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Old Feb 19, 2015, 9:06 PM   #1
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Default Help selecting color laser MFC

I have spent many many hours trying to find a printer. I have an HP LJ5 that is around 20 years old (and cost $1200). Works fine, but I want a different type of device. I tried an Epson ink jet printer. Between my brother and I we had two Epson Artisan 800's and a wide paper printer. My 800 sheet feeder never worked and eventually it also stopped printing. Both of my brother's failed after relatively little use. One he smashed with a hammer (he lacks a certain finesse).

Every time I find something interesting it either costs $4000, really uses wax for printing, is available only in Australia, other. I am hoping some of you with experience can provide some guidance. This will be the last printer I buy to match the house I am going to die in (I am old; long term warranties are becoming less interesting). After reading a bunch of stuff I just do not understand; specifically the results of the various fairy dust manufacturers apply to resolution specs, I am after a printer that does very well at producing photos and graphics in color. My wife teaches classes in fabric design and knitting and often has to print the documentation for her classes. They generally do not require photo quality (although that would be a nice positive), but they need to be respectable images the show small details.

I have seen a plethora of dpi specifications, but I am unable to make a rational selection. There are a lot of 600 X 600 devices. Then we wander off into the twilight zone. 2400X 600, 1200 X 600 1200 X 1200, 600 X 2400 (extrapolated by some unique and proprietary process), etc., etc.

Can someone decipher these variants into actual visual results? This understanding is a very important factor in selecting the right laser. And it can be a LED array if the quality is there.

Here is what I definitely want (i.e., requirements):
  • Color laser multifunction printer that is very reliable
  • Material deposited on the paper must not be wax
  • Properly done LED light sources are acceptable as a replacement for a laser
  • Automatic double sided printing, copying, and scanning
  • Automatic document feeder
  • I would like a minimum of 1200 X 1200 dpi actual print resolution without various excuses about "we do it just as good" without clear printed proof (see above discussion)
  • Decent print and scan speeds (not the highest priority, but with the other requirements it will probably be pretty good)
  • Scan resolution should also be at least as good as the print resolution or preferably higher (to replace a standalone scanner and recover some space)
  • Copy resolution of 600 dpi is OK
  • Ethernet attachment
  • Decent software to allow use as a small LAN print server
  • Usable interface on the physical printer
The closest match I have seen so far is the Fuji/Xerox DocuCentre SC2020 - it misses on price, US availability, and being sure what their resolution is really like.

What I would like:
  • Reasonable pricing on supplies
  • Price under US $1000 (not a hard limit)
  • PCL5/6 and real (not emulated) Postscript (postscript optional; I have survived with only PCL for many years)
I will take a look at everything that you suggest.

Last edited by alternety; Feb 19, 2015 at 9:45 PM.
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