To repair or to buy a new printer

This is the question that always pops into mind when the printer refuses to print. We would normally run through a checklist of diagnostics such as, checking to see if the printer is on in the first place, the next thing would be the error indicators, which normally show the out of paper condition or jammed paper in the printer, which can be remedied fairly easily. There’s also the out of toner or out of ink indicator. For laser printers, there is also the possibility of a dead fuser, which is separate from the toner for most printers. So, if the problems are fixable with a quick replacement of a consumable, then it’s a trip to the computer mall or shop.

However, if the condition is something else, it would mean sending the printer to the repair & service center to get it repaired, and that would mean being without a printer for that duration, which leads to the decision to get a new printer. With the prices of printers getting so cheap, and it is really so, when compared to prices many years ago. Nowadays, one can easily get an ink jet printer for about $50-60, and a black & white laser printer for under $100.

With that in mind, it was interesting to see how one could accumulate a whole bunch of printers over the years, starting from a HP LaserJet 2M followed by a LaserJet 4550N, a nice color laser printer, which was a great workhorse outputting over 15,000 colored pages. With a reduction in workload, came in the inkjets, again with the HP and then the EPSON, which ended the color printing era, and then it was back to black and whites again. The very inexpensive Fuji Xerox did the job, when one didn’t quite work very well, it was time for a replacement again, with a slightly cheaper model, albeit the same brand.

In retrospect, if one had easy access to a repair printer facility nearby, one with a lot of printer parts to support that service. Well, such was not the case.

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