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Why You should Dump Your Bubble-Jet Printer and Buy a Laser Printer


Brother laser printer

Sometime in the late 1980's or early 1990's, daisy wheel printers went out of fashion and were replaced by bubble-jet printers. For the next twenty years or so, we couldn't get our hands on a daisy-wheel printer--except maybe at a thrift store, if we were lucky. It's funny how some consumer goods go in and out of style. Remember the hideously ugly neck ties in the late 1980's? The ones with garish splotches of color, something like the stylized flowers you used to see on very ugly upholstery? And, remember how for two years stores absolutely refused to sell any other style of tie? Was it that manufacturers had all this hideous cloth left over from sofas that no one wanted, so they said, "What the crap? We'll make ties out of this garbage!" Well, maybe you aren't old enough to remember, but I do. I simply waited until the style changed before I bought another tie. I hate being forced to buy things I don't want. But, when it comes to printers, for over two decades, we didn't have a choice. It was either reasonably-priced bubble-jet printers, or laser printers that cost $600 plus. That's not a choice.

I can't help being biased against bubble-jet printers. They are machines designed to sell consumers a thimble full of ink at an outrageous price. Printer ink is not black gold. It's cheap. It's only expensive when you allow yourself to be suckered into buying a bubble-jet printer for $35 that uses 10 ml ink cartridges that cost $35 each and are programmed to be nonrefillable after a year. Not only that, but if you don't print anything, after a few weeks the ink in the cartridge nozzles dries up, clogs the nozzles, and you have to buy another cartridge.

For over ten years, I resisted the urge buy a printer, except for the occasional $4 printer at a thrift store. Other than that, I just went without, or occasionally printed a couple of pages at work when I absolutely had to. But a few years ago, I was forced to buy a full-priced bubble-jet printer for my home office. I didn't see any way around it. And, as I already knew I would, I hated it. I refilled the ink cartridge and periodically printed whether I needed to or not--that is, until the firmware in the cartridge decided it was time for the cartridge to stop working. Then I said to myself, "Self, you can either buy a 10 ml ink cartridge for $35, or you can screw the greedy printer manufacturer and buy a new printer with a cartridge already in it for $35. So, being the angry cheapskate that I was, I decided to buy a new printer. This was about 18 months ago.

Imagine my surprise when I went to Amazon and found that I could now buy a black-and-white Brother laser printer, model HL-L2320D for $70. And, replacement toner cartridges that print 2000 pages only cost $11. Finally! The great bubble-jet scam is over! We finally have an alternative to the $35 ink cartridge that only prints 200 pages! I bought the Brother laser printer and have been using it ever since. I have yet to replace the 700-page toner cartridge that came with it. And, I've had no probems with ink-clogged nozzles. In fact, I've had no problems at all. Finally, sanity has been restored to the consumer printer industry.

It's time to stop buying those rip-off bubble-jet printers, and get yourself a cheap laser printer. There are now several models under $90 on Amazon.

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