Laser-class monochrome printers

Reasonably fast and quality prints from monochrome laser-class machines

When you consider how many monochrome laser-class printers are available in this world, one can logically assume that there are a lot of people out there printing in black-and-white—a lot more than you might think. Hence, About.comTech > Printers / Scanners has finally reviewed enough monochrome machines to warrant a short round-up, an article designed to act as a gateway to the larger like reviews on this site, making them easier to find and compare.

Before getting on to the products, though, let’s take a look at the term “laser-class.” Many of today’s laser-like printers actually use light-emitting diode (LED) arrays, rather than actual scanning lasers, making them, of course, LED printers, or the more common “laser-class” printers. Note that as more monochrome laser-class machines come our way, we’ll add them to this list. Meanwhile, as usual, placement on this list does not necessarily denote that one printer is better than the other.

Dell E515dw Multifunction Printer
Dell's entry-level E515dw Multifunction Monochrome Printer. Dell

Let’s start with this inexpensive multifunction (print, copy, scan, and fax) MFP. Not only does it print decent-looking monochrome and grayscale pages and artwork, but it also scans colored artwork and images fairly well. But like so many monochrome laser-class (especially Dell’s), this one looks a little long in the tooth—especially around the completely analog control panel. When it comes to overall appearances, though, this Dell and the other one in this group looks a lot more modern than some of its recent siblings. More »

OKI Data B432dn Mono Laser-Class Printer
OKI's B432dn prints great-looking black-and-white pages inexpensively. OKI Data

It’s not often that a laser-class printer, single-function or otherwise, is small enough to fit on the average desktop, but not so with OKI Data’s B432dn. As laser-class printers go, this one is compact, despite its 250-page input page and additional 100-sheet override tray, for a total of 350 pages total. If that’s not enough, an additional 530-sheet drawer will cost you about $229. What’s really sweet though is the B432dn’s cost per page, or CPP, but you’ll have to read the review to see just how low it really is.

Keeping mind that this is a mono printer, print quality was good, with great grayscale conversion and terrific, near-typesetter quality text. It churns out exceptional-looking documents and grayscale images. With some careful shopping, you should be able to find it online quite reasonably priced. More »

Dell E514dw Multifunction Printer
Dell's E514dw Multifunction Printer delivers excellent monochrome prints. Dell

Dell’s E514dw Multifunction Monochrome Printer, a sibling to the more expensive E515dw listed above. While it prints well, and it has a small automatic document feeder (ADF) for feeding multipage originals to the scanner. Print Quality? Well, this is a black-and-white printer, and aside from some slightly misshapen characters at small sizes (under 8 points), it prints about like you’d expect a monochrome machine to print. Grayscale conversion was good, with an apparent utilization of most of the available 256 shades of gray.

Unlike its sibling, the E515dw, which has an under-2-cent monochrome CPP, the E514dw’s cost per page is closer to 3 cents. Granted, there are many laser-class machines out there that can do better, but it’s easy to find one that can do better, including the above mentioned E515dw. More »

OKI Data B412dn
No-nonsense black-and-white printing. OKI

By the time I got to this OKI, the $199 MSRP B412dn I had already looked at two other single-function laser-class models, the B432dn and the B512dn, both of which are slightly more expensive and therefore somewhat beefier, in terms of capacity and cost per page. There’s nothing particularly striking about the B412dn; it’s a short, squat box about 15.2 across and 14.3 inches from front to back, and stands only 9.6 inches high. As monochrome laser-class printers go, this is a good one. More »