Keep the Aging Printer

As I sit here looking at an HP LaserJet 4000 series printer (in fact this one is a HP LJ 4050N), I find myself thinking that they just don't make printers like this anymore. These things still sell for about $250 on eBay and the model has to be at least ten years old. This printer is a true workhorse.

Every now and again, someone suggests that we go with a color Dell printer, but that just doesn't strike me as logical. As I look at the Dell site, they are offering a model 3010cn for $379 (less daily discount.) Dell seems to have so little faith in it's longevity that they are looking for $169 to extend its warranty to four years from the one year that is included with purchase. To me, that sounds a lot like no one is expecting the printer to survive for years to come.

Annually, we easily run 40,000 sheets through our HP and it requires next to no maintenance. Yeah, it's B&W but at some point you have to consider how often you really need to print in color. And, the actual cost of that color printing.

When I order toner for this aging HP LJ 4050n, a B&W cartridge costs $100 and it is good for at least 10,000 sheets. The Dell 3010cn printer wants a total of four toner cartridges (Black, Yellow, Magenta and Cyan). The Black cartridge sells for $40 and the three color cartridges sell for $70 each AND each of these Dell cartridges is good for only 2,000 sheets. This would leave me spending better than twice as much per trip to the toner store and having the added joy of making that trip more often.

Think I will be sticking with the B&W model for a few more years.