Here are my notes when researching information on the various brands of printers. I should note what I was looking for as this probably skews my view a little bit. I was after a sub-$600 black and white laser with low running costs and duplex capabilities. I haven't said anything about Linux support except where Linux support may be a problem.
While these are dependable machines, recent models do some trickery to achieve their advertised resolution. This trickery is dependent on drivers which are proprietary and as of yet these drivers do not exist for Linux. This means that you are likely to get half the resolution expected.
About as Linux unfriendly as they get according to one person I spoke to. Most of the inkjets require turboprint which is a commercial piece of software for Linux which adds more cups drivers. Laser printing support may also be compromised as Brother, at one stage, had not licensed Postscript from Adobe and instead used Brotherscript. I'm not sure if this is still the case but if you see the term "Brotherscript" avoid it. Apparently although it claims full compliance with Postscript level 3, there are problems.
Yes dell do sell printers. However, they're little more than rebranded Lexmarks.
I've heard nothing but good things about HP's - particularly with their older models which I have fond memories of.
These are probably the cheapest laser printers to run with patented technology which involves a "lifetime" drum. This means that the drum need not be replaced. However, after talking to someone who fixes printers for a living, this is seldom the case and they do need replacing sooner or later. However, I would consider one of these a good purchase.
Although these may be tempting initially due to their low prices, their running costs more than make up for it costing around $0.03/page more than most other brands. Also drivers are often an issue for these printers.
Another brand that didn't elicit any negative comments.
The general consensus on drivers is to pick something that has good solid postscript support.
As much as I'd like to have been able to say that the research was the most troubling bit in my quest for a new printer, I came up against problems with trying to order a printer once I had decided on one.
I had used pricespy to find the cheapest vendors for the printer I had decided on. The first vendor told me that they couldn't sell me the printer I had ordered at the price advertised on their website. They were still willing to sell me one but at $150 more than the advertised price due to their suppliers no longer supplying them at the price they were expecting.
The second vendor at the very least sent a printer though it was not the model I had ordered. Instead, it was a cheaper model without the features I was looking for. When asked about this the response I got back was that they thought the printer they had sent me was the equivalent as the printer I had ordered was no longer available. Despite this claim, they continued to advertise that model of printer for the next month.
So it is worthwhile spending a little bit more to find a trustworthy vendor or at the very least a vendor within your area.
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