Thursday, April 7, 2011

Printer for Home Office...

Dear Lazyweb,

I'm currently looking for a printer for my home so that I don't have to wait until I'm at the office and use the printers there... Unfortunately it seems many laser printers (especially Canon, which Verkkokauppa are pushing to sell) either don't have Linux support, or have only proprietary drivers. What ever happened to just accepting a Postscript file?

Canon are especially nasty in that they provide a "source" package, which is really just the source code for some of the utilities, but the core library is still proprietary. Every time I see a shared object or binary inside a source package, I die a little inside...

Besides Xerox printers (very expensive) HP seem to have a couple of good options:
Both accept the following languages:
  • HP PCL 6
  • HP PCL 5c
  • HP Postscript Level 3 Emulation
According to this forum post it looks like it should work out-of-the-box with CUPS, without any proprietary drivers which is a precondition for my purchase...

Verkkokauppa have a rather silly return policy. Maybe this was inaccurate as I only asked one of their sales people, but apparently should you purchase something from their shop in person, then you do not have the option to return it (except if the product is defective.) However, should you purchase online (even to pick-up from the store) you have a 2 week return period...

I am leaning towards the CP1525nw because it seems like it will work with CUPS without proprietary crap, and the wireless network feature means I can put the printer in a walk-in closet or similar and keep it out of the way. Unfortunately it's a 1-2 week order time from the supplier.

It seems a reasonable deal for around the €200 to €300 range.


  1. I remember reading somewhere that printer manufactures are doing other dirty tricks where they will provide the printer with "starter" ink or toner cartridges, which contain less material than the regular replacement cartridges you can purchase.

    Of course, nowadays if you're using all colors (CMYK) at about the same rate, it's cheaper to recycle or throw away the printer and buy a new one than replace the cartridges.

    One would hope the printers are recycled and not dumped in a landfill after the starter cartridges run out, and perhaps a single replacement K cartridge, should your printing be primarily black and white.

  2. Be warned - once you "use" a printer (even for one page) many places will refuse to accept it back unless it is defective.

  3. anon, yes, this had occurred to me, however from the Google searching and the report that it seems to accept CUPS "HP PCL 6" perfectly fine, I think it should be okay.

    In any case, should it fail I doubt it would print anything so perhaps some possibility to return to the shop...

    I'm not even sure about Verkkokauppa's return policy, let alone whether there is anything special for "consumable" devices (i.e. printers etc.)

  4. You really want an HP printer. HP has excellent Linux support for their entire line of printers. See the hplip project for details.

  5. My experience with HP printers on linux has been so good that I would never personally buy anything else. These printers have included office printers, office all-in-ones, home all-in-ones.
    Few months back I wanted to do some document scanning so I simply took the document along with my laptop (Ubuntu 10.04) to a friend's place. I connected the all-in-one, fired up simple-scan app and was done with scanning withing two minutes. No configuration required. Same experience with the printer part of same device.

  6. Cool, nice to hear that people are having positive experiences with Linux. I'm not so eager to use the HPLIP driver when CUPS seems to have a native PCL6 language driver (which I guess is just re-branded Postscript.)

    Anyway, I think I'll order the CP1525nw this weekend or Monday. (Google translate has a habit of fracking up any kind of online ordering system, so I might wait until I can ask one of my Finnish colleagues to help me.)

  7. I bit the bullet and ordered the CP1525nw online through

    This was quite difficult because I couldn't use whole-page translate on https payment forms. I have a Firefox plugin which lets me select text, and get a tool-tip translation.

    It's actually quite nice now, because Firefox no longer truncates tool-tips.

    Hopefully it arrives at my apartment before the 22nd, shortly after which I will be leaving for a vacation. Verkkokauppa has to order from HP but according to their site, there is plenty of stock available.

    Otherwise I guess they will phone me and make other arrangements (e.g. keep in the warehouse until I return.)

    Annoyingly they have the CP1525n (Ethernet) in stock, but not the CP1525nw (Ethernet + 802.11 b/g/n) and the price difference is not that large.

  8. I went for the HP printers you mentioned, although I found it quite stressful that the System Requirements for each printer are not really obvious on their website ( I'll let you know how mine fares...

  9. Sorry, I wasn't quite clear there, I meant I went for the simple Ethernet one.

  10. Purchasing the correct printer for your home office is a very important decision. This investment will be something you will likely be using every work day. However, choosing the correct printer can be difficult with all the different options with different bells and whistles that have flooded the market. To help you make the right decision, here are five things you should consider when choosing your next office printer.

    A3 Laminators

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