Desktop printers have seen a lot of change since the magazine’s birth. Back then, the dot matrix printer was king, and Epson was market leader.
HP launched the LaserJet in 1984, and in 1986, desktop publishing finally came to the PC (it had been the sole realm of the Mac, and the Apple LaserWriter, before this), fueling the growth of desktop laser printers. Brother, IBM and others quickly added their offerings to the burgeoning market.
The first LaserJets cost $US2,995; today, a printer that’s three times the speed and half the weight can be had for under $500.
Meanwhile, colour inkjet printers, perceived as less expensive than lasers, invaded the home and corporate desktops. Vendors quickly found that by selling the hardware at a low price, they could grow revenues by selling replacement ink cartridges at relatively high prices. Today, some printers cost less than a set of replacement ink cartridges, making them in effect disposable.
Today, colour laser technology has come down enough in price to be attractive to virtually every business, and even some home users.