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How Aftermarket Inkjet Ink Holds Up After a Year

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the or-lays-down dept.

Printer 152

An anonymous reader writes "About a year ago I found a link on here for a test of inkjet printer inks. The article compared original manufacturer inks against much cheaper third party stuff and the results were surprisingly in favour of third party products. They've now published the final part of this study, examining the prints produced a year ago. This time the printer manufacturers have come out far better, with some third party prints having disappeared completely! Cartridge World ink still seems worth a try though, if you don't want to pay manufacturers' inflated prices."

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That may be a feature for some (3, Interesting)

Programmerman (1166739) | more than 6 years ago | (#23237474)

If you're in a business where you print documents for a meeting or which will be obsolete in a day or two, this may be of even more benefit than it remaining visible. Undocumented feature?

Re:That may be a feature for some (2, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#23237556)

better yet employee theft. can you imagine a government case against you falling apart because the documents that an employee stole are no longer readable?

Re:That may be a feature for some (2, Funny)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | more than 5 years ago | (#23238552)

Yea, thats a problem. Maybe some day someone can implement a way to preserve paper documents, perhaps implement a scanning element of some kind

We can call it "The Scanner"

Re:That may be a feature for some (1)

neomajic (838933) | more than 5 years ago | (#23240552)

Put down and step away from marijuana. That's just pure crazy-talk.

If only... (5, Funny)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#23237728)

If only they could invent some sort of electronic device that acts like a hundred small scissors and cuts up your documents into little strips, making it really difficult to figure out the contents of the original document.... I'd call it The Scissorator.

Better yet, maybe, would be some sort of fantastical sci-fi method of applying an energy to the document in such a way that the very atoms of the paper disassociate from eachother, and combine with oxygen in the atmosphere to form carbon dioxide and liquid water. Of course, we'd probably need tiny nanomachines to do this atom-by-atom. It's still hundreds of years off, I'm sure...

Correction... (2, Funny)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 5 years ago | (#23237932)

I have just realized that my fantastical idea would be less fantastical if the by-products were carbon dioxide and water vapor, not liquid water.

Re:If only... (2, Funny)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#23238128)

The "Scissorator"? That sounds like some kind of villain from a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles episode.

Re:If only... (2, Interesting)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 5 years ago | (#23239696)

here you go... shredding scissors [gizmodo.com] ... who needs electronics...

Re:If only... (1)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 5 years ago | (#23240118)

Unless those blades are razor sharp, they just found a way to make each cut 5 times as difficult as a normal cut. I'm sure the handle or hinge would be the first to break.

Re:That may be a feature for some (1)

peipas (809350) | more than 5 years ago | (#23238028)

If I were in a business where I had to us an inkjet printer I would be pissed. Even our finance director has a little HP LaserJet 1300. What a nightmare it would be to work in IT at a company so short-sighted as to forgo/ignore basic ROI analysis.

For the casual printer of confidential documents, send a locked job to your copier. Lease a decent copier if you can't do this.

Re:That may be a feature for some (4, Interesting)

TClevenger (252206) | more than 5 years ago | (#23240076)

I get that a lot from my accounting department.

"Why did you buy a $1,500 laser printer, when Costco has $80 printers on sale?"

"Uh, because the $80 printer uses $55 cartridges that last 2,500 pages, while the $1,500 printer uses $175 cartridges that last 20,000 pages, and don't need scheduled maintenance for 400,000 pages? Oh, and the $1,500 printer prints 50+ pages per minute?"

"Oh. Okay, I guess."

Re:That may be a feature for some (2, Informative)

nuzak (959558) | more than 5 years ago | (#23240708)

Not to mention the inkjet clogging if you don't use it for a month. That's pretty much the main reason I stay away from inkjets. That and you can print on cheap copier paper -- an inkjet will smudge.

Some people might consider connectivity important (1)

tsalmark (1265778) | more than 6 years ago | (#23237496)

The prices may not be inflated if one of your goals is to read the paper after a year.

Re:Some people might consider connectivity importa (-1)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#23237796)

No offense, but that reasoning is just ignorant, short sighted, and wasteful in most situations.

Every single person, client, and business I know is trying hard to move towards a paperless office. You don't need to worry about reading the ink after 12 months since you still have the file on your network, and preferably in a groupware type environment where it is very easy to access. If you did not author the paper, or do not have access to the original file, that is where a scanner comes in quite nicely. Converting paper records to digital files is big business from small time home user to prosumer, and at enterprise levels.

So basically high quality ink jets only serve one purpose, which is marketing. Nicely prepared handouts for staff meetings, or meetings with prospective clients. So in that situation what the paper looks like in 12 months is irrelevant. The information was already communicated; the client already sold on the product. I would dare say that even 30 days after being printed that it could end up in a paper shredder without any real issues.

Now if by "read" you mean the ability to look at a photograph and not be able to detect any noticeable degradation in quality after 12 months, that is a wholly different story. However, the vast majority (90%) of the actual uses of an ink jet printer could have been just as easily performed by a laserjet with a barely noticeable decrease in quality. It is only people that need to print actual photographs being put into frames, that ink quality should be paramount.

And DON'T EVEN GET ME FARKING STARTED on people printing black and white text documents with an ink jet printer.... Puhleeze :)

Re:Some people might consider connectivity importa (2)

mjh (57755) | more than 5 years ago | (#23238268)

No offense, but that reasoning is just ignorant, short sighted, and wasteful in most situations.

No offense, but trying to tell other people what their goals are, or should be, is arrogant.

You don't like the primary vendor inks. I don't like them either. I think they're too expensive. In fact, I dislike the ink problem so much, that I've replaced all my printers with laser printers. But I'm not going to sit down and tell someone that it's wrong that they buy inkjets or vendor inks. I'll let them know that there are cheaper alternatives, if they want to know. But ultimately, it's entirely up to them how they respond to this.

Live your own life. Stop trying to tell someone else how to live theirs.

$.02.

Re:Some people might consider connectivity importa (1)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#23240990)

Stop trying to tell someone else how to live theirs.

LOL, you don't a lot of consulting, do you? Clients are children, they often have to be led everywhere by the hand.

I mean, you can try and be nice and diplomatic and waste oodles of time, but by the 5th time you've heard some asshat complain about the price of laserjets after you've just explained everything to him, you learn to save some time and just cut them off at the pass.

Re:Some people might consider connectivity importa (1)

mjh (57755) | more than 5 years ago | (#23241272)

I would presume that as a consultant, you're getting paid to tell someone else what to do. But the person to whom I was responding was belittling some guy because he suggested that some people might actually benefit from buying HP, epson, lexmark ink.

Re:Some people might consider connectivity importa (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#23238218)

How the hell are you going to even find the paper after a year? Much easier to do a find or (s)locate or use beagle to find the pdf or tiff and print it out again.

Why I love my Canon (4, Informative)

IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) | more than 6 years ago | (#23237534)

I have a Pixma IP4200 inkjet. Bought for about $150 (not on sale) and the individual carts are about 6$, for Canon ones, why bother with 3rd party? At this rate I can toss them out the window and still come out ahead.

This is why I love my Canon. HP could learn a thing or two about ink pricing from them...

Re:Why I love my Canon (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23237600)

Can you tell us where you get ink for only $6. I have an IP4200 as well, and the lowest price I find for ink is $14.95. Thanks.

Re:Why I love my Canon (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#23238234)

$15 for a pack right? Canon color inks are (or were when I owned a canon. CVS does my color printing, now) in separate tanks, so a color pack that costs circa $18 would equate to "individual" carts* that cost $6 ea.

*GP most certainly did not mean "cartridges" which on canon printers are a full replacement of all ink tanks and print heads.

I dunno. If there really are cartridges or even ink packs for only $6 though, I might consider buying another inkjet.

Re:Why I love my Canon (1)

kklein (900361) | more than 5 years ago | (#23237974)

1) Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking in your sig; I like you already.

2) Me too. I've toyed with 3rd party ink on my iP4100 and it looks like crap, runs, and only costs a hair less than the real Canon stuff.

3) Yeah... This printer and my cold dead hands. I can even print on CDs with it (I live in Japan).

Re:Why I love my Canon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23238022)

You should take the time to see how much you are paying, per ml, of ink. You will find out that gas seems cheap if you do the math...

Re:Why I love my Canon (1)

Intron (870560) | more than 5 years ago | (#23239184)

What I haven't seen is any rating on the number of pages that a color cartridge will print. Obviously it depends on what you are doing, but somebody should print a standard image like Lena and see how many pages you get out of these cartridges. The right number is cost per page, not cost per cartridge.

Re:Why I love my Canon (1)

wesborgmandvm (893569) | more than 5 years ago | (#23240524)

Pixmas use CLI-8 inks that run about $14.25 per color for refills, while the PGI-5BK black tank for text lists at $16.25. Based on the claim of 300 pages per cartridge, we estimate a cost of about 19 cents per page of graphics, 30 cents per 4x6 photo, and 5 cents per page of text. An optical monitoring system tracks usage and offers a warning before each tank runs dry. From http://reviews.cnet.com/inkjet-printers/canon-pixma-ip4200/4505-3156_7-31457715.html [cnet.com]

Sunlight is key... (4, Informative)

ramk13 (570633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23237536)

The summary neglects to mention that the third party inks failed in sunlight, but were fine in indoor or controlled storage conditions. It's still something to consider, but nearly as bad as the summary makes it out to be. Tons of photo processes produce photos that'll fade in a year of sunlight, so it's reasonable you'd have to put in a little more expense there for pigments instead of dyes.

3rd party ftw (1)

esocid (946821) | more than 6 years ago | (#23237562)

I always buy 3rd party inkjet supplies, mainly for the price, but also since what I do isn't in need of amazing quality so I may not notice any decrease in clarity/color. I've never had a problem with ink that is 10% of the price of what I would pay for epson ink. If I do really need something of high quality I use the laserjet at work.

Re:3rd party ftw (1)

InlawBiker (1124825) | more than 5 years ago | (#23238632)

I totally agree. I buy my ink from a certain large auction site at a fraction of the extortionist prices charged by the printer's manufacturer. If I want hi-quality I go to Kinkos, or use one of the online photo printing services for that.

The 3rd party inks are not as good but I refuse to pay the huge markup on the store brand ink on principal.

So? (4, Interesting)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 6 years ago | (#23237602)

I don't think third party ink providers are going to be around much larger. That whole industry is run like the mob. I don't say that to troll either, i'm serious. They are very competitive and the major manufacturers do just about everything they can to stop third party providers.

Ink is one of the most over priced products on the market today. Only Monster has margins that can compete.

A few years ago my father figured out that he could buy a whole new printer with new ink cartridges for about 15$ more then just the ink cartridges ALONE. Of course they got wise to that and I am sure many people are familiar with new ink jets being sold with minimal ink installed.

Now the "final solution" is about to be unleashed, which is the encryption being applied to the ink cartridges themselves. That has been coming for awhile AFAIK, and it will be interesting to see how third party manufacturers react when they have to break these new "DRM" like methods of protecting business revenue.

I have always told my clients that ink jets are for "suckers". Suck it up and buy yourself a color laserjet and you will greatly reduce the cost per page to print a report. Of course, I know there are some people that really need a good ink jet printer for their specific tasks, but does that really represent the mass market? I don't think so.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23237946)

I have always told my clients that ink jets are for "suckers". Suck it up and buy yourself a color laserjet and you will greatly reduce the cost per page to print a report. Of course, I know there are some people that really need a good ink jet printer for their specific tasks, but does that really represent the mass market? I don't think so.
That depends on the situation and isn't the best advice for everyone. At home, ever penny I've spent on printers and ink is totals to less than the cost of a color LaserJet. At work, I'm bugged they let people have color inkjet printers in offices, so they don't have to walk down the hall to the laser printer.

Re:So? (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 5 years ago | (#23238462)

NewEgg has a few color laser printers in the $200 range, so I find your post to be highly suspect.

Re:So? (1)

Lincolnshire Poacher (1205798) | more than 5 years ago | (#23239042)

> NewEgg has a few color laser printers in the $200 range, so I find your post to be highly suspect.

Generally the toner cartridges are about $100 ( 50 UKP here for HP ) and the printer won't function if one of the four CMYK carts runs-dry. So I don't know if the fabled cost-benefit of lasers holds true anymore.

Me, I stocked-up on LaserJet II carts years ago!

Re:So? (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 5 years ago | (#23240206)

It does. It may cost more to get the laser carts, but you can get so many more prints out of them that it's worth it by far, doubly so if you only print intermittently. Dried ink makes you go through cleaning cycles and such with an inkjet, but you just don't have that problem with laser printers.

Re:So? (2, Funny)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#23241224)

Generally the toner cartridges are about $100 ( 50 UKP here for HP ) and the printer won't function if one of the four CMYK carts runs-dry.

Toner only works when it's dry.

Re:So? (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#23241152)

NewEgg has a few color laser printers in the $200 range, so I find your post to be highly suspect.

How again? The GP did NOT say the printers were cheap, nor did the GP say that the supplies were cheap. In fact, the GP hinted at the up-front expense:

"Suck it up and buy yourself a color laserjet and you will greatly reduce the cost per page to print a report. "

Yes, the printer and supplies cost more up-front, but they'll also print a LOT more pages before needing another toner cartridge. A factor of ten is not unheard of. A laser print can be pennies a page, an inkjet print can be dimes per page, over a dollar a page for a fill-page photo print.

Re:So? (2, Interesting)

Prefader (1072814) | more than 5 years ago | (#23238004)

Now the "final solution" is about to be unleashed, which is the encryption being applied to the ink cartridges themselves.

I've seen this at my work, where we have several older-model CD and DVD duplicators manufactured by Primera. They come with modified Lexmark printers, which have a little IR doohickey mounted under the ink carriage to read a little barcode-esque sticker on the bottom of the ink carts. They cost significantly more than the carts sold by Lexmark, but we've found that the printers only remember the last 10 or so ink carts that have passed by the sensor. As long as we keep enough around to outlast that 10-cart cycle, we can still refill them on our own and re-use them.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23238118)

There are already printer cartridges which use upwards of 128 bit encryption in their chips. Not to mention inkjet cartridges which blow fuses to make remanufacturing impossible. As a consumer, one might wonder how far such actions would be allowed to go in other industries*...

"Oh, your air filter in your car doesn't have our encrypted chip, so it clearly wasn't manufactured by us. Too bad, it won't work."

"Oh, you didn't buy our motor oil with microscopic tagging devices. Your car will refuse to start because you used generic product."

"Oh, it's easier to just throw away the perfectly good parts and buy new ones as opposed to reusing them"

This ideology is crazyness!

*(fair warning, I am an environmentalist as well as having connections to the inkjet industry)

Re:So? (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 5 years ago | (#23239258)

My Epson RX580 carts come with a chip on board that "conveniently" tells the printer how much ink is still in the tanks. The best part is that it prevents you from refilling the carts because the refill places can't reset the counters (yet). Yes, you get a lot more use out of them.* Just the same it literally forces you to replace carts even if there is any ink left.

*I read about a comparison study [slashdot.org] showing that the Epson single color carts are among the top efficiency. Epsons supposedly quit around %20 left while others would have upwards of %60 of their ink left in the carts.

Re:agreed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23239344)

I agree. Laserjet's have really come down in price too. I've gone through so many inkjets, I finally sucked it up and bought a laserjet. And guess what? no more replacing the ink cartridges every few months. I bought a small $100 laserjet 2 years ago and I haven't even replaced the toner cartridge yet! Good riddance!

The obvious next step (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23239914)

Encrypt the ink!

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23240546)

already been tried...lexmark even used the dmca when someone reverse engineeried the chip and got destroyed in court for trying to use the dmca for that purpoise(sp?)

been there, done that, failed miserably

Re:So? (1)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 5 years ago | (#23240638)

A few years ago my father figured out that he could buy a whole new printer with new ink cartridges for about 15$ more then just the ink cartridges ALONE. Of course they got wise to that and I am sure many people are familiar with new ink jets being sold with minimal ink installed.
Epson and Canon still offer full sized tanks, though with epson priming the printer takes extra ink. In the case of Epson... you can hit their online store and buy a referb printer which often is competitive or cheaper than the ink it comes with.

For example, ink for the Epson R280 will run about $60 for the color, and about $18 for the black. A referb from the epson store will run you $70.00 , in the past they offered free shipping. On a side note I just noticed they offer high capacity tanks, so I must accept this info may be out of date. In the past they offered the r200 & r220 at about $10 less than the ink with full capacity tanks, there were no "high" capacity.

Canon, near as I'm aware doesn't offer low/high capacity tanks, though their budget models do offer tiny tanks with a higher cost per page. Unless something as changed a new ip4500 will run $90 shipped. Ink will run $72 in stores. Usually you won't find a better deal unless they offer a rebate. Given ink is $72 and a head is about the same (usually 66^ the value of the printer), a spare isn't reasonable.

Part 4 due soon! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23237612)

How your eyes hold up after a year of reading 6pt fonts!

Does it matter? (5, Interesting)

Rorschach1 (174480) | more than 6 years ago | (#23237652)

Really, who cares that much? If I want something to be UV-resistant to hang on the wall or something, I'll go get professional prints.

For the other 99.9% of the stuff I print, my cheap Chinese continuous inking system is the best 300 Yuan (~$43) I ever spent. The whole package, plus some extra ink, cost me less than a full change of manufacturer's ink for my Epson RX580.

On glossy photo paper, it looks just as good as the OEM stuff. Most of the time I'm just printing regular business graphics, though, and it does just as well there. I no longer hesitate at all to print lots of graphics-heavy stuff, and the kids get a lot of use out of it. My son got elected 6th grade class president thanks in part to a series of lolcats-themed campaign posters he printed. (lolcats... is there anything they can't do?)

I've been using it for several months now, and would normally have gone through a couple of cartridges. As it is, I can barely tell that the reservoir levels have changed.

Now if only some honest printer manufacturer would embrace this sort of thing - I'd gladly pay a lot more for a printer with easily replaceable heads and nice, big refillable ink reservoirs that the printer can't lie about and doesn't waste excessively. I don't expect to ever see that happen, though.

Re:Does it matter? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23238246)

Mod the parent up for curiosity!

I would like to know more of people's experiences with a CIS (continuous inking system).

From quick google searches, a CIS is a tank of ink that is connected to a cart via tube. You can fill the tank of ink with any ink and the chip on the cart tells the printer it's always full.

The slashdot DIY crowd should be interested in this.

I'm cheap and i want to know if other people had good expereinces with this system?

Re:Does it matter? (2, Informative)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 5 years ago | (#23238442)

Care to give the name of the manufacturer and model number?

Some of us could use a decent printer from a manufacturer that isn't out to bleed us dry.

Re:Does it matter? (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 5 years ago | (#23238616)

HP Design Jet plotters do this.
You have to replace the heads about every other tank of ink, but they are not too expensive, the ink is one color-one head-one tank, so you replace only what you need.
-nB

Re:Does it matter? (2, Informative)

Flavio (12072) | more than 5 years ago | (#23240074)

Now if only some honest printer manufacturer would embrace this sort of thing - I'd gladly pay a lot more for a printer with easily replaceable heads and nice, big refillable ink reservoirs that the printer can't lie about and doesn't waste excessively. I don't expect to ever see that happen, though.

Get an HP Officejet K5400. It has replaceable heads (which are NOT part of the cartridge, unlike all other HPs), and you can also install a $50 CIS kit. It prints faster and cheaper than any laser in its price range, with the quality of a color inkjet.

Ink costs twice as much as blood (1, Interesting)

pzs (857406) | more than 6 years ago | (#23237656)

Or so it says here [eatliver.com] . This seems a bit odd to me.

Re:Ink costs twice as much as blood (4, Funny)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 6 years ago | (#23237738)

Blood only comes in pretty much one shade, and it fades horribly.

Re:Ink costs twice as much as blood (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23240174)

Have you ever tried printing with blood? Kindda messy.

And for the serious post:
6,000,000 (I don't say "billion" because it's value is language-dependent) people produce blood continuously. Only food required for that (and doesn't have to be gourmet to get good blood). Not much manufacture there, so I don't think it's a surprise that it costs less than ink.

Plus... blood rots away a lot faster than ink if left under the sun, ho ho.

Re:Ink costs twice as much as blood (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23241118)

And of course I meant 6,000,000,000...

This will not suprise anyone.... (1)

sabatorg (1279426) | more than 6 years ago | (#23237666)

I used to work at one of the worlds largest electronics retail store (that is not the surprising part). With my employee discount a $25 ink cartrege would cost me ~$5. Most of the ink cartrages are only partly filled as well. HP is really bad about saling a $19 cartrage and a $27 dollar one.... the difference? 2x times as much ink.

It's worth noting that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23237694)

We use real world testing, sticking print samples in a window where natural light falls on them. If you're putting prints on a public notice board or in a shop window, this is the kind of light they'd be exposed to.
From the writeup you might think the prints disappeared while on someone's desk or in a filing cabinet. In fact they were subject to a comparatively high level of UV exposure. Indeed, if I was printing for a shop window or public notice board I would expect to renew the prints occasionally - and with third party ink, I could afford to.

If you print out your pictures and save them in an album or in a box in a drawer, ink fade won't be a problem. The test images we stored this way are all close to their original quality, in terms of fade.

That's also true of the samples put behind glass and hung on an interior wall - there's very little difference now from the way they were a year ago. If you use your prints in either of these ways, the only thing you need be concerned by is the image quality of the prints themselves, as judged by our viewing panel a year ago.

Worst bloodsuckers (1)

AchiIIe (974900) | more than 6 years ago | (#23237700)

Please don't buy the native ink, they are just scamming people with them.
* The software embedded in HP printer cardridges causes them to expire after a set of amount of time, forcing comsumers to purchase new ink, even if it's not run out yet. This prevents users from refilling their cardridges. (HP Ink costs more than human blood) by the way.
* They enforce "region coding" restrictions that prevent cardridges purchased in one region from operating with printers purchased in another. This "feature" is intended to support regional market segmentation and price discrimination.
* Laser toner is a cheap black powder. You can buy a refill for about $4.99. Opening the toner equipment for a refill can be tricky, in the case of Lexmark they made it impossible. A new toner costs ~$100. After third party toners that allowed refills showed up, lexmark added a layer of encryption and authentication to the modules. When SCC started selling reverse engineered refillable cardridges Lexmark sued them, they invoked the DMCA to ban them from selling the product. Litigation lasted 19 months and SCC products were off the market during that period.

* http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/peripherals/hp-ink-costs-more-than-human-blood-booze-212444.php [gizmodo.com]

Re:Worst bloodsuckers (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 5 years ago | (#23237850)

Laser toner is a cheap black powder. You can buy a refill for about $4.99. Opening the toner equipment for a refill can be tricky, in the case of Lexmark they made it impossible. A new toner costs ~$100

It depends on your selection of printer. My HP Laserjet III is still running. HP no longer makes carts for it. The aftermarket carts are 4/$100 with free shipping. Needless to say, I have no immediate upgrade plans for plain text printing.

Re:Worst bloodsuckers (1)

Alpha Whisky (1264174) | more than 5 years ago | (#23237970)

I have a lexmark C510. It was incredibly easy to refill the toner. I have to say that Lexmark's inkjet business practices are as scummy as they come but their business laser printers are fine.

disappearing ink (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#23237756)

Disappearing ink sounds to me like a feature, not a bug. That documentation expires when a new version comes out, so why not have it actually fade away and be unusable?

With cheap laser printers (4, Informative)

Bullfish (858648) | more than 5 years ago | (#23237782)

Ink jet printers are stupid, especially for people who print occasionally and in black in white. A toner cartridge is more expensive, but is cheaper in the longer run producing far more copies and it never dries out.

If you need to print photos, a colour ink jet is a damned expensive way to do it... if do print photos occasionally, at least around where I live, photo printer kiosks abound.

HP 1012 LaserJet! (1)

FatSean (18753) | more than 5 years ago | (#23237820)

It's cheap and black and white and even if it sits for weeks it fires up and prints perfectly. Much more than I can say for inkjets costing more.

Maybe some day they'll make a cheap color laser printer that's as reliable, and I'll buy it.

Re:With cheap laser printers (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#23237992)

I do think it's interesting that the article talks a lot about using them in an office environment. We use laser printers almost exclusively (most black and white, a few color). We've got one or two fax/scan/whatever multifunction ink based printers but those are there more for the fax/scan ability than for the printing.

Ink is also much slower than laser. I'm not sure why, in an office environment, anyone would choose to use ink.

Ink for home office (1)

alexhmit01 (104757) | more than 5 years ago | (#23238948)

I keep meaning to pick up a color ink jet for the house... I don't print a lot of color, but sometimes it would be helpful for diagrams and things. Photos, that's crazy, CVS has a decent printer and charges like 30 cent a print. If we want a picture in a frame, why would I get a photo-quality printer when CVS will let me use theirs for next to nothing. A color laser would be cheaper if I printed a lot, but I don't, we're talking diagrams and graphs.

If I have something that needs to look good, I can upload it to Kinkos and pick it up... I can even pick it up bound. If I did that more than twice/year, I'd start to think about convenience.

Re:With cheap laser printers (0)

0111 1110 (518466) | more than 5 years ago | (#23239748)

A toner cartridge is more expensive, but is cheaper in the longer run producing far more copies and it never dries out.
It may not "dry out", but a toner cartridge can quite easily fail long before it has printed even close to its rated number of pages. It has happened to me. I intentionally bought the printer with lowest cost per page that I could find. This turned out to be a Lexmark T-610 due to the affordable "high yield" (25000 page) aftermarket cartridges. Unfortunately the first cartridge I bought died after only about 6 months and 200 pages. If you don't use the printer much it can be difficult to get the cost per page that you may have been hoping for from a toner cartridge. Although there are reports of toner catridges lasting a decade or more, the typical shelf life for a toner cartridge is no more than 2 to 3 years.

How About Printing On CDs (2, Interesting)

MichaelCrawford (610140) | more than 5 years ago | (#23237834)

I use a CD label printer [oggfrog.com] to print CDs of my music. I spend a lot of money on ink, but I have hesitated to use refills because I doubt that their formula took CD surfaces into account.

My horror story (3, Informative)

njcoder (657816) | more than 5 years ago | (#23237848)

I had an epson photo printer for many years and always bought epson inks.

Then I found a link to third party inks at a great bargain. I bought 5 sets of color and black cartridges for about the price of one set of epson brand inks.

Within a relatively short period of time the print head got clogged up and the printer was useless. I tried everything I could to clean it, all the way to taking it completely apart. Nothing I did got the printer working again.

The printer was very old but never had any problems before. I think epson overcharges for ink but the third party ink cost me more. I wound up getting a color laser printer for normal printing and will be getting another epson photo printer at some point for photos. Though I mostly send out stuff to the lab since I prefer the tone and quality of lamda or fuji frontier prints over inkjet ones when I'm not printing them myself in my darkroom.

Re:My horror story (1)

dingen (958134) | more than 5 years ago | (#23237968)

Please do not include your darkroom in your personal horror stories.

Re:My horror story (1)

rgo (986711) | more than 5 years ago | (#23239810)

The same thing happened to me with my old Epson Stylus Color 6 years ago.

Then I bought a Lexmark Z42, whose cartridges have got the printing heads. I never checked beforehand the price of new cartridges or the availability of third party ones. I also didn't check if it was Linux compatible, cause I my hardware didn't support Linux back. That was the worst purchase I've ever done, I bought a Linux incompatible (for many years) printer for more than a hundred bucks which uses $30 cartridges.

Moral:
Don't buy Lexmarks.
Don't buy printers without knowing the cost of its supplies.(stupid, stupid)
Check with a real person if the printer you want to buy works in Linux, mine had drivers, but they didn't work.
Get a laser and print your photos in a studio, the price of a photo printer plus paper and photo ink is not worth it. If you don't have the cash to get the laser or don't print that much, get a cheap ass Canon inkjet.

Ink Quantity (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 5 years ago | (#23237880)

Another issue that I didn't see after skimming this article, as well as part one of the series, is that many of the third party ink cartridges don't contain as much ink as the name brand. Consumer Reports tested a bunch of inks, and found that most of the cheapest inks were actually more expensive per page than the brandname ink. Which inks fared well varied from printer to printer.

Unfortunately, it looks like the full article is only available to subscribers, and there are just a few short blubs [consumerreports.org] summarizing the results available to everyone.

Inkjet shminkjet... (0)

binaryspiral (784263) | more than 5 years ago | (#23237886)

Buy an $80 laser printer from home B&W printing, use company color laser for high quality color prints.

No more messy ink.

But after a quick search, color laser printers are well into the low $100's...

At this price point I would fathom to say that inkjets are on their way out. Good riddance.

Re:Inkjet shminkjet... (1)

Guerilla* Napalm (762317) | more than 5 years ago | (#23238202)

The best way to buy a laser printer is to get the ink included. The ink for our color laser costs about $1k. When they phoned to sell us a toner saving device for $1.5k we laughed in their faces.

Re:Inkjet shminkjet... (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#23238418)

color laser printers have lousy color. It's vivid, and great for presentations, but photographic images come out all saturated and odd-looking.

Still, they're not much better on an inkjet, and if you factor in the price of both the ink and the "high quality photo paper" it works out to be MUCH cheaper to print all your photos at the drugstore kiosk.

Re:Inkjet shminkjet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23238750)

Lasers don't produce high quality colour prints. Ink jet printers can produce prints that are better in quality than your average photo finisher. I have a Canon Pro 9000 and I have compared several prints from a photo finisher with prints from the Canon and the Canon blows them away in colour acuracy and resolution. A high quality paper like Moab Colorado Gloss and the ink jet prints have a much nicer feel and appearance than average photo finishing.

If you go to some pro photo finishers they are apt to print your digital images on an Epson 3800. Another Ink-Jet.

I was a traditional emulsion based photo hobbiest and worked in a pro colour lab. A person can set up and start turning out high quality, long lasting colour prints at home. In the days of emulsion based printing the cost was absolutely prohibitive for home colour printing. Assuming you could afford all the equipment and consumables you still required what could be considered arcane knowledge.

A good photo ink-jet printer is really an amazing machine.

Printing 4x6 prints at home is a waste of money though.

Re:Inkjet shminkjet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23239406)

You were a hobbiest? What is that? Someone who's always more hobby than the others? I am usually hobbier than others, but never the hobbiest, that's just rude.


Is it really that hard to spell "hobbyist" correctly?

Re:Inkjet shminkjet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23241000)

Ink jet printers can produce prints that are better in quality than your average photo finisher. I have a Canon Pro 9000 and I have compared several prints from a photo finisher with prints from the Canon and the Canon blows them away in colour acuracy and resolution.

Go look at your home prints in 5 years. Hope you weren't storing precious memories. Then again it's probably more important these days to keep the digital originals safely archived than the actual print.

If you go to some pro photo finishers they are apt to print your digital images on an Epson 3800. Another Ink-Jet.

No, they use offset presses like an HP Indigo, which is a little more than the $1200 Epson. Maybe drugstore kiosks use the Epson.

Re:Inkjet shminkjet... (4, Funny)

Nibbler999 (1101055) | more than 5 years ago | (#23238922)

Do you really expect us to take laser printer advice from someone who is apparently still using a typewriter?

Re:Inkjet shminkjet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23239462)

Dyesub for photos.


A $250 laserjet for black and white. I find the the $80 laserjet, unless you buy third part catridges, will cost 2-3X times as much for the catridge. I do have an $80 laserjet, and I just refill my catridge, which makes it very cheap, but the quality sucks, which is why I went to slightly more expensive lasers.


For color I have a phaser. Twice as much as the cheapest color laserjet, but ink is not nearly as expensive, and there is no toner issue. In fact on the one color laser i do use, the per print price is about the same as the phaser, but only because third party toner is used on the laser. OTOH, the register is always messed up on the third pary catridges, so the print quality is crap.


On most of these printers, the savings is real. For instance, the price difference between the Phaser and laser printer are realized in ink saveing after only one case of paper. Probably if I only printer a ream every few months I would have an inkjet, but at even a ream a month it becomes very expensive.

Get a laser. (4, Informative)

snarfies (115214) | more than 5 years ago | (#23237916)

I don't print things out from home too often now that I'm out of school, but when I do go to print things out, I expect a printer to WORK. After going through three inkjet printers in as many years, with ink cartridges that dry up, nozzles that CONSTANTLY get clogged and take several minutes to completely clean, blotches on my printouts, and so on, I came to the conclusion that inkjets are poor investments indeed, even with cheap third-party ink.

Three years ago I bought a laser printer. It cost around $200, quite a bit more than an inkjet, and doesn't print in color. But I am STILL using the original toner cartridge that came with the printer - I have yet to run out. Admitedly, I'll probably have to pay a good $75 for a new cartridge when the existing one runs out, but I'd say $75 for several YEARS worth of ink that won't dry up and/or clog is well worth it.

Prices have dropped a bit since then. You can buy a laser for around $100, around triple that if you insist on color. And it'll really LAST - every place I've ever worked has had laser printer that have been around forever.

Re:Get a laser. (1)

enemorales (1172133) | more than 5 years ago | (#23239784)

+1 here, and not only that, but I when I used inkjet printers, the software always wanted to take over my PC. The software that came with my laser printer seems to be is a lot less intrusive.

Re:Get a laser. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23241146)

I worked for a document retention/distribution company not too many years ago.

They had two high volume laser printers that ran from 8pm to 3am continuously. About 140k sheets of paper a day. QMS brand. Not sure the exact models.

Both of those printers were there when I started, and 7 years later, they were both still doing their job. The internal page counter read 999999999 from the first day I started.

I'm fairly sure they never had any major service on either of them.

The only flaw is the paper drawer on both of them was a bit skewed and would sometime cause a miss feed, which we fixed with a bit of folded paper under the edge of the drawers.

In contrast, that same company purchased a Panasonic desk jet printer mainly to print color CD labels. It lasted 2 months and then the magic smoke came out. It might have been used 100 times in that period.

Re:Get a laser. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#23241242)

I am a big fan of Solid Ink Printers myself they are actually more afordable over the long run over color lasers and much more afforadable then Ink Jets. However, I have seen BAD things from third party ink, Like leaking ink and the such. (A slightly differnt melting tempature can be the difference between liquid and solid, and the speed it becomes solid again. If it is off it could become solid in the jets, or stay liquid and drop off the drum before it hits the paper. 3rd party ink works fine for months but then after about 3 months they really gum up the printer.

This is specifically about photo printing? (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 5 years ago | (#23237920)

Well the only useful experience I have with this is with a Kodak G610 printer dock. Which is a film type printer. And the thing I learned almost immediately was ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS use Kodak paper. Nothing else yields a useful result at all. So I have to think that Kodak has engineered their printer and paper chemistry to go hand in hand.

ink refill (2, Insightful)

grrrlyboy (563045) | more than 5 years ago | (#23238312)

i just refilled my samsung ml1710 toner cartridge with a toner refill kit and i have to say i'm impressed. nearly 1/8th the cost of a full replacement cartridge, i can't see the difference. and replacing the toner was simple. it amazes me that more people don't go this route.

Re:ink refill (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 5 years ago | (#23238846)

i just refilled my samsung ml1710 toner cartridge with a toner refill kit and i have to say i'm impressed. nearly 1/8th the cost of a full replacement cartridge, i can't see the difference. and replacing the toner was simple. it amazes me that more people don't go this route.


Considering a toner cartridge for my Brother laser printer costs $75, but lasts 2500-ish pages, refills might be cheaper, but it's just easier to buy a new one every so often (usually 2 years or more - we don't print much). The drum is separate, so the cartridge is basically a molded plastic container. Also, I'd rather not have to deal with toner spills.

Of course, refilled toner cartridges are always an option - save the toner spills to people who know how to deal with it.

But if you print a lot, an inkjet is probably the worst possible way to do it (i.e., office environment). Far cheaper to make an upfront investment in a laser printer - the ink costs alone would probably cover the difference in a month or two!

Consumer Reports (1)

Kagato (116051) | more than 5 years ago | (#23238518)

This matches the finding that consumer reports had last year. The CR article went into operational issues with third party ink, and found similar results. That being said, I'd like to see how color laser printers do in these kinds of tests.

Food coloring? (1)

RJFerret (1279530) | more than 5 years ago | (#23238610)

Oh for the days of the old Xerox 4020, which used food coloring for it's ink. (Yes, the material data sheet said their ink was nontoxic.) Surprisingly an equal mix of red and blue was the best substitute for black.

Did it fade in sunlight? I'm sure, as did any printers' output we left in the display windows of the store back then--sunlight is vicious!

Generic ink for Canon Pixma MP780? (1)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 5 years ago | (#23238696)

I just finally ran out of ink in my Canon Pixma MP780 and am looking at buying replacement ink cartridges. I know that a lot of the printers, mine included I'm pretty sure, have counters in the carts to keep you from refilling them. You can (usually) disable the counters through some undocumented voodoo, but then it doesn't watch out for you running out of ink and you can burn up the expensive print head.

So I'm going to skip the refill. But I'm looking at buying the non-name brand ink carts. Does anyone know if this avoids the counter problem? Do these "compatible" ink carts also have the counter chip so it can avoid silently running out of ink?

I need replacements of all the carts - BCI-3eBk, BCI-6C, BCI-6Y, BCI-6M, BCI-6Bk. From Canon, this costs around $40-50 for all 5. I found one compatible one that is $14.51 and actually contains about twice as many carts: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000C159LW [amazon.com]

Couple of other questions: if I got the above package, would I still need a BCI-6Bk, or could it use the BCI-3eBk for all the black needs? Does anyone have a link to a page the explains the difference between BCI-3, BCI-3e, BCI-6, etc.?

Note: I sometimes print photos, but it's not really for archival purposes. If I want a quality long term photo, I send it to Walgreens. Most of my printing is fairly disposable - a map to some place, a story to read later, etc.

Re:Generic ink for Canon Pixma MP780? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23239222)

I'm a professional photographer & never had any sort of problem with aftermarket inks for the Canon printers. These Canon printers do not use chipped cartridges. They should be ideal for the purposes you mentioned. The 3eBk is black pigment and waterfast and is used in plain paper mode only, whereas the 6Bk is near-black dye suitable for mixing for photorealistic purposes.

Re:Generic ink for Canon Pixma MP780? (1)

illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 5 years ago | (#23240318)

Thanks for the info. Have any recommendations on who to buy the replacements from in the USA? Or did you do refills? Can't find anyone to do refills for Canon here (lawsuit related).

Re:Generic ink for Canon Pixma MP780? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23240468)

I actually buy from the lowest ebay seller. I get the same cartridges every time regardless of seller, so they must be all coming from the same factory, the Amazon cartridges look the same also from the picture. Look for the best price + shipping combination, as some sellers charge shipping based on each cartridge rather than sets.

Here's more info on the qualitatitive differences, from one of the ebay sellers: http://reviews.ebay.com/Canon-BCI-3eBK-amp-PGI-5-Pigmented-ink-Dye-based-ink_W0QQugidZ10000000003634448 [ebay.com]

Re:Generic ink for Canon Pixma MP780? (1)

commanderfoxtrot (115784) | more than 5 years ago | (#23239832)

I have the same printer.

We moved to 3rd party inks as soon as the originals finished.

Unless you're printing good photos (and if you were, you wouldn't be considering this question, as the cost saving would be irrelevant), just get the 3rd party inks.

We use 999inks [999inks.co.uk] in the UK, for what it's worth.

Printing photos? Bah! (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#23238880)

At this point, I doubt I'll ever buy another photo printer. For routine, share-then-throw-away stuff, I have a color laser that is far cheaper than any of the inkjets I've ever seen. For pictures I want to frame and keep, I can upload the images to Wal-Mart's website and pick them up at the store an hour later. Advantages:

  • Price. I ran the numbers, and my personal inkjet costs more in supplies alone than Wal-Mart's options [walmart.com] , and that's assuming that my home-printed 8x10 comes out perfectly the first time and doesn't smear. Remember, if you pay a photo shop, you're only charged for the prints that actually turn out. You don't get refund on ink you waste at home.
  • Speed. It's actually quicker for me to upload photos and go fetch them than it is to babysit my inkjet.
  • Quality. I've had 8x10s printed from 7MP source images, and the results were astounding - as in you could make out individual blades of grass, and use a magnifying glass to see what time the picture was taken by looking at the hands of a watch in the photo. I never managed to get results half that good at home. Also, it uses the same processing as regular photos, so your pictures come back on actual photo paper.
  • Distance. I can have pictures developed at a different store than the one near my house. My mom seems to be allergic to computers and refuses to get one, and she also lives a half-day drive away from me. I've sent pictures to her local store so she can get them an hour after I've taken them.

I don't want to sound like a Wal-Mart shill. There are lots of online options to pick from, and that's just the one that happens to be most convenient for me. Now, I can understand why people wouldn't want to have certain photos developed, particularly those of a particularly personal nature, but I'd much rather farm my printing out than mess with it myself anymore.

A long post about the most cost-effective inks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23238890)

I have an Epson RX700. Very good specs, uses 6 cartridges. Cost GBP 200

Epson cartridges cost around GBP 15. That's about half the new cost of a printer for a refill. So I don't do that.

Third Party cartridges cost around GBP 5 for a refill. That's about 1/7 the cost of the printer. I did that for a while.

Skyhorse are a chinese company that manufacture cartridges which are easy to refill (http://www.tianma.net.cn/en_skyhorse/). I have some of these, and they're good. With bought-in ink, they were the equivalent of GBP 1.50p per cartridge. But Epson started up a legal case and scared them away from the UK.

Then I got a CIS. At the same time I found Promax, who import OCP ink into the UK, and sell it really cheaply (http://www.promaximaging.com/OCP_Ink/ocp_ink.html). This brought my costs down to the equivalent of GBP 0.17p per cartridge. That's amazing - ink is now a non-issue for me!

Promax pointed out that CISs should not use silicone tubing, which leaks oils and coagulates some inks. They suggest surgical quality TYGON, but I have not found a cheap source for this yet. So I just clean when I need to - the ink costs are negligible.

I have recently hit the dreaded 'waste pad counter' error. This is a counter Epson put in their printers to note how often you clean the printer and deposit waste ink to the internal pad. When Epson decide your printer pad should be full, the printer locks and will not print any more. The rumour on the blogs is that if you use non-epson ink this counter goes about 20 times faster! Luckily there is a russian hack (http://www.ssclg.com/epsone.shtml) that lets you reset the counter.

Some time ago I tried asking Epson how to reset my printer - their response was to offer me a new printer for GBP30. They would rather pay off people who ask sensitive questions than stop stiffing their customers. Figures....

Hope this gets modded informative - it's the only way to fight the pigopolists....

old deskjet 840c (1)

the brown guy (1235418) | more than 5 years ago | (#23239804)

As a student I do a lot of printing, but I don't have enough money to warrant buying a laser printer, because I get ink jet cartridges for $6 instead of $40. I haven't had any issues, and have saved a lot of money. Also, I bought an expired color cartridge (like over $40) for $1 at a garage sale, it was unused, and it's been in my printer for 3 months and still prints fine. Maybe it's just because I'm so damned cheap, but I do not think that I would ever buy an OEM cartridge....but I'm also too lazy to refill it myself. Also, i have noticed that refill places only do it a max of 3 times, and they wouldn't refill my color cartridges for some reason.

Buy a Laser Printer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23240260)

I got extremely sick of dealing with inkjet cartridges and filling them. I also hated the idea of being made a fool by the very obvious scam being engaged in by printer manufacturers.

So I bought a laser printer. I got an HP of all things on sale for $89 with a full toner that prints 1200 sheets with the printer.

The toner cartridges are a tad more expensive ($100). The nice part is at the rate that I print stuff I wont need to replace it for 2 years.

I say the hell with inkjet printers.

Re:Buy a Laser Printer (1)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 5 years ago | (#23240670)

I bought an HP LaserJet 4L years ago when I got tired of ink costs for an old HP DeskJet 500 (c.1994). I had that laser printer for twelve years. The last toner cartridge (6000 page estimated yield) lasted me over eight years (with the old "shake and reinsert" method to squeeze out the last particles of toner).

When that one finally died (the cartridge, not the printer), I found I could spend $80 on another cartridge, or just over $120 for a refurbed Dell Laser (the 1100 series, I think--not home right now to check). The new printer offered better speed (25 ppm vs. 4 ppm) and better resolution (600 dpi vs. 300 dpi), and shipped with a low-yield toner cartridge rated for about 2000 pages. That cartridge lasted me just under two years (I have a volunteer position now that has me printing a bit more each week), and I just replaced it with a regular cartridge that should last me six to eight more years.

For black and white printing, nothing beats a laser. Heck, even the color laser printers are reasonable nowadays.

Re:Buy a Laser Printer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23241674)

If you looked a little harder you probably could have got a refurbished cartrige for the printer pretty cheap.
My old brother HL is still going and hadn't had any problems with the refurbished cartrige. I think I paid 28$ for it.

Get off your laser high-horse! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23240678)

I personally can't afford a colour laser printer. I just had to get a new printer because of my forced vista upgrade and my old HP is not supported. I got a cannon all in one (as cheap as printer-only on sale) and the ink is $6-10 per cartridge. I and most people might agree, don't have the $1500 for a colour laser printer, no do I have $150 for refills.

The reason people have ink jet printers is pure economics. So get off your high-horse and quit lecturing people about how stupid they are for buying an ink jet printer, and save me the linux/windows crap, when I can play all mainstream games on linux then I will switch, and not before.

The return of the dot-matrix... (2, Insightful)

projectmonkey (1235992) | more than 5 years ago | (#23240768)

I'm seriously considering taking home one of those black ink dot-matrix printers sitting in storage at work, which I could have for free. They're industrial printers that last, and for just black and white printing that will eventually get trashed, it would be cheaper than my HP inkjet, which is the only printer on my small LAN at home. My wife and kids are killing me on inkjet ink. I know I'll need to attach a print server to network it, but it still may prove to be useful.

Long but informative advice on inks!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23241066)

I bought an Epson Stylus Photo RX700. Great specs. Cost GBP 200. Uses 6 cartridges.

Epson cartridges cost about GBP 15.0p. A new set is half the cost of the printer. I didn't want to do that!

Third Party cartridges cost about GBP 5.0p. A set of these is about 1/7 the cost of the printer. I tried this for a while.

Then I got some cartridges from Skyhorse, a Chinese company that do easily-refillable cartridges (http://www.tianma.net.cn/en_skyhorse/product_detail_list.asp?id=422). These, with some bought-in ink, cost about GBP 1.50p per cartridge. I was happy with this, though Epson have since scared them out of the UK with legal threats.

Then I got a CIS off ebay. At the same time I found ProMax, who import OCP, the top-quality German inks, very cheaply (http://www.promaximaging.com/OCP_Ink/ocp_ink.html). This brought costs down to GBP 0.17p per cartridge. At this price the ink is virtually free, so I no longer worry about price.

Promax pointed out that the silicone tubing which comes with CISs can leak oils and react with pigment inks, causing blockages. They suggest using medical grade TYGON. I haven't bothered, and just clean every so often.

Then I hit the dreaded 'waste pad full' error. Epson count the number of cleans you do, and lock your printer after a set number because they reckon the internal waste pad will be full. If you are using non-epson cartridges, the rumour is that Epson count up much faster!

Luckily there is a Russian site which provides a reset program - http://www.ssclg.com/epsone.shtml. So now I reckon I have the best of both worlds - a good printer and really cheap ink.

I hope this gets modded up as informative - spreading information on how to avoid paying through the nose for inks is our only weapon against the pigopolists....

Multifunction b&w laser printers? (1)

jvkjvk (102057) | more than 5 years ago | (#23241488)

Most everyone knows by now that inkjet printers are not the way to go on a price/performance standpoint. I've seen many people in this thread talking up moving to a laser printer, despite the higher initial costs.

Multifunction inkjets came out on the consumer market quite some time ago and are pretty inexpensive today (for the machine) yet have all the issues with inkjets. Multifunction laser printers are relatively new on the market and I don't have any experience with them. My injket printer died recently and I was wondering if anyone has recommendations for a home multifunction b&w (or colour) laser printer they've used. I'd like to get off the cart wagon as well...

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