Printer Running Costs..........

  Scouse 21:01 17 Jan 2003
  Scouse 21:01 17 Jan 2003

I am in the market for a new inkjet printer.

I do not wish to spend more than £100 but wish to ensure that my new printer does not have replacement ink cartridges that cost the Earth.

Users opinions Please



  Lone Crow 23:30 17 Jan 2003

There are so many sides to this one! HP printers and similar use cartridges that include the print head, so you virtually get a new print system with every replacement. Printers that use cartridges that are only just a box with ink in have the print head integral to the printer. As the head deteriorates the print quality drops, and they are also prone to blockages, sometimes terminally so if the printer is left idle for long periods. Having a new head fitted costs more than the printer is worth, so you have to balance that risk against the higher costs of HP type carts. It becomes more of an issue if you refill your own carts in order to keep the costs down. You can refill HP black carts very simply and economically, and if it ever goes pear shaped it has only cost you the cartridge, not the whole printer! However, Epson and Canon cartridges are much cheaper to buy and not worth refilling, so no messing about. Almost every printer can be used with recycled carts, which brings the price down considerably with only slightly reduced performance in some cases - usually only noticeable with colour prints. Finally, the better HP carts use pigment inks rather than dyes, which makes them more water resistant and quicker drying than the cheaper carts. So it all depends what kind of printing you want to do and how much use you give a printer. Speed might be important to you; or quality more so; or economy; or photo-realism. Until you know what user group you fall into it's impossible to select wisely. Cheers! LC.

  shifty 15:27 18 Jan 2003

I've recently replaced a worn out Epson printer which ran for two years on compatible cartridges without a hitch, for another epson printer, a C70+ priced at around £79.00. It's a good printer giving quality prints, but now I find it is costing me more in the ink department. Tried using compatible cartridges from a few different suppliers including choice stationary who's cartridges I have used for years, but they were either rejected which happened on most occassions or I found a total change in colour output. I am assuming this is down to the fact that most cartridges are now chipped so the printer knows whether an original or compatible is installed.
If I was to replace this printer I would be looking for one with easy re-fillable cartridges.

  Scouse 20:06 18 Jan 2003

Thanks Lone Crow & Shifty. Many variables to take on board.

As for the kind of use i intend to hit the printer with.....

1. Basic text documents.

2. Text/Basic Images (graphs,charts,etc) for my Son's homework.

3. Maps. I work in the transport Sector and quality Map printing is a must.

4. The Good Lady mentions Photo's (she would!!) but I can go without high end Photo printing.

I must admit, the printhead issue is a little concerning. If the option to replace a cartridge also replaces the printhead then I would be happy to go down that road.

Cheers for the input guys.


  hmmm 22:56 18 Jan 2003

has to be the canon i550. Uses 2-3 times less ink than other rpinters and u can change each colour seperately. (bl\ck, magenta,cyan and yellow) . Each colour including black costs around £7-9.

check out the review on tomshardware. Came first in quality, speed, costs. I am looking to buy the slighlty higherm model. (i850) comes out in feb but costs more at around £169 where as u should be able to pick up the i550 for around £110.

  Lone Crow 00:15 19 Jan 2003

Some of the older HP models (840, for instance) are available at knockdown prices now, but their carts use PhotoRET 2 rathre than the newer RET3. I doubt you'd tell much difference with your maps, but it would show on the photo printing. You can refill the black catrs yourself and use recycled for the colours and get a very good initial-price-to-running costs balace, with no risk of printhead problems. You'd have a good slice of your £100 still in your pocket, too! One consideration I didn't mention, cos of price, are the auto-duplex models that automatically print both sides of the paper - brilliant, and great saving in paper, but you pay for the privilege. The models run from the HP 970cxi upwards, but they're double your budget and more, I'm afraid! (And I'd better start charging HP commission, I think!). LC.

  Scouse 21:55 19 Jan 2003

The Canon i550. Seems to have good all round performance and could just be the one.

Thanks for the opinions guys, and Lone Crow, if you contact HP i am sure they will start paying you!!! LOL


  kbo64 23:32 19 Jan 2003

G'day Scouse,
I'd recomend my Lexmark Z55.
To keep costs down, the cartridges are easy to refill, it's very fast for the money, parallel and usb. Print quality even with a photo is perfectly good. A recent photo that I scanned, the scanner brightness controll could have been a bit higher. On forums, you never see problems with it.

Good luck

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