One of Hewlett-Packards best printers, the venerable LaserJet 4si is one printer that you should be on the lookout for when shopping at auctions, tax, bankruptcy, and estate sales.

The printer weighs in at a whopping 123lbs when fully loaded. It pumps out 17 pages per minute at 600 by 600 dots-per-inch resolution. It looks like a giant retro plastic box from another age. So why would anyone want one of these monsters sitting next to their computer?

The engines that drive these beasts are well known as some of the most reliable print engines developed by HP. They are top-notch commercial quality, able to crank out over 40 reams of print per month - that's 20,000 pages every thirty days. If you're lucky enough to find one of the extended overfilled toner cartridges, it will last you about 13,500 pages of text.

When I worked as a tech writer, we used both the 4si and 5si models. The 5si had slightly better quality imaging and a 2000-page hopper that handled A4 and B3 sized papers, but it broke down every week or so. The 4si jammed on me once in 2.5 years of writing 400-page documents.

I recently picked up five LaserJet 4si printers at an auction. They all work perfectly, and they had Postscript memory options and Ethernet cards installed. I paid $15 each. One is cranking out a 350-page service manual for my IBM RISC server (7013-J30 with 8 processors on 4 CPU cards - original cost was $79,455, my cost was $15). Another 4si is printing out the operator manual.

If you have the space, you don't mind the noise and you like the retro yellowed plastic look for your computing toys, you'd enjoy the old 4si workhorse working tirelessly for you in the background.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.