Die, Epson, Die

by Brad Nelson   10/4/14

There are several things that need to be wiped off the face of this earth: the malaria parasite, “radical” Islam, and Epson inkjet printers, the kind that eat $30.00 cartridges with their endless “cleaning” cycles that never do actually clean or unclog anything but simply use up the ink until the cartridge is useless. Never again.

I have a cheap HP CP1525nw color laser printer in the office that I use for simple color proofs and such. I got it for less than $300.00 on sale a year or two ago. It’s still working fine but is overkill for most things.

For most of the stuff we print out, we don’t need color. We don’t need to keep one of those problematic inkjet printers hanging around, with an IV-drip of expensive ink dedicated to trying to keep it running — ink that is, ounce for ounce, more expensive than silver. And the toner cartridges on the color laser printers are expensive…and the less expensive aftermarket cartridges don’t work as well as the expensive OEM ones.

So I recently purchased the Samsung M2830DW laser printer from Staples on sale for about $79.00. It’s a black-and-white-only laser (not inkjet) printer. Unlike one of those
SamsungPrinterproblematic inkjets, you can let a laser printer sit around for weeks without printing anything on them and they are none the worse. That’s just not true, in practice, with inkjets, which tend to gum up.

There was a competing HP printer in the same price range at Staples, but it looked like a piece of junk compared to this Samsung. It looked flimsy and its paper tray stuck way out the side. I’m normally a huge fan of HP printers. But this Samsung is much more compact and elegant. It’s easy to feed it paper and it will do up to 8.5 x 14  via manual feed (which I did find to be a process that is less than intuitive).

Granted, I don’t expect the replacement toner cartridges to be cheap. But they do tend to last forever. And with a toner-based printer, you can always find (cheap…in more ways than one) aftermarket or refurbished cartridges that will generally work pretty well. And they are often 1/3 the price of new ones (although, at times, can be problematic so be sure to buy from a source that accepts returns, something I have had to do before and was able to do without any muss or fuss).

It’s also nice that this printer is wireless. I’ve got this baby sitting in the other room next to my brother’s computer station where he really needed it to print out shipping labels and such. His PC connects to it effortlessly, and it was pretty easy to set up the wireless.

And my 27″ iMac in the other room (once I installed the drivers) can also print to it, so it’s a nice backup for my HP LaserJet 2300 which is several years old and keeps going and going. It’s another toner-based black-and-white printer. I have indeed forever given up on inkjets. They have caused me no end of frustration.

In fact, sort of in an act of intentional melodrama, a few years ago (upon having acquired a new printer) I dumped my old Epson inkjet printer into the parking lot  and took a sledgehammer to it — which is what we should do to ISIS as well. But that’s another story.

But, really, if you’re looking for a good black-and-white printer, I’ll put the power and prestige of my name (such as it is) behind this nice little printer. You could certainly do worse.


Brad is editor and chief disorganizer of StubbornThings.
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Brad Nelson

About Brad Nelson

I like books, nature, politics, old movies, Ronald Reagan (you get sort of a three-fer with that one), and the founding ideals of this country. We are the Shining City on the Hill — or ought to be. However, our land has been poisoned by Utopian aspirations and feel-good bromides. Both have replaced wisdom and facts.
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16 Responses to Die, Epson, Die

  1. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    I had an earlier version of this printer. It worked very well, but the price of the replacement cartridge was over $70. Given the fact that I paid something like $120 for the printer, I find this pretty rich.

    But it is a business model which has been around for a long time. Standard Oil did give free lamps to China in order to sell kerosene.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Yes, the OEM cartridges are going for about $70.00. I found a remanufactured cartridge that goes for $55.00. Either is supposed to be good for about 3000 pages, 5% coverage.

      I wouldn’t use this thing as a copy machine. But for printing labels and the occasional info from the web, this is adequate. And the nice thing is, compared to an inkjet printer, the printer will actually print when you need it to print. Inkjet cartridges are notoriously expensive and waste much of their ink on cleaning cycles. However, your objections are duly noted.

  2. Tom Riehl TRiehl says:

    My only Epson printer now is a high-end inkjet 8 color printer for photos. My desktop is now a B/W HP P1606dn. Cheap aftermarket toner available, and you’re right, it’s always ready. I keep it on continuous low-power standby. No more inkjets!

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Thanks, TRiehl. It’s always nice to get some feedback on this stuff. It would have been more than okay to say, “Brad, you’re crazy. I never have problems with inkjets clogging.” I’m sure that’s got to be the case for someone out there. Or perhaps Epson has solved the problem in newer models. I don’t know. But they will be iceskating in hell before I buy another Epson inkjet printer.

  3. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Bloat is a never-ending battle if you run a website with various plugins to add functionality. It would seem that the Yoast SEO plugin was bogging things down after an update a month or so ago. They must have been busy adding “features.” Good god. Anyone heard of less-is-more? Anyone else tired of visiting websites that are so sluggish to navigate?

    So I disabled that plugin and things seem to be running better. Let me know if anyone is having connection or slow-down problems.

    But it’s all pretty much voodoo. It makes about as much sense to just smear a little chicken blood on the walls.

  4. vuong says:

    How is the new printer? the m2630dw isn’t widely available other than via staples and samsung. Do you like it still?
    How is not having postscript. I think OS X uses CUPS so decreases the need for PS

    The toner cart contains the drum as well so re-using the cart is ok, as with HP you will reuse the drum and need a new “chip” for the refilled cart.

    I have a LJ2300, while it keeps going strong <30k prints the toner is crazy and just aftermarket is available. The fuser and pickup rolls probably need maintenance to avoid more jams.. even at 288 mb ram.. it is built like a tank.. but for lack of parts.. will have to be scrapped. Too bad considering the workload it can handle is 20,000 imprints per month! 2003-2014 not too bad

    Let's see how long the Samsung X-Press m2830dw will last!

    I cannot continue to use my Pixma 4000 on OS X as the drivers are out of date..
    Older tech becomes less supported due to compatibility.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Vuong, the printer is still going strong. The only issue I’ve run into is when I print from my Mac, it prints in econo-mode, although it doesn’t do this from a Windows 8 machine. I can’t find any settings in the print dialog so I don’t’ know what’s going on with that. But it’s a minor thing.

      As for PostScript, most of the apps I print from are Adobe apps and they seem to parse the PostScript internally and it prints just fine to the Samsung. I’m not sure if and how OS X’s CUPS has anything to do with this.

      I have a LaserJet 2300 as well. And like yours, it’s still going strong. That printer was an upgrade from a LaserJet 4M which I finally had to get rid of because of a paper curling and jamming problem. But it was getting very old anyway.

  5. David says:

    I’ve been in IT for over 30 years, and it’s great that you produced this insightful article. Whenever the latest ‘whiz-bang’ hunk of junk is produced, the crazed rush to accumulate has always been a phenomenon to me.
    I follow a few rules in this area.
    1. Wait 1 year from the release of new Software before installing. Any significant bugs will be addressed and the blogs will be full of tweaks/updates/hacks to get it working the way you want.
    2. Wait 2 years from the release of any new Hardware before purchasing. Ditto.
    Both will be viable if truly valuable. Additionally, inevitable price drops will make it far more attractive.
    -David

  6. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    A friend of mine just bought one of these: Epson WorkForce ET-4550 all-in-one. This model apparently has large ink reservoirs that can be refilled via a bottle. I’m not sure that means they have solved the ink-jet nozzle clogging problem. But it could be that the price of ink is no longer higher, by weight, than that of some precious metals.

    The WorkForce ET-4550 EcoTank wireless all-in-one comes loaded and ready with up to 2 years of ink in the box(1). That’s an incredible amount of ink—enough to print up to 11,000 black/8500 color pages(2), and equivalent to about 50 ink cartridge sets(3). It delivers an unbeatable combination of convenience and value, with ultra low-cost replacement ink bottles and innovative refillable ink tanks. It’s ready when you are—with the freedom to print in color. Powered by PrecisionCore, the ET-4550 delivers high-speed, laser-quality black text.

    But I admit, I’m still leery of buying anything from Epson.

  7. josh says:

    I know this article is ancient by now, but I just bought this printer and can’t figure out how to properly load it with paper. In a normal printer, you just open the tray, put paper in, and slide it back into the printer.

    On this samsung, I have regular sized paper. The tray isn’t big enough to hold normal sized paper. Most of the paper lies flat inside the tray, but because the tray is too small, the edge of the paper sits sticking upwards and out of the tray. When I print, it jams every single time.

    Is there some kind of trick to have the paper sit neatly in the tray?

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Josh, the maximum size the printer will hold (at least the U.S. unit) is 8.5″ x 11″. There’s a little guide at the back of the paper tray that slides forward and back. Perhaps you don’t have it slid all the way to the back so that 8.5″ x 11″ will fit?

  8. josh says:

    It’s 8×11 store-bought paper. I even got some papers from my school to compare and they all sit in that strange position.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      The center gray plastic piece (not just the green edge guide) should slide out further. There is a green lever on the side of it that you need to hold down.

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