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Best Affordable LaserJet Printers for Homeschoolers

July is a busy time in this homeschooling, church ministry family! Summer activities are in full swing. By summer activities, I mean planning the school year that begins on August 1st while also keeping up with my courses since I am working on another master’s degree. Oh, and VBS is next week. Basically, I need prayers.


But you know what I absolutely don’t need this year? A printer that goes through ink faster than my teens go through a “week” of groceries. This was the year to buy a LaserJet printer that could blaze through a ream of printed Robinson Curriculum books before taking a breath. I even put it in the budget for June.


But back in late May, the washer had been singing its swan song, and I had been praying I didn’t have to wash clothes in the bathtub. My washing machine died the same hour we sold a vehicle we no longer needed. While we were still laughing at God’s joke and thanking Him for His provision, we headed to Best Buy where the washers were on sale. And guess what? The printers were also on sale.


As it turns out, the kids’ final portfolio of the year was due the following week, and the magenta had run out. No one was printing magenta, by the way. Our printer just had an odd craving again, and wouldn’t print a thing. So instead of dropping another $40 on inkjet ink, we decided to take a look at LaserJet printers while we were in town.


Craving magenta

Ultimately, I was looking for a black and white printer (no magenta required) with these parameters:


1.      High Quality Printing (Resolution at least 600 x 600) – I need lots of black ink that prints clearly. These basic features were missing in my old printer.


2.      Affordable (Under $200, if possible) - Did I mention we are a ministry family and also fund our kids’ education? And that the printer wasn’t quite in the budget until the next month? Yes, $200 is still a lot. But my Epson ink jet printer went through over $600 in ink alone during the three years we used it. Which reminds me…


3.      Affordable Toner (Under $60 for standard capacity) – Because eventually it will run out. However, I also wanted:


4.      High Page Yield (at least 1000) – I don’t want to think about buying toner until at least Christmas.


5.      Reviews (4+ stars) – Sometimes it matters what people think. And yes, we took out our phones and looked at reviews while standing in the store.


6.      Top Feed Option – Sometimes I like to copy a whole stack of papers, but who has the time to put each one on the glass individually? Not me. Time is a valuable resource around here.

 

The printer aisle at Best Buy is an overwhelming place, especially when we run into a friend who reminds us that a printer is not the washing machine we went in for. In any case, we were able to narrow down our choices to three printers.


Option A

HP – LaserJet M234sdw




Pros: This one was on sale at the time for $179.99.


Cons: This is nitpicky, but I did not understand the platform-like boxy protrusion at the bottom. That is the paper tray, apparently. But it just seems to make it less streamlined.

 


Option B

Confession time. I worked in a tax office for five months, and our printer printed tax refunds all day like a boss. That printer was a Brother. The church also uses a Brother that handles our bulletins and music sheets and everything else. So when I headed for the printer aisle, that’s what I was after.


Brother - MFC-L2820DW





Pros: Basically everything.


Cons: Was not on sale or in stock the day we went.


Option C

Canon - imageCLASS D570




 

Pros: This was on sale for $149.99! And it has a nice contained, streamlined look.


Cons: No top feeder and expensive toner.



Comparison

Here is the direct comparison among the three options:


And here is a table based on my parameters:



I wanted that Brother printer. But you know what I wanted more? A printer I could afford to take home that day. So, there was a clear winner here:


Option A: The HP printer!


 Welcome to the chaos, little guy.

 

Because of that sale, the HP printer checked all the boxes. The print quality is perfectly clear. We don’t go easy on it, and several weeks later, we are still using the toner that came in the box.

 

And look. It even came with a cupholder.



Not so awkward after all

 

Works Cited

 

BestBuy.com. “Brother MFC-L2820DW Wireless Black-and-White Refresh Subscription Eligible All-In-One Laser Printer Gray.” https://www.bestbuy.com/site/brother-mfc-l2820dw-wireless-black-and-white-refresh-subscription-eligible-all-in-one-laser-printer-gray/6569813.p?skuId=6569813. Accessed 6 July 2024.

 

———. “Canon imageCLASS D570 Wireless Black-and-White All-In-One Laser Printer Black.” https://www.bestbuy.com/site/canon-imageclass-d570-wireless-black-and-white-all-in-one-laser-printer-black/5848300.p?skuId=5848300. Accessed 6 July 2024.

 

———. “HP LaserJet M234sdw Wireless Black-and-White Laser Printer White & Slate.” https://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-laserjet-m234sdw-wireless-black-and-white-laser-printer-white-slate/6452569.p?skuId=6452569. Accessed 6 July 2024.

 

Robinson Curriculum. https://www.robinsoncurriculum.com/rc/robinson-curriculum-books/. Accessed 6 July 2024.

 

Zarytska, Olga. “Can of viva magenta paint with brush on pink background” [photograph]. Adobe Stock. https://stock.adobe.com/. Accessed 6 July 2024.

 

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