Hewlett Packard And Brother Laser And Inkjet Printers
With so many manufacturers offering so many different kinds of computer printer selecting a suitable model can be very confusing.
I've been using a computer printer at home since the mid 1990's - a time when not everyone owned a computer, as they do now. Here's a quick overview of the various printers I have owned with a summary at the end.
Hewlett Packard 5L
This was my first personal computer printer and it was attached via the parallel port. Those were the days before USB when you connected devices to your computer via the serial or parallel ports.
It didn't have a great deal of internal memory, which could cause problems, but it was well constructed and the print quality was very good. It had separate input trays for paper and envelopes and I never had any paper feed problems.
At the time I was an IBM hardware engineer and the mainframe laser printers I worked on were extremely expensive. I was impressed that for a reasonable price I was able to buy laser printing technology for my own personal use.
The 5L served me well for many years up until the time I decided to leave the UK.
Hewlett Packard P1102
When I started a new life in Thailand and it was time to buy another printer I chose to buy another Hewlett Packard because my experience with the 5L had been so good.
I was teaching English and needed a printer to produce teaching material. There was no need for colour and a simple B/W laserjet fitted the bill. The obvious choice was the Hewlett Packard P1102.
Again, it was a very nicely engineered product and the print qualityu was very good. The experience with the P1102 was equally as good as the 5L, but there was no separate input tray for envelopes.
Hewlett Packard LaserJet P1102
Hewlett Packard LaserJet P1102
I never had any problems with my Hewlet Packard P1102, but when the toner ran out and I went to buy a new cartridge I was quite shocked at how expensive they were.
I noticed that I could buy a brand new Brother HL-1110 complete with a new toner cartridge for less than the cost of a replacement toner cartridge for my Hewlett Packard.
My requirements didn't include high quality printing because I was only printing teaching material and I decided there was no harm in trying this Brother model.
Compared to the Hewlett Packard P1102 it was a lot more basic with a lot less moving parts and reduced engineering quality. However, it did the job.
The print quality wasn't great and after a time lines of toner started to appear on prints as paper went through the printer. Despite lower quality engineering and a simplified paper feed mechanism I didn't have any problems with the paper feed.
After a time the print quality degraded further, but it was still satisfactory for what I was doing. However, if there had been a requirement to print something with high quality I wouldn't have been able to do it with this printer.
Once again, my toner cartridge ran out eventually so I returned to the shop to get a replacement. Brother's primary advantage over other brands is low cost and the toner cartridges were significantly cheaper than Hewlett Packard equivalents.
Nonetheless, rather than simply buying a replacement toner cartridge I looked around again and realised that for not a lot more money than the toner cartridge alone I could buy a brand new wirelessly-connected Brother printer.
Having limited desk space and being able to move the printer off my desk to another location was very appealing, so that's what I decided to do.
Regarding print quality, paper feed and general engineering quality the Brother HL-1210W is virtually no different to the Brother HL-1110. The quality isn't high, but it is adequate. It can print at speeds of around 20 pages per minute.
It's great being able to place the printer in any convenient location around the house and this is also a better option if you have multiple computers and want to print on one computer. It's easier doing it wirelessly, rather than hard wiring a printer to one computer and then setting up the computer on the network as a print server.
Unfortunately, I initially had quite a few connectivity problems with this printer. When it was working it was fine, however, I could have no problems one day and the next day I wouldn't be able to connect.
I tried all sorts of things, turning off the printer, computer, router and access point, but with little success. I took the printer back to Brother to get it checked out, but they said there were no problems.
On several occasions the only way I could connect wirelessly to the printer was to reinstall the printer drivers, but this was very inconvenient.
My wife then started to complain a lot about the Wi-Fi signal on her iPhone being weak. I ended up replacing my access point for one with a much stronger signal. It fixed the problem with her phone and also fixed the problem with my printer.
It therefore seems that the Brother service centre was correct. My printer didn't have a problem, but the connectivity problem was caused by a weak Wi-Fi signal.
After some usage prints can start looking messy with blotches of ink appearing vertically at regular intervals. This happens when toner gets fused on to the drum. The good news is that the drum is easy to remove and clean, and once clean the blotches disappear.
Despite replacement Brother toner cartridges being cheaper than Hewlett Packard toner cartridges, I have discovered that there are third party toner cartridges that are even cheaper than Brother. I tried one and it works fine. There is no difference between the third party and the original Brother versions.
Hewlett Packard GT 5820
I had always had reservations about inkjet printers and for my personal needs I never really had a need for colour printing. I never relished the idea of messing around with ink, ink needed replacing frequently, and I imagined that the print units would get clogged.
However, when my daughter started using a computer for her school work and when my wife started to print material there came the necessity for colour printing and I was pressured to get a colour printer.
Colour laser printers are very expensive and I couldn't justify the cost, therefore this left just inkjet printers. I did some on-line research and the general consensus seemed to be that Hewlett Packard was the most reliable.
After using the Brother HL-1210W I was now hooked on wireless printing and wanted another wireless model. The obvious choice was the Hewlett Packard GT 5820. The GT 5810 is the same printer without a wireless connection.
Since purchasing this printer (it's actually more than just a printer) it has far exceeded my expectations and I have been highly impressed. Here are a few reasons why:
- Being an All-In-One, rather than just a printer, it has a scanner therefore you don't need a separate scanner.
- With the in-built scanner it acts as a standalone copier. No longer do I have to switch on my computer, scanner and printer to get copies or mess around with scanning/copying software. I just press a button. There is a button for colour copies and a button for B/W copies.
- With full ink cartridges you can get up to 8,000 colour copies. After almost a year of use I still have plenty of ink in all the cartridges.
- Excellent reliability. In the same time there have been no serious problems. There have been a couple of errors saying things like 'Cartridge problem', but these have been fixed by simply turning the printer off and on.
- No wireless connectivity problems. Most of the time the connectivity is fine. Occasionally, there is a connection error message, but - again - all it takes to fix the problem is to turn the printer off and on. The initial connectivity problems with the Brother HL-1210W were a real headache, but the actual reason was because my Wi-Fi signal was weak.
- Very high print (and copy) quality.
- Easy maintenance. Occasionally the printer tells you to open and close the printer access door. When you do this a process begins to help remove ink buildup and maintain print quality.
As I said, before buying this printer I had some big reservations about inkjet printers, but since using it I have been very impressed. Highly recommended!
Hewlett Packard DeskJet GT5820
Hewlett Packard DeskJet GT5820
Hewlett Packard DeskJet GT5820
Hewlett Packard Ink Tank Wireless 415
A few weeks after writing the above my wife tried to use the Hewlett Packard DeskJet GT5820 and there was an arror message. Whenever I had seen error messages before and looked up what to do in the user manual they had been easy to clear.
However, with this particular error message there was nothing that could be done. The manual simply told me to take the printer to the nearest service centre, which I did. The error occurred within the printer's two year warranty period.
I believe the error was related to the printhead and was expecting the service centre to change the printhead. Instead, they contacted me advising that the printer couldn't be repaired and that they would give me a new one. I was quite surprised.
They also informed me that the GT5820 was no longer sold and that I would be given its replacement, the Ink Tank Wireless 415. The newer machine looks almost identical. The only difference I can see is that there is no tap to turn off the ink when the printer is being transported.
It works the same, has the same quality, and for all intents and purposes is the same.
I've only had experience with the Hewlett Packard and Brother printers listed above. I have no experience of other HP and Brother models or models from other manufacturers.
These days, most equipment released on to the market is quite good and generally there isn't a great deal of difference between manufacturers.
Brother's main marketing strategy is selling at a cheap price and if you are looking for the cheapest printer a Brother machine will do the job. Brother supplies are also relatively cheap.
For quality I have always found Hewlett Packard to be good - both the build quality of the printers and the print quality produced by the printers.
If you run a small business, or do a lot of printing for other reasons, a laser printer may be advantageous because of the higher printing speed, provided that you don't need colour. Colour laser printers are expensive to buy and, subsequently, to run.
For the average home user a colour inkjet printer is probably all you need and the many little All-In-One printers on the market are fantastic devices. They offer lots of quality, reliability and flexibity.
No doubt, the offerings from other manufacturers are very good, but I have no personal experience. All I can say, from personal experience, is that the Hewlett Packard All-In-One machines are excellent.
For a long time after using the Hewlett Packard All-In-One machines I didn't use my Brother HL-1210W at all and it became redundant. However, my wife - who is a teacher - wanted 100 assessment forms copied for her students.
This task would have taken a long time using an inkjet printer, but it didn't take long at all using the Brother laser printer. If you only wish to have one all-purpose machine I would recommend a colour All-In-One inkjet. If you don't mind having two machines, I have found that also having a small black and white laser printer comes in very handy at times.
Thailand is an incredibly photogenic country, both for its landscapes and its people. Regardless of whether you enjoy large Asian cities, beaches and islands, or rice fields and mountains, Thailand has something for you and it is a dream destination for photographers.
One of the great things about visiting Thailand is that hotels are plentiful and a lot cheaper than in most other countries. Each link on the right will take you to the relevant page on the Agoda website where you can see photos, read reviews, and book on-line. I use Agoda to book all of my own hotels in Thailand and the Southeast Asia region. Agoda hotel rates are usually always the lowest and I have received good customer service, therefore I am happy to recommend the company to other people. Here is some analysis I did regarding booking hotels in Southeast Asia.
Booking.com used to be more expensive than Agoda, but when I have checked hotel prices recently I have found their rates to be quite competitive. Unlike Agoda, you don't need to pay at the time of booking with Booking.com - you can simply pay at the hotel when you check in. Also, Booking.com show you total prices whereas Agoda show you a price and then add on 17% for tax and service charge.
If you want to compare prices between different on-line travel agents (OTAs) for a specific hotel, you can use a company such as HotelsCombined.
Images of Thailand