"Great Business Printer for Office - Easy Refill"5.0 starson by Trilaworks
Pros: - Separate toner and drum makes for higher quality toner refilling
- Printer can email you (IT office) when ink is low
- 10K cartridge (but must purchase separately)
- No Desktop Software!!!
- Standard Duplex
Cons: - No easy way to reset toner chip, must buy new chip if refilling on your own
Summary: -- Reviewing from an IT for business perspective (Using with Windows) --
We use refilled ink in our office, so I decided to try the B431DN since the toner and drum are a two piece design. Most printers have an integrated drum built into the cartridge. If you always use new OEM cartridges, this is not a problem. However, on refilled cartridges, the drum gets degraded every time you transport it to refill. This left us with cheaper ink, but lines on the paper. The B431DN solved that!
We purchased seven (7) of these printers for our small office, and they work great. Rather than sending them out to be refilled, I am now just refilling myself. The toner cartridges are very easy to refill. You simply turn the cartridge upside down, turn the toner unlock lever, pour the toner in, lock it back, and wipe with a static cloth to remove any extra. It takes me about 3 min to refill a cartridge, and costs me around $25 for a 10K toner refill and chip. Since the drum is a separate piece, it never leaves the printer.
Another great feature I love is the built-in email server. From the web management page of the printer, I set up each one to email me when the toner is low. This allows me to change out the cartridge without the end users ever having to call me.
While CNET mentioned lack of desktop companion software as a negative, I personally think that is a positive. I cannot even begin to count the number of issues I have seen because of HP desktop printer software. If nothing else, it almost always slows down the PC. Having said that, it should be noted that I am reviewing from a business perspective. As an IT professional, this is the printer I would use at home, not necessarily the printer I would tell my IT challenged friend to buy. As a network printer, the driver installs quickly, works well in a virtual environment, keeps a small footprint, and is everything I look for in a business class printer.
My only complaint is that the toner cartridge does not have a resettable chip. They are very easy to replace, but I could save an additional $9 on each refill if the printer had an option to reset the chip. I would also highly recommend upgrading to the 10K cartridge instead of the pre-installed 2K starter cartridge. Other than that, I am exceptionally happy with my decision to go with the B431DN. It has lots of options, standard NIC and duplex features, is fairly small, very fast, and just works!