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Mono laser printer for the price of a decent meal out (for one)

Issue #0906/2 – Even though we are familiar with technology prices consistently falling through the floor, it still comes as a shock to see a mono laser printer on sale in the UK for the price of a typical meal for one in a decent restaurant (or for two in a low-cost restaurant). Oki is not usually associated with such groundbreaking, low prices but here we have the 22ppm Oki B2200 available on a special offer for just £41.12 including tax (£35 excluding tax).

Oki B2200 offerOki B2200 offer

It is not just the price of B2200 that makes this such an unusual situation (because we all know that manufacturers would give away the hardware if they could! – see for more detail) but also the fact that this printer is quite clearly the most highly specified and most durable mono printer at this end of the market – and demonstrates the lowest Total Cost of Printing by a considerable margin! This is a highly unusual combination that sets almost any small business, micro business or home office user up for fast monochrome business printing for virtually nothing and paying less overall than for any other low-end printer.

Hewlett-Packard LaserJet P1006 offerHewlett-Packard
LaserJet P1006 offer

On top of this, Hewlett-Packard’s LaserJet P1006 is also on special offer in the UK for less than £60. Not as highly specified as the Oki and not as durable, this is a good entry point for those looking for a printer from the biggest printer manufacturer – but, they will pay dearly for that choice in the end!

Let’s start off with a quick look at the range of printers currently available in the UK for less than £75, including tax.

Five manufacturers are present at this level, with two machines from Hewlett-Packard meeting the criteria. Brother never publishes either maximum or recommended duty cycle for its printers but it would be fair to reckon that the HL-2015 would be capable of more than the 5,000-page maximum attributed to most of the printers here. Whether it would match the Oki B2200 though, is open to doubt.

Oki’s B2200 not only offers a maximum rated duty cycle of 15,000 pages per month but is capable of printing at an amazing 22 pages per minute when the maximum available elsewhere is 18ppm, from Brother, but then we drop to 16ppm and 14ppm from the other printers.

Mono laser printers
UK < £75 inc. tax
Duty cycle
(max/month)
Print speed Max paper
capacity
Manual
duplex
Print
Language
Brother
HL-2035
Not quoted 18 ppm 251 sheets Yes Host-based
Canon
i-SENSYS LBP3010
5,000 pages 14 ppm 151 sheets No Host-based
Hewlett-Packard
LaserJet P1005
5,000 pages 14 ppm 151 sheets Yes Host-based
Hewlett-Packard
LaserJet P1006
5,000 pages 16 ppm 160 sheets Yes Host-based
Oki
B2200
15,000 pages 22 ppm 151 sheets Yes Host-based
Samsung
ML-1640
5,000 pages 16 ppm 150 sheets Yes Host-based

Needless to say, at the price-point, there is absolutely no question of any of these printers offering PCL or PostScript print languages but that should not be a major issue for most potential owners of this level of mono printer. All are therefore Host-based.

Brother HL-2035Brother HL-2035

Paper capacity is also severely restricted, of course. These machines are little over the level of inkjet printers when it comes to usage patterns and volumes, so the 150-page capacity of most of these is not unreasonable. However, for those wanting a bit more from their printer, Brother’s HL-2035 just allows a whole ream of paper to be loaded at one time.

Also not surprisingly, none of these printers has an auto-duplex option and none is network-ready. What is available in most, all but Canon’s LBP3010, is the ability to print duplex manually. This means that the printer driver sorts the pages for duplex printing and requests that the user reinsert the pages after printing the first sides, ready for printing the second sides – a very useful and money-saving feature!

Oki B2200Oki B2200
Oki’s B2200 also stands out in terms of its first page to print speed. It is capable of producing that first page in only 5 seconds – whereas all of the others are closer to 10 seconds.

When it comes to purchase price, the Oki B2200 costs 13% less to buy than the next nearest competitor (HL-2035) and 35% less than the average of the closely grouped printers at the higher end of the price scale.

Purchase Price – Mono Laser Printers

UK <£75 inc. tax


However, this is not the major feature of the B2200 amongst this competitive grouping.

Far more important is that, over three years, a B2200 owner will spend at least 20% less, and as much as 35% less, than if they owned one of the competitors.

Mono laser printers
UK < £75 inc. tax
Purchase inc. tax
(UK lowest street)
Nominal CPP Expenditure
over 3 years
Long-term CPP
over 3 years
Brother
HL-2035
£ 47.50 2.49 pence £ 943.90 2.62 pence
Canon
i-SENSYS LBP3010
£ 62.72 2.28 pence £ 885.20 2.46 pence
Hewlett-Packard
LaserJet P1005
£ 61.72 2.88 pence £ 1,096.84 3.05 pence
Hewlett-Packard
LaserJet P1006
£ 59.99 2.88 pence £ 1,095.11 3.04 pence
Oki
B2200
£ 41.12 1.90 pence £ 710.80 1.97 pence
Samsung
ML-1640
£ 67.68 2.52 pence £ 973.68 2.70 pence

Note that for this group of printers, the long-term Cost of Printing over three years shown in the accompanying table is calculated on the basis of 1,000 pages per month; is based on the use of maximum capacity supplies; takes into account any standard, or starter, supplies shipped with the device; and also includes the cost of purchase. All prices are based on lowest street price found in the UK, including tax.

Put into CPP terms, printing at a business level of 1,000 pages per month, the long-term Total Cost of Printing is under 2 pence per page, whereas two of these printers cost over 3 pence per page – more than 50% higher.

Total Cost of Printing – Mono Laser Printers

UK <£75 inc. tax


These charts show us, as clearly as we’ve ever seen, that purchase price has almost no bearing on the Total Cost of Printing that users should expect from a printer. Quite clearly, the overall Long-term CPP is directly related to nominal CPP and, therefore, to the cost of supplies.

For instance, we see the Brother HL-2035 coming in as the second cheapest printer to buy, costing only 15% more than the Oki B2200, but, because the nominal CPP is 31% higher, the overall long-term Total Cost of Printing is 33% higher.

Where we land up in this is that the Oki B2200 stands out head and shoulders above the other printers as an amazing deal and amazing opportunity for those looking for a really low-cost entry to mono laser printing without paying the earth for the rest of the printer’s life.

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