I finally had to kick my old Epson inkjet printer to the curb. It served me well over the years, but it finally quit on me a few weeks ago.
I decided to look at a color laser printer to replace it. They are supposed to be cheaper to operate and less temperamental. After reading a ton of reviews, I had narrowed my decision down to the Konica Minolta MagicColor 2530DL and the Brother HL-4040CN. I also was looking at the similar priced HP and Samsung printers, but both of those seemed to have had reliability issues.
I ended up going with the Brother HL-4040CN printer, and I have been pleased so far. I don’t do any hardcore printing. Mostly, I print comps of designs and illustrations for editing. That being said, I still wanted a printer that would give me a fairly accurate representation.
Here are my thoughts on the printer:
Quick Warm Up
The printer doesn’t take very long to warm up when you turn it on. This is compared to my inkjet which had a pretty raucous and long warm up cycle.
It spits out high quality print outs almost instantly.
This thing is bestial, so if you don’t have a decent sized sturdy table or desk to hold it, then you might want to look at another printer.
I thought the prints were fairly sharp. You get an occasional roller line. My inkjet printed a little nicer when it was cranked up to max resolution and performing well, but it was often slow and fussy. To be fair, I haven’t bought any high quality paper for the printer, so that may make a difference. It has a setting for higher resolution prints, but I didn’t think there was a big difference between that and the normal setting. Again, that might make a difference with better paper.
It prints color that is fairly accurate. I thought the reds and blues were pretty spot on, but it seems to wash out my greens a bit. I wouldn’t use this printer for any sort of color matching or proof, but overall, I’m pleased with the color.
I bought this printer for around $400 and it is supposed to be one of the better cost per print in this price range.
Bottom line is that you have to buy a printer that suits your needs. I wanted something that was Mac compatible and printed good quality print outs quickly and with little or no fuss. I think this printer definitely does that. I also recommend going to the store to see the printer and get a test print from it. I bought mine from Office Max.
If you are looking for a good resource for color laser printer reviews, I’d start at PCWorld
This post was written on IllustrationInfo.com. Content copyright 2007 Cory Thoman.