Printers

HP Officejet Pro 8500 Wireless Review

HP Officejet Pro 8500 wireless
HP Officejet Pro 8500 Wireless Printer

If you’ve been looking for a color printer but can’t afford the cost of a laser printer, look no future, this machine could just be the answer to your prayers. The HP Officejet Pro 8500 wireless all in one printer can print, scan, fax, copy in record time and does it all with high quality results and a price tag you can live with. But wait there’s more, it has autoduplexing, 802.11 b/g, a 3.45 inch touch screen, 50 sheet automatic document feeder, and a legal-size scanner. You can get one of these for about $399.00, that may seem high to some but when you compare that price to a color laser and the supplies cost this baby is a winner.

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What is Toner?

So what is toner? We get asked that all the time. First off let’s make sure we are all talking about the right kind of toner, what we are not talking about is the cosmetic toner, you know that lotion or wash designed to cleanse the skin and shrink the appearance of pores.

No, the toner we are talking about is what’s inside the toner cartridge you buy for your printer, it’s the actual medium that lets your printer lay down the images and text that you see come out on your paper.

Toner Powder
Microscopic photo of a developer bead coated with toner particles

The toner itself is an electrically-charged powder with two main ingredients: Pigment and Plastic. The role of the pigment is to provide the coloring, black, cyan, magenta or yellow that produces the text and images on the paper. This pigment is blended into plastic particles so that it will melt when it passes through the fuser which gets heated to a high enough temperature to melt these plastic particles.This quality gives toner powder a number of advantages over liquid ink. Using heat to melt the toner onto the medium causes it to firmly bind to almost any type of paper which means the text won’t smudge or bleed easily which is sometimes the case with liquid inks used in ink jet printers.

A replacing toner cartridge containing the toner hopper and drum assembly

This is toner at it’s most basic level which should suffice for this article. Needless to say there is much more in depth explanations that go into the chemical composition and scientific research of toner but that is not the scope of this post, we just want to give a brief overview of what toner powder is and how it works in the printer you use every day.

Each manufacturer spends millions of dollars on R&D and testing in an attempt to make their toner the best on the market. Toner product and the materials that make up the toner is an ever evolving industry. Consumers always want more, for example when toner was first introduced into the market there was only black. Now due to demand we have color laser printers, each toner color had to be invented and researched to produce the desired results. Customers wanted faster print times, that meant the toner had to be changed so it could melt on the paper at faster and faster speeds.

So, how does this toner powder get onto the paper? Well the toner is usally held in what we call the toner hopper which is inside the toner cartridge that you buy. The printer gathers the toner from the hopper with what is called the developer unit.

Printer Developer Unit
A typical Developer Unit

The developer is actually a collection of small, negatively charged magnetic beads. These beads are attached to a rotating metal roller, which moves them throughout the toner in the toner hopper.

Because they are negatively charged, the developer beads collect the positive toner particles as they pass through. The roller then brushes the beads past the drum assembly. The electrostatic image has a stronger negative charge than the developer beads, so the drum pulls the toner particles away.

The drum then moves over the paper, which has an even stronger charge and so grabs the toner.

Printer Drum Unit
Drum Unit

After collecting the toner, the paper is immediately discharged by the detac corona wire. At this point, the only thing keeping the toner on the page is gravity, if you were to blow on the page at this point, you would completely lose the image as the toner would simply blow away. The page must pass through the fuser to affix the toner. The fuser rollers are heated by internal quartz tube lamps, so the plastic in the toner melts as it passes through.

Laser Printer
How a Laser Printer Works

Here’s a simplified schematic of the major parts of a laser printer showing the toner hopper, corona wire, fuser, drum assembly and developer roller. When the paper is grabed from the paper tray it passes through the various parts of the printer at a high rate of speed. This is evident from watching how long it takes from the time you hit print to the time your page comes out complete with text and images. If you pick the page up as soon as it comes out of the printer you can still feel the heat form the fuser that melted the toner onto the paper.

So what is the main advantage of a laser printer Vs a ink jet printer? Speed, precision and economy. A laser can move very quickly, it can print with much greater speed than an ink jet. Laser printers do tend to cost more than ink jet printers but that is offset by the fact that it doesn’t cost as much to keep them running. Toner powder last a long time and still be usable, unlike ink jets that can dry up if you don’t use them. If your looking to print high quality photo’s better to get a high end ink jet, if your looking to print a lot of text documents or even color presentations for office use, get a laser printer.

Let us know what you think of the post, we love to hear from our readers so we can improve and write blogs that our readers want us to write.

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Can an Ink Cartridge explode in your printer?

Here at Ink & Toner Solutions we hear this all the time: “my inkjet cartridge exploded in my printer and there’s ink all over the place!”

Can an inkjet cartridge “explode in a printer”? The simple answer is No. Period. It’s just not possible. Let’s start with the way a print head is built: Continue reading

What is the Quality of refilled Ink and Toner Cartridges?

Is the quality of the remanufactured ink and toner printer cartridges being sold out there as good as the OEM (original equipment manufactures) cartridges? That’s kind of like asking if the quality of aftermarket automobile parts are as good as the OEM part. The answer in both cases is it really depends on the manufacturing process’ and the quality control of the remanufacturer to produce a product that meets the quality of the original part. All remanufactured products are not created equal. Continue reading

Customer Service Lesson

Picture this, I walk in to a car dealership one day to look around and see if there’s a car on the lot that might interest me. Standing there looking around and here comes the sales associate that will be working with me.  He asks me how I’m doing and we do the normal small talk for a few minutes and then I’m asked what I’m looking for. He seems very nice and say’s he believes he has a model that will be perfect for me. He walk’s me over to where the car is. It looks real nice, right color, right model and the price seems to be just about what I think I can afford. He proceeds to tell me what’s under the hood and the options the car comes with. You won’t believe what happens next! Continue reading

Are On Line Return Policy’s Good or Bad?

Ink & Toner Solutions is in the business of selling eco-friendly remanufactured ink and toner cartridges in Northampton, Ma. We have been doing it now for 9 years and we have a very easy to understand return policy. Our ink & toner products carry a one year warranty  from date of purchase. Your cartridge is defective, we replace it, bought the wrong cartridge, we trade it for the right one, the cartridge you bought for the printer you had just died, bring it in, we will either give you store credit or refund the cost of the cartridge. No gimmicks, no small print, no hidden cost, 12 month warranty, period. Now lets look at typical on-line return policy’s. Continue reading

How is the Quality of on Line Ink and Toner?

I’ve been in the printer cartridge business now since 2004 and have had the opportunity to witness many changes not the least being the quality of re manufactured ink & toner cartridges. From the day of individuals filling in their basement with no quality control to the present where large business’s using the latest equipment and quality control methods are putting out superb products. So how is one to know what is a quality printer cartridge and which are junk. Continue reading

Affordable Laser Printers for $750

This is last in our series for choosing printers that fall within certain budget guide lines. In our previous post we talked about printers that fell in the $150, $300 and the $500 range. Now we are going to cover the $750 range which includes machines for the small to medium-size work groups, monochrome lasers that are fast and hold lots of paper, color lasers with good speed, multi-function models that handle heavier volume and most importantly, cheap toner. Continue reading

Affordable Color Laser Jet For $500

BROTHER HL-4570CDW

This is the third in a four part series to help you choose a printer within your set budget. The first two post reviewed printer selections in the $150 & the $300 range, now we will look at a top pick in the $500 range.  At this price you start to get out of ink jet printers and into laser jet printers.  Our top pick in this category is a single-function color Laser printer, the Brother HL-4570CDW. Continue reading

Free Inkjet Troubleshooting Help

Ink & Toner Solutions is always looking for ways to help our customers and anyone else that uses printers or printer products.  Millions of people use the ink jet printer for home or office use but really have no one to turn to when things go wrong.  Most of the customer service reps in the big box stores are not printer experts let alone well trained in the complexities of the inkjet machines they sell, so when something goes wrong and the customer calls they usually don’t get an answer.  We at Ink & Toner Solutions aim to not only help you get your question answered but more importantly solve the problem.

We believe that the customer should receive as much help, insight and support about the product they bought.  Far too often this is not the case.  Manufacturers provide the bare minimum of support for their products, often in the form of outsourced tech support which often frustrates us more than the initial problem with our technology.  In our constant search for ways to bring this information to our customers we are proud to offer an on-line help site through one of our tech partnerships that is easy to use and has videos to make the explanation of the issue crystal clear.  All you do is choose the manufacturer’s name, click on the cartridge that goes into your printer and it brings you to a help page with the most common questions or issues for this machine.  On many questions, the option to view a step-by-step video in plain English is provided, just click on the link in the entry about your issue, and the video plays.  As always, if the help site does not answer your question, just give us a call and we’ll do our very best to help solve the problem or question you have.  Try it out and let us know what you think.