Reader Brian asked for follow-up on an old post about picking a printer.
Back in 2005, I had an HP LaserJet 4100. I still do. I haven’t needed to replace or upgrade it. It still works fine.
As I noted back then:
I don’t print nearly as much as I used to, since most times I’m delivering a .pdf rather than a printed script. I used to recommend screenwriters spend the extra money for a fast printer, but there’s really no great advantage now. Almost any laser printer — and even most inkjets — can print a script in less time than it takes to walk the dog.
I’ve spent a lot of time this year in New York, working on a project that requires a fair amount of printing. My only printer is a cheap inkjet from Staples that I store in the producers’ office.
Every time I use it, I marvel. It’s remarkably fast. Inkjets have come a long way from my college StyleWriter.
Same with laser printers. My first Apple LaserWriter cost several months’ rent and weighed more than my dorm refrigerator. Now you can get one for a hundred-and-something on Amazon.
If I were in the market for a new laser printer, I’d have my choice of great options. But the one I’ve got is perfectly fine.
We’re used to technology becoming better, faster, smaller, cheaper — in this case, nearly disposable.1 I think the reason we don’t talk about how good printers have gotten is that paper has become much less important in our lives.
So for a screenwriter like Brian, I’d recommend checking out reviews online and buying the least expensive (but decently-reviewed) printer that meets your requirements: laser or inkjet, color or not. Don’t invest the money or time into more than you absolutely need. And then hold onto it. It’s likely to last you a really long time.
- The environmentalist in me frets that printers may have become too cheap and too easy to throw away. The printer cartridge racket supports selling printers at a loss (or near-loss). More than once while re-boxing this printer before carrying it several blocks, I’ve thought It would just be easier to buy a new one. ↩