As some of you may know, I operate a small fireworks business and to keep costs low we would print our own brochures and leaflets. At the beginning this was fine on an inkjet with quality brochure paper. The Canon Pixma with a full set of inks will give 50 A4 double sided prints before the carts run low.
When I first looked for a colour laser in 2006, I had one basic requirement. It must print good enough quality for leaflet printing. My expected page print would only be around 1000 pages per year so a toner cartridge would have a long life for me.
Well after a few sample prints I stumped up the cash and purchased a Konica Minolta Magicolour 2550
I had several reasons:
- They offered cash-back so the printer only cost £130
- It came with 3 year warranty
- It came with a full set of high capacity toner cartridges. That’s 4,400 pages
- Print quality in colour was more than acceptable
The first upgrade was to take the memory from 128mb to 384mb using a Kingston memory stick. Much cheaper than the £450 that Konica was asking for. I regret not purchasing the double sided option as I did quite a few booklet prints with this printer requiring me to flip the paper after printing the first side.
In the seven years that I owned this printer, it worked fautlessly. In that time it used 3 black and 1 cyan toner cartridge. The yellow and magenta were the orginals. One big mistake I made was to purchase an unbranded black toner. The toner was more grey than black and the transfer roller was marked forcing me to use the roller from the empty cartridge. Never again will I attempt to use unbranded toners or inks. I broke my own rule for the final time.
In mid 2012 the printer had almost emptied all four toner carts and the transfer belt was less than 5% life left. To change all this would have cost me £630 +VAT. Well for that money I could buy a new laser with 7 years of improvements.
It was with a heavy heart that the Konica was exchanged (£200 cashback) for a Xerox Colorqube 8570DN. Goodbye toner, hello hot wax!!!
Again, there are good reasons why I chose this:
- only £189 after cashback (they collect your old printer)
- comes with 3000 pages of ink
- ink is really cheap if you know the tricks
- it has double sided printing
- it is fast to print
- gorgeous high contrast colour prints. Not quite picture quality but good enough.
There are two negatives or maybe two and a bit negatives with this printer. It’s quite noisy and smells of hot wax after a long print run. That doesn’t really bother me as I shut the door and go do something else. You cannot hot laminate the colour prints as the colours blend during the laminating process.
I can live with those small niggles as the most important thing to me apart from fast and accurate printing is really cheap consumables.
Beating the greedy manufacturer…