A (so far) suckless printer at a good price

Top rated and (for now) very cheap; but setup isn’t easy.

In my last post I said all printers suck — at least in my experience. YMMV, as they say.

The most recent suckage at our place was produced by a Brother laser printer and an Epson ink-jet that co-died while I was elsewhere (coincidentally dealing with an Epson printer that refused to print anything from my wife’s laptop, which is the same model as mine, running the same OS, with the same printer drivers).

So I bought the Samsung M2830DW Xpress Monochrome Laser Printer on the Staples website. Though I paid $79.99 a few days ago, the price is currently $59.99, which could hardly be better, since Consumer Reports top-rates it over Canons, Brothers and HPs, and gives surveyed prices from $129 to $179 (both, oddly, at Walmart). It works well. I gave it five stars on the Staples and Consumer Reports sites.

However…

In case you buy this thing, I also want to share the caveats I put in my reviews at the two sites:

  1. It comes with no manual and cryptic pictorial multi-lingual instructions. You’ll need patience. Getting the toner out and removing various strips is the hardest job. But it can be done.
  2. Wireless operation requires a software install by an enclosed CD, followed by initial wireless set-up by a computer over an enclosed USB cable. This is a one-time thing. (So the unit can know, for example, the wi-fi access point security code. (Though it might be more than one-time if you change access points or codes, so don’t lose that CD!) This is a pain if your computer doesn’t have a CD drive. Neither my MacBook Air nor my wife’s can play CDs or DVDs (in fact most small new laptops don’t have that feature); so we had to fire up an old laptop and install though that. Really, Samsung should have the same installer downloadable from the Web. Far as I can tell, they don’t, but I may not have dug deep enough on their website.
  3. We have no idea how much toner comes standard with the unit. The Brother this one replaces printed about a dozen sheets then wanted a replacement. The Staples where we picked this up did not stock the toner. In any case, you’ll need spare toner anyway, so get some, if you can, when you buy the thing.
  4. The cost of this unit on the Staples site was $79.99, discounted from $159.99. This is far below Consumer Reports’ reported prices of $127 — $199 (both Walmart). So I was happy with that until I got an email from Stapes asking me to rate the unit. The Email sent me to me to the page where I am writing this — and the price now is $59.99. Great price, but I feel a bit cheated.

I also notice that it’s also $59.99 at Amazon, for what it’s worth. Guess they’re trying to blow it off the shelves.

So here’s hoping it doesn’t start sucking soon.

[Later…] I contacted Staples through the chat agent on the printer’s page, and they quickly adjusted the price I paid to $59.99. So that was nice.


Originally published at blogs.harvard.edu on February 24, 2016.

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