Colour laser printers – Not made the same

In the past few years, I had the opportunity to use several brands of colour printers, and would like to share with you some of my observations of the printers and the colour-fastness of the printouts.

Canon LBP-5000

Opening up the LBP-5000

In the few years I had the Canon LBP-5000 colour printer, I was quite pleased with the print out that it produces. The colour was faithful, although it looked less vibrant than what we would have expected in the recent years, where even photos from cameras were more punchy and saturated in an attempt to attract more buyers. The printer was large, partly because it was an older technology, but performance was snappy by the standards of those days, and printout was pretty good. One complaint which I might make, is the clunky CAPT Windows driver which does not support network printing very well. I had driver errors from time to time, and other users had similar issue after I searched online. After 2-3 years of faithful service, it gave up its ghost and the the estimated cost of repair made it economically not viable to perform surgery on the faulty parts.

Samsung_CLP-310_tnSamsung CLP-310N
Samsung CLP-310N  toners

So I went on to get another colour laser printer – a Samsung CLP-310N. It was a very affordable colour printer and very colourful printout. The edges of this printer especially black, were not very sharp. I had been used to LBP-5000’s printout, and while the colours were refreshingly brighter, it was not as accurate, and I had to make adjustments to it in order for it to be close. After another 2-3 years of service, again the printer gave problem with very dirty printouts. Despite much investigation and cleaning of the collection bin, the cleaning blades and stuff like that, I found out that it was the mainly assembly inside which failed to clean the toners and drums properly, and again, it was not financially feasible to replace the faulty parts, so I had to say good-bye to the printer.

Looking at the noticeboard where I put photos printed with the Canon and the Samsung printers, I notice one stark difference: the photos by Canon were in exact colour as it was printed more than 3 years back. In contrast, the Samsung’s printout has faded even though it was a more recent printout than the Canon’s. The tint had turned yellowish and the photo looked tired, yellowed and old.

beforafterLeft: Original Canon Printout, Samsung on the Right (Simulated)

The lesson learnt, is that not all the laser toner/printout are the same. If you would like to invest in a better toner/printout for longer display life, you might wish to consider Canon. I cannot say about other brands, but my experience with Samsung’s printer and their toner (original toners were used) had taught me to steer clear of Samsung, unless longevity of printout is not an issue for you. To me, it does matter. If it matters to you too, then perhaps this piece of short sharing would interest you more.

Oh, one thing I also noticed – the printers died after their warranty period expired 🙂 So you know that there is probably a “timer” inside that counts the time so it knows when to expire itself. LOL. Anyway, have a good day, and consider this if you are getting a new printer for your SOHO or office, or even your home. Ta-ta.

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