Zed Lopez

I Bought a Duplex

My venerable HP Laserjet 1012 gave up the ghost this weekend. I replaced it with a spiffy new Brother HL-2270DW. It’s noticeably faster, capable of higher resolution (not that I have any need for better than 600x600), and has a wireless feature I haven’t tried to use because it’s sitting next to a computer.

But that’s not what I’m here to talk about.

The D in DW is for duplex. It can print on both sides of a sheet of paper. I remember being excited about a duplex printer for under $300 back in 2001; not the first time I wanted such a thing, but the first time it seemed within reach.

At various points in the meantime, I’ve tried manual duplexing – printing the odd pages in reverse order and putting them back in to print the even. I sang the praises of gnome-manual-duplex with automated this to the extent possible.

And I’ve probably wasted as much paper as I’ve saved in the process. As the printer got hot from printing a stack of pages, the chances of it grabbing two pages at once grew, and then everything thereafter was wrecked. To fight that, I’d print in small batches. But even when it worked, it was a pain in the butt, requiring running into the next room to reload the printer for each stack.

Duplex has been thoroughly in reach for a while row. The HL-2240D gets down to $60 on sale. But it seemed so hard to justify while the 1012 was still working.

And maybe that was a bad call, because watching it suck the paper back in to print a perfect double-sided page almost makes me cry, it’s so beautiful.