I think the tile may be an understatement, but over the last 5 years, Our office has stopped selling or recommending any modern printers from HP. It's a fact known only to printer techs, but the early 90's laser printers that HP built a stellar reputation on were actually made with Canon guts. So the HP printers that made their mark in the business were not even made by them in full.

The modern home/small office HP printer is just an absolute disaster. I'll gladly give a few reasons.

1. Drivers/Software-- Do we really need a 300MB download to make the device work? 2/3rds of the software are things like "buy cartridges" and "let us spy on you"... oops I mean "Customer Experience Enhancement"... riiiight.

2. Wireless that won't stay connected. Over and over, I have service calls to fix HP wireless printers. I see HP printers every week that just managed to forget their wireless settings and go AWOL. The worst of it are the ones that CAN'T be reconnected by the control panel on the front.

3. Ink... Ugh. Cartridge expiration? What's next, a refrigerator that refuses to open because the milk expired?

So, What do we do about it? Well, for starters, support another printer maker. At present, I do have a few favorites.

Inkjet -- Brother inkjet multifunction units are a winner, and there's generic ink on the market that costs far less than OEM if you're looking to be thrifty. Print quality is good, and the unit prices are great. I also like Epson printers, although the consensus is with ALL inkjets, you need to print with them. If you let them sit idle on the shelf for too long, bad things happen.

Laser-- believe it or not, Samsung is delivering some pretty good value. There's been lots of winners from their product family. Brother Laser printers are usually pretty good too, but some models can be very plastic. I'm selective with those. Okidata is a favorite for durability. The Oki printers really have a long duty cycle.

Before you buy ANY printer... figure out your operation cost. Every printer has a published page yield per toner or cartridge. So just do some simple math. If my laser printer prints 5000 pages per toner, and the toner is $100, that means about 2 cents per page for toner. It only takes a moment, and can save you some big dollars.

Three things that make a GREAT printer.

  1. 1 Low Cost Per Page
  2. 2 Print Quality
  3. 3 Long cycles between maintenance.

Evaluate your printers like a technician, consider how much it's going to cost to run, and how much Junk it wants to put on your computer.