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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

HP 5100dtn

The HP 5100dtn is ideal for our situation, it’s quick, simple to maintain and prints decent text all day long. We print drafts of books and educational text so the majority of our demands are text only. There is the occasional image, but they don’t get added to the book until later, and we have a industrial printer for those.

While it’s nothing to look at, the 5100 is a great machine. We have had it for years, and have only ever needed to change toners. Nothing else has gone wrong yet, touch wood, so it was a good purchase.

Physically the printer is unremarkable. It has a 500 sheet paper tray at the bottom, topped by a further 250 sheets, then a 100 sheet multipurpose tray for envelopes and things. The paper outputs at the top and can generally take a 100 or so sheets before spilling onto the floor. It has 32Mb of memory for larger jobs and a decent processor. We tend to print a couple of hundred pages at a time, is this is useful for the print spooler to be able to pre-load the pages for quicker printing.

Running costs are minimal, the only consumable needed in the toner cartridge which have a 10,000 page lifespan on average. It’s an all in one unit so there is no changing fusers or drums. That is the only consumable cost, apart from paper of course.

It prints at around 20-21 pages a minute. We don’t really sit over it with a stopwatch, but that’s roughly what it does. It isn’t the fastest in the world, but while this printer works perfectly well, there’s no reason to spend several hundred dollars for a few more pages per minute or a few more hundred sheets in the paper tray. Especially considering that at 1200 dpi, the print quality is excellent.

Every font we print, at whatever size comes out details, straight, precise and easy to read. When we do print images of any description, they also come out clear and detailed. So as far as quality goes, the HP 5100dtn is spot on.

The dtn in HP 5100dtn is for the duplexer and networking. Both features we use heavily. We all print over the network as there are six of us. We don’t all print at the same time, but it means we don’t have to all go through a single computer. Duplexing saves us a lot of money on paper as we can print double-sided and almost halve the paper bill. That makes a huge difference given the amount of printing we do.

The HP 5100dtn is a great printer. It might not have all the bells and whistles of newer machines, but it’s solid and dependable and hasn’t gone wrong since we got it. The 65,000 page a month duty cycle is even more than we need and quality is second to none.