After we left the briefing, I decided to buy a laser printer. You see, I've been living without a working printer for almost a year. I printed my assignments in the lab, where they charged 7 cents per page. That is indeed cheap. However, situations turned ugly when a private businessman took over the lab printing service from the college. As the place is understaffed and cramped, it can be a real battle to get our printouts. There was once I waited almost 30 minutes to queue, print, queue again, comb bind it, queue, and pay. It was getting ridiculous, until it got riduculouser. (Ha! Caught you there!)
This semester when I came back I was shocked to find out they started charging me 10 cents. I was so shocked that I did not bother to clarify issues with them and I just paid the exorbitant fee and left. Those people are really unethical and I find myself unwilling to even go there for binding, as their prices are steep as well.
Anyway, that's why I put my feet down and told Dad, "I need a laser printer." I'm not buying inkjets anymore as they are vulnerable to damage and their cost per page is extremely high. I bought my last inkjet (Canon SP-1000) for RM160, but I spent almost RM250 on refills and repairs over the next year. I finally gave up on trying to salvage it and left it to rot on my desk back home. Laser printers, on the other hand, are more reliable, better quality, and cheaper printing cost in the long run. I can't print colour, but it's not a feature I miss.
So in the weeks leading to my trip to Sunway I began researching low-end laser printers. Samsung seems to be a clear favourite with their ML-1740, so my mind is more or less set to that. I also noticed the Brother printer, but I did not pay much attention to it because I was planning to get Samsung anyway.
During the lunch break, I went down to their IT centre and began asking for Samsung. I was pretty sure I can find it as it was on the price list of many Low Yat shops. However, that was not the case. I went from one store to another and another, but to no avail. Then when I asked the 4th or 5th shop the manager asked me to consider Brother's printer instead. He was selling it at the same price as Samsung's, and he compared it to that particular Samsung model I wanted. It's true, the feature set is better than Samsung. Plus, he said that Brother's printer came with a full toner (2,500 pages) instead of Samsung's starter toner (1,000 pages). And at the end of the day, Brother's toner consumables are cheaper than Samsung's.
I was more or less hooked by then, but I still told him that I would come back in the evening if I wanted to buy. As I didn't spend much time reading the Brother HL-2040 review on the net, I've forgotten most of the details, but I don't remember reading something negative about it either. I checked with Dad and he gave me the go-ahead. So when we left the briefing I went to buy the printer (RM399) while the girls went for a quick shopping.
After that, we drove home. Once again, we were lucky to have been caught in only a minor traffic snare, considering it was already 5.30pm. Unfortunately, once I reached college I still did not have the time to set up my new toy... (to be continued)