The Truthiness of Inkjet Printers

If your inkjet printer says it’s out of ink, don’t believe it for a second (until the ink goes faint on the page). Most printers lie like a rug, claiming to be out of ink long before they actually are. Epsons are the honest-est, reporting “empty” when down to about 20%, while some Kodaks report empty when only 36% of the ink is gone. Not to mention the problem of multi-cartridge printers claiming to be out when only one color has run dry.

It’s the old “Give away the razor, sell ’em the blades” (Gillette in days of yore) thing, aka the “Give away the camera, sell ’em the film” thing (Polaroid in days of yore). Only razors and cameras didn’t lie about the need to replace consumables like printers do.

Which is one reason why we only use a b/w laser at home, and send out for color prints when needed. Inkjets only look cheap.

6 Replies to “The Truthiness of Inkjet Printers”

  1. We’re the same here, the 700$ paid for a refurbed HPLJ4000 back in 2002 has been well spent I figure. I’m still on the second toner cartridge (125$ ea) which I only had to change last year. I think I’m doing pretty good. Though since printing is so easy we do use a more paper but not so much that it makes the cost jump, I bought a box from Costco that lasted 2 years (there’s 10 reams in them right?). So yeah, about 14$ a month over the past 5 years, that’s cheaper than a lot of other things.
    Also there’s no need to worry about the page taking 20 years to print. Photos we do via Costco online or take some media to the local you-name-it since almost every place has a kiosk now.

  2. Which is one reason why we only use a b/w laser at home, and send out for color prints when needed. Inkjets only look cheap.

    am i missing something here? do the printers stop working until you change the cartridge? or is the “looking cheap but not being cheap” the case only if you aren’t aware of this propensity to under-report and in fact do change the cart when told by the printer?

    we’re about to get a new color inkjet, so i should get a handle on this…

  3. do the printers stop working until you change the cartridge?

    Oh yes sir, they do! Inkjets are expensive in consumables whether you use them or not. If you use them, you pay through the nose for ink. If you don’t, the ink or nozzles dry up and you end up having to replace them anyway. I’ve heard some progress has been made on the drying up problem, but can’t report from experience on that one.

  4. Buy a laser printer, and you will never look back. Under £200 for a pretty good B&W machine, and under £500 for a colour, and the only thing they are worse for is first page “starting to print”. For everything else, pages per minute, cost per page, cost of paper (plain rather than “inkjet”) not drying up or dying from under or over-use, and normally they will beat a B&W inkjet for anything with more than two pages, time-wise.

    I’ve got a Samsung, and before that a Brother. We paid out £150 for the Brother, then when the first toner cart ran out, we bought the slightly better Samsung for only 50% more than a new toner cartridge and drum would have cost – about £100. (We damaged the drum transporting the printer) We also have a colour Epson.

    You can get the toner cartridges refilled for under £50 each, and you get over 2000 pages out of each one!

    The colour one gets used perhaps a few times a month (average – it’s not been used for months, but sometimes we need 25 prints of something) and the B&W is used daily.

    After spending £50 on inkjet refills that still had a few nozzles jammed, or dried up, or just did 50 pages then ran out, and the endless print tests and cleaning runs before a decent page came out, we just said sod it, and wow, are we glad we did.

  5. Imagine if they can make transparent cartridges so that no one cheats…but then It’s all about profit margin….big profit margins, otherwise i reckon the very first thing they should do is reduce the price of their cartridges. Think about it! Why are compatibles so cheap compare to originals? Don’t tell me it’s costing companies like Canon and Hp more money to make theirs.

  6. i live in trinidad and tobago and would u believe that the cost of the original inkjet cartridges(color and b/w)actually match up to the cost of the inkjet printer….lol.I bought a laser printer(hp2605) a few mths ago and i threw away my inkjet printer .The print quality of the inkjet cant even match up with the beautiful quality of laser.If people were smart they would sacrifce spend a lttle more and buy a laser and in the long run save a lot of money and time.please take my advice and stop using inkjet ….is laser all the way.

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