The Brother HL-L3270CDW. Toss the Ink and get a Color Laser Printer Instead

I have a challenging relationship with paper printers. They have been nothing but trouble for me throughout my career. They posess an uncanny ability to malfunction exactly when they are needed most and always in the most obscure ways.

Don’t get me wrong. The ability to bring a digital construct into the physical world in any form will always be astonishing. The machines we utilize to facilitate the physical output are often complicated, temperamental, and crucial to some aspect of their owner’s ambitions.

Printing my own photos still makes me smile. Right up until I remember how much that ink costs. My wife and kids print photos, artwork, and papers for school. How much was I spending on those annoying cartridges anyway?

Warning: Using your finance app to answer that question will not lead to warm fuzzies.

Not long ago, I was watching TV with the family and caught a commercial in which Shaq was pitching a printer with big ink tanks. Epson’s eco-tank series is pitched as holding more ink than cartridges and is supposed to be easily refillable.

Subconsciously, my mind recognized that something must be driving the one-hundred and eighty degree flop. Printer manufactures are notorious for their near total control of the little paint tubs. Going so far as RFID tagging them to prevent a third party from making competing cartridges. It didn’t take long for me to discover what had changed in the market.

Several color laser printers had hit the shelves with price points squarley in the inkjet’s territory. Thanks for the heads up, Epson. I was immediately ready to change. Average ink cartridges struggle to print 100 pages. Small toner cartridges will usually top 1000 pages.

Before you consider changing to a laser printer, there are some key differences to be aware of. Do your research. Inkjet printers typically produce more vibrant photo prints. Inkjets are also capable of printing on surfaces other than paper. CDs \ DVDs, T-Shirts, stickers, and more can be inked. LaserJet’s are stuck with plain old paper, card-stock if you push it.

That isn’t to say that color laser printers can’t print photographs. They do, and the results are fantastic. They just aren’t the glossy things most people think of as pictures.

Magic and other card games allow for proxy decks that you print at home. Each card is a work of art. Printing on our inkjet, we go through the cartridges about every one-hundred pages or so. So far, we have printed almost 300 of these pages, plus another forty pages of generic printing, and the toner status has barley dipped.

There are countless studies and debates about the cost per page of ink vs. toner, I have nothing to add. The Brother is available for $249.00 and will print around 1500 pages on the cartridges that come with it. At that price and for the type of printing I’m doing, I could purchase a new printer each time the toner ran out and would still come out ahead.

The Brother HL-L3270CDW supports wired and wireless networks, Apple and Android device printing, dual sided prints, and all the other modern features. It should be noted that it is only a printer, not an MFP.

If you find yourself blasting through ink cartridges faster than you can afford, check it out. We’ve been happy with the change.



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