Help me buy a new multi-function laser printer (2021 version)

Our HP laserjet 1536dnf printer seems to be dying, and we are in the market for a new one. We need it to:

  • Be a laser printer. not negotiable.
  • photocopy, print, and scan
  • have a document feeder
  • do duplex automatically (two sided printing)
  • fit on our 20"x15" table (the current one has trays that stick out, so maybe it’s closer to 20"x20", but all the weight is on the table)
  • talk to the home network, so all the computers can print on it

Nice to have

  • color: Are color laser printers reliable and affordable these days?
  • fax: I can’t remember the last time we needed the printer to fax a document, but I suppose it might be nice to have
  • hold most of a ream of paper
  • wireless. The current one is connected with a wire to our internet modem, I think, and that has worked fine. But I think they mostly come wireless these days.

Every so often I want to print a bunch of pages at once, and this one overheats and the quality sucks. And then I have to reprint in dribs and drabs. That’s acceptable, as we don’t print in quantity very often. I would use color if we had it, but I’ve managed for a long time without.

Within those constraints, I am more interested in a reliable printer that will keep working with minimal fussing than I am in the cost.

You might want to take a look at this HP. It’s a titch bigger than what you say you want, but color lasers are generally going to be larger than their black and white counterparts.

I’ve used HP color Laserjets for years and they’ve always been trouble-free - I only replaced my last one because the newer ones were much faster.

Toner cartridges, just like ink cartridges, are eye-wateringly expensive though, so if that matters to you more than having color capability, that would be an additional reason for a plain black and white one besides the size.

I have Brother multi-function machine and have had few problems with it. Note that mine is monochrome, not color though.

If you go with this one, you might want to check out the Amazon ratings. It has a good rating except for one rating that’s really specific that may or may not apply to you.

Here’s the review.

I also am in the market for a laser printer with just about the same requirements as the OP. The woman who owns a printer sales/service business in town has recommended to me the HP MFP M479fdw, which is contained in the link supplied by @romansperson. For a slightly cheaper option, she also recommended the HP MFP M283fdw. I think I’m going to go with the M283, as it’s slightly smaller and will fit perfectly on our printer table.

According to, the M281 has been discontinued. It is probably still available through resellers, however.

That review is also from 2019, and it sounds like something was wrong with that particular user’s printer.

I have a color Brother and have been quite happy with it.

MFC-9340CDW - That particular model has been discontinued, but here’s a comparable model that is available on Amazon.

Thanks! Good to know.

I’ve also been looking for a laser printer, maybe not as fancy, but I’m always interested in learning more about it.

I have a Brother MFC-9440CDW. It works fine except that for some reason certain copies, prints and/or faxes are sent to a slot on the back of the printer, where they fall to the ground behind the printer stand.

Brother was not able to explain why the paper would need or why a customer would want an output that faced the wall and seemed to be used randomly, when I inquired.

Other than that it works fine. I will definitely consider a newer model when this one runs out of ink.

ETA: just scrolled up and saw silenus’ post that this is disco’ed.

That sounds like a straight-through paper path. This is desirable when you’re printing on labels or especially thick paper stock, so the paper isn’t sent out to the upper output tray (and being curled in the process).

The Brother HLL2395DW scans (one sheet at a time, no feeder), prints up to 36 ppm, and does duplex printing. At Best Buy it comes with a starter cartridge (700 sheets) for $170. The 3000-sheet replacement toner cartridge is $80. The printer footprint is about 16x16 inches, it is a little bigger at the top where the scanner sticks out a little. Printed sheets come out in the middle instead of on the top. Here’s a link:

I’ve been getting ads on my cell phone for a new kind of laser printer from HP called ‘Neverstop’ that the toner comes in a bottle that you use to fill a tank on the printer. They claim less than a penny a page. Here’s one
They seem to offer a color version also, called a Smart Tank.
I don’t know any more about them than that, and I don’t know why I’m getting these ads. . We aren’t looking for another printer. :thinking:

Epson now offers a similar printer. Plus, it’s endorsed by the well-known technology expert, Shaquille O’Neal.

We had a refillable color laser printer 25 years ago, and refillable B& W photocopiers before that. One thing I think has probably not changed: the powder is very fine, and very bright, and when you’re refilling there is the potential to get it on everything.

But the printers that @Bumbazine and I linked to are inkjet printers, with refillable ink ‘tanks’. I might have to check them out at Best Buy.

I’m sure inkjet printers are the right choice for someone, but I will be replacing my laser printer with a laser printer. :slight_smile:

I think that Bumbazine confused the issue by first linking to a refillable B&W laser printer and then equating that (possibly accidentally) with a refillable color ink printer, but regardless, refillable color laser printers are available, and the OP probably wouldn’t like owning one.

Probably not. I don’t buy toner so often that the cost is a huge problem. And I’ve experienced loose black toner. I have absolutely no need for colored toner spreading across my home. :wink:

You’re right. The first printer I linked to was a B&W laser printer. The Second (color) printer came up in the same search and I guess I thought it was also a laser printer. I apologize for not being more careful. I was in a hurry.

I have this one: Lexmark MB3442adw and I love it! It’s fast, prints and scans well, and is pretty compact. It’s only black and white, because my budget wouldn’t allow for a really good colour laser printer (and my last midrange laser printer’s colour output was disappointing). I bought this on sale at Staples last September. I haven’t had it too long, but I do use it about 3 times a week. It’s great! No regrets.