Monday, March 06, 2006

Printer Hell - Death and Resurrection of HP 4000

Last night I was doing research on Westlaw when my printer, which had been cranking and wheezing for quite some time, just kept freezing up. This had happened a few times in the recent past. I looked under the hood, and noticed that the printer - an HP Laserjet 4000N - had been built in January 1, 1998. I figured that it was time to finally make the big move to a new printer. In our eight years together, I'd gotten a tremendous amount of wear and tear out of the incredibly trusty machine.

I did my research online to PC Magazine and for what I want - superfast black and white, to heck with graphics quality - nobody seems to touch HP. They of course discontinued the printer I love and have changed it to the 4250. I don't need the "N" since my printer sits under my monitors and acts as a standalone. "N" stands for network version and adds $500 to the price. We have four printers in our small firm, plus a networked photocopier that can double as a printer/high speed scanner. Early on, I decided that no one should be more than an arm's length away from a printer, since labor costs us a lot more than hardware.

In thinking about a printer, my major concern is that I can never afford downtime and need absolute reliability (lots of motion practice). I grabbed my partner this morning and made him come to J&R with me (it's three blocks away). We enjoy sharing the pain of making big purchases together. He warned that a new printer is not necessarily better. I was impressed by the reviewer's timing it at over 41 PPM. Price - $859. I got them to knock $10 off the price because I am a NYCLA member.

I installed it this evening. The speed is amazing, but it is LOUD. This is a quality of life issue. What was HP thinking? I drilled down a little further on the internet by googling (Hp Laserjet 4250 problems) and found that others had complaints along the same lines. I wanted a printer, not a blowdryer.

I researched even further, and there are kits to maintain HP 4000 printers and you can do things like replace rollers and fusers and websites dedicated to giving you kits so that you can do it yourself like printertechs.com ufix-it.com and printerworks.com.

I'm going to stick with the blowdryer 4250 and try to figure out a way to deaden the sound, but I will probably invest the time and energy into preserving the lifespan of our other HP 4000s.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out NYCLA's discounts at Staples, which reportedly gives up to 15%.

10:35 PM  

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