Home Office Laser Printer
Getting the Best Buy for Your Home Office

We have employed a home office laser printer for several years. You can’t do better than this for cheap and reliable. Ours is black print only (no color), but very inexpensive to purchase and operate. And the speed of a black toner laser printer is very fast. You won’t be changing toner frequently because a toner cartridge lasts up to 5 times as long as inkjet.

Most of the pages we print require normal resolution and we don’t need colors.  The only supply we purchase for this laser printer, in addition to paper, is a toner cartridge. You can get a re-filled cartridge for about $50.  This cartridge will print over 2500 pages.  Most inexpensive ink-type printers can’t match laser printer speed and low maintenance of cartridges.

Some things to look for
in a home office laser printer

The first consideration when choosing a home office laser printer is not the initial unit cost. Look at maintenance cost (toner cartridge, paper and any other replaceable) first. This is the real built-in cost of operating the printer. As with inkjet printers, the makers almost give away the printer because they make their profit by selling the replacement cartridges.

Availability of compatible (not Original Equipment Manufacturer) cartridges is essential. Check with your local or online ink/toner refill retailers.

Is a laser printer perfect in every way? No. It is best for black print only documents.

Can a laser print pictures? Not very well. You need an ink-type printer for photo printing.

Figuring operating cost per page
of a home office laser printer

The cost per page is the sum of the costs for paper, toner, and any other component that has to be replaced with usage of the printer.  We use the lowest cost components in our calculations, not manufacturer/OEM.  Also, taxes, shipping and pick up costs for these components are not included because they vary.

Home office laser printers we recommend

We recommend two well-known brands of laser printers. The reliability and availability of supplies for these printers makes them good for the home office.

You may find other satisfactory laser printer models that are on the market.  Models change frequently. Either of our two recommended models will do a fine job and probably fill your needs in a small home office.

Common to each of these units is black-only (monochrome) printing, excellent text quality, direct USB connection to computer, Wi-Fi networking, both Windows and Mac OS compatibility, and no display screen. These printers are also small in size, so they don’t waste office space.

Brother HL-2230 and other HL-2000 series laser printers

    Monochrome single function (see http://www.brother-usa.com)
    Printer retails for about $120 – look for sales
    Duty cycle recommended by manufacturer up to 10000 pages/month:                                                           ideal page volume 250 to 2000 per month
    Toner cartridge, “high yield” - $30 compatible (123Inkjets), $69 mfg (Brother)
    Toner cartridge page yield* - 2600 (both 123Inkjets and Brother)
    Imaging drum - $45 compatible (123Inkjets), $70 mfg, replaced with every 4th toner
    Imaging drum page yield - 12000, both Inksell and Brother
    Print speed is about 24 ppm (source Brother)
    Includes Ethernet connection
    Easy set up
    Our index of operating cost per page is $.02028, or about 2.0 cents
        Paper by case $25, sheets per case 5000, cost per sheet $0.005
        Toner cartridge $30, pages per cart. 2600, cost per page $0.011538
        Imaging drum $45, pages per drum 12k, cost per page $0.00375

HP Laserjet P1102W and other LaserJet Pro 1000 series laser printers

    Monochrome single function (see http://www.hp.com )
    Printer retails for about $130 – look for sales
    Duty cycle recommended by manufacturer up to 5000 pages/month:                    
        ideal page volume 250 to 1500 per month
    Toner cartridge - $33 compatible (123Inkjets), $90 (manufacturer OEM)
    Toner cartridge page yield* - 1600 (123Inkjets), 2500 (source HP)
    Imaging drum built into toner cartridge
    Print speed is about 19 ppm (source HP)
    Setup requires care
    Other: ENERGY STAR® qualified energy efficiency, ePrint printing from
        anywhere with an internet connection, Instant-on Technology
    Our index of operating cost per page is $.025625, or about 2.6 cents
        Paper by case $25, sheets per case 5000, cost per sheet $0.005
        Toner cartridge $33, pages per cartridge 1600, cost per page $0.020625

*Page yield is based on international standards: ISO/IEC 19752 and ISO/IEC 19798 standards for determining monochrome and color laser printer page yields.  The test page appears much as a normal business letter, equivalent to covering about 5% of the page solid with ink.

Other laser printers for the home office

There are other small laser printers, such as Samsung ML-2165W, that may also be worth consideration.  Again, price and availability of a compatible toner cartridge is an important part of this comparison.

Saving money with a home office laser printer

Buy compatible, not OEM, toner and other supplies from a reliable supplier.  Look for indications that the quality of toner and other supplies is good.  Supplier certifications, such as ISO 9000, indicate an effort toward manufacturing quality control.  Find out the return policy when a cartridge is defective.

Order supplies online and ahead of time, instead of waiting until you must go to a local retailer.

Don’t print a page if it is not necessary.  View a document on screen instead.

Re-use paper, printing the back side too.  Then recycle your discard paper sheets.

Additional equipment you may want to have

Complete your printing capabilities by adding an all-in-one machine to serve as a home office copier, color ink printer, scanner and fax.