Laser printer test: Entry-level work horses

Four cheap laser all-in-one's on the test bench

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Introduction

What should a printer be capable of? Printing documents quickly and efficiently; it would be nice for the device, if it's an all-in-one, to be capable of scanning and printing with no issues. In short, no rocket science and such a device should not be expensive. Hardware.Info tests four attractively-priced laser printers.


Even though its purpose is quite simple, a laser printer is quite a complex device from a technical standpoint. A print is made by heating a roll on the right place, sprinkling toner on top of it and after that running the role over the paper. Quite a lot of processes are involved, however this nice technology has become much cheaper the last couple of years.

This means that you can buy a complete all-in-one device for about 180 dollars (you can get even cheaper ones, however it turns out that it's rather difficult to convince manufacturers to send such a device). If you've got modest requirements and if black-white prints are enough for you, you've got plenty to choose from within this budget. This might be a bit weird, considering that laser printers are known to be a great choice for offices, however a laser printer is also a great choice if you print relatively less. If you don't print a lot, you risk that the cartridges dry out if you're using an inkjet printer, laser printers do not have this problem.

Canon i-Sensys MF232W
A laser printer is a useful addition to a small office.

Furthermore, toner is more waterproof than ink, which is especially useful if send a lot of business correspondence by mail. A soaked letter won't be an issue at all. In addition to that, the text of a laser printer looks sharper. This gives a more professional impression. Lastly, the prints do not have to be expensive at all, even if you use a cheaper laser printer, which means that a laser printer could be a potentially ideal workhorse for students that have to write a lot. In short, as long as you absolutely do not have to print in colour, there are enough reasons to go for a laser printer.


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