartridges, and $30-40 for off-brand compatible
cartridges.  Me, I'd be fine with any of those.

> Is there a new laser printer selling for less than $250 that is
> recommended? 

I am going to pass on this excellent question for now, because I need to
get work done at the moment, and also because I haven't researched this 
topic in quite a while and would be starting from scratch, again.

However, maybe finding good onlines sources for the C3903A and
compatibles will meet your immediate needs.  There are times, don't
forget, when an adequate solution is better than an ideal solution
because it's do-able right now and is less time and trouble.  However,
adjust your strategy according to what's important to you.

I really regret that Grant Taylor isn't running linuxprinting.org, any
more.  (He handed it off to Linux Foundation.)  He used to have really
excellent pages making recommendations for Linux-friendly printers in
several categories including monochrome lasers, bearing in mind vital
criteria like how much the toner cartridges cost and how long the
cartridges' service lives were.  At the time -- and you shouldn't rely
on this any more, as it's been too long -- he made an excellent case for
a particular Samsung monochrome laser printer.  To my knowledge, there 
are not any site doing anywhere near as clear-eyed and realistic printer
recommendations for Linux users, any more.

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