Rethinking HP Printers

In keeping with a philosophy of standardizing on as few brands as possible, I’ve used and recommended Hewlett Packard printers for 15 years or so. I’ve recommended the purchase of hundreds of thousands of dollars of HP printers, mostly laser printers in the $750-$2000 range that are sometimes known as small workgroup printers. Because people ask, I’ve also recommended HP for ink-jet color printers, usually as an adjunct to a laser printer in an office, or as a stand-alone printer for a single computer at home. However, I have recently had the following problems:

  • Two “all-in-one” injket printers/scanner/faxes that were dead on arrival

  • Two 18 month-old color deskjet professional printers that broke because of flimsy parts. The problem with these printers is that they perpetually are saying that they are out of ink for one cartridge, (usually blue or magenta). The user caught on when they hadn’t printed any color pages for weeks…just black and white, and they began to wonder why were they running out of magenta ink when they weren’t using any.

  • A low-end laser that was shipped with software that was deemed “useless” by HP technical support, which required me to download and install new software after spending an hour or more attempting to install it with the software provided with the unit.

Note that each failure results in the loss of tens if not hundreds of working hours. The affected users are frustrated with all of the futzing around. Not to mention the buying of all the extra ink jet cartridges.

So, today, I’m in Staples, looking for a replacement for one of the color printers. I see there are no less than 12 different models of HP ink jet printers, costing from about $89.95 to $495.00. And I decided I had enough with the throw-away printers, and the ridiculous costs per page, and the dozens of different cartridges, the rotten software, the multiple hours of installation, testing, downloading drivers and all the ink-jet crap. I bought a low-end Brother monochrome laser printer. We’ll see how this works out.

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