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  1. #1
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    Printer that doesn't bone you on ink costs?

    I really, really want a new printer. I've switched from HPs outright banditry to Kodak's sophisticated theft, and now I just want a printer that doesn't make me replace ink cartridges every five seconds. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Boris's Avatar
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    A laser printer. Mine takes cartridges that print about 1500 pages per 40 euro cartridge, and that's the original product. The knock-off cartridges print 1750 pages for 29 euro.

    Sometimes the printer claims the cartridge is empty when it obviously isn't, but you can fix that by taking it out and shaking the remaining toner around. It rarely happens though. I do have doubts about how many pages you can actually print per cartridge, but since I'm not the only person using it it's hard to keep track of printer use, and it obviously depends on the coverage factor.

  3. #3
    Network Hub Gerbick's Avatar
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    I second Boris. Bought a laser (black only) 3 years ago, and have replaced the toner once at a cost of around 30. We rarely do long print runs though, and usually its just the kids work and colouring pages, so your mileage might vary.

  4. #4
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fumarole's Avatar
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    Full disclosure: I work for a company that manufactures printers of all types.

    I'd suggest laser too. Toner will net you more impressions than ink will, but you may run into maintenance issues down the road (this is not an issue for me personally because of my employer and skillset). The price is also cheaper for toner versus ink, especially if you get a B/W unit.

    The downside to laser printers is size and weight. An ink printer will be much smaller and lighter compared to a laser printer of the same capability.

    My girl is a student and prints a lot more than I would imagine is necessary for school. She goes through about a ream of paper per month, but I cannot remember the last time I replaced the toner. About a year, maybe. So that's about 6,000 impressions on this bottle, unless she replaced the toner without me knowing (not likely). We have a small (for an office, large for an apartment) multifunction device that prints about 20 pages per minute, in case that helps you.

    edit - I looked up the stats and my MFP model is rated for about 7,000 impressions per bottle of toner.
    Last edited by Fumarole; 02-04-2013 at 01:01 AM.
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  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Boris's Avatar
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    Black toner is a lot cheaper yes. I generally just look at my document and select grayscale if I don't care about the colors. I prefer to read research papers on actual paper but I'm done with them quite fast, so I put tonersave on maximum for that (makes the blacks print gray, uses less toner).

    Whichever way you cut it though, printing is expensive.

  6. #6
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    I've had 2 HP AIO printers and they've been fine - sourced genuine HP inks online for a fraction of RRP and all that jazz.

    Only thing is I don't print much - my first printer's carts lasted a year and my latest one is 8 months old and they're 80% still...

    I only replaced the printer because the old one was getting moody about feeding paper and the new one was only 10 more than a pair of carts were anyway - e.g. the printer is 10 and the carts make up the rest of the cost!!

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    What do you plan to print and how often? B/W, greyscale? Color? Photos?

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Boris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    I've had 2 HP AIO printers and they've been fine - sourced genuine HP inks online for a fraction of RRP and all that jazz.

    Only thing is I don't print much - my first printer's carts lasted a year and my latest one is 8 months old and they're 80% still...

    I only replaced the printer because the old one was getting moody about feeding paper and the new one was only 10 more than a pair of carts were anyway - e.g. the printer is 10 and the carts make up the rest of the cost!!
    The cartridges you get with a printer aren't full.

  9. #9
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fumarole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boris View Post
    The cartridges you get with a printer aren't full.
    Typically they're 25%-50% capacity of a regular cartridge/bottle.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moraven View Post
    What do you plan to print and how often? B/W, greyscale? Color? Photos?
    I print a lot of black and white stuff for school as does my fiancee. About 110 to 140 pages a month. We do make sure to print in draft mode, but the Kodak printer we have uses color for black and white prints.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fumarole View Post
    Typically they're 25%-50% capacity of a regular cartridge/bottle.
    I've always thought that but with my previous printer they displayed 'full' when new and were branded/marked as regular cartridges in regular packaging in the box.

    HP sell 2 'sizes' of each printer's cartridge and these were the smaller ones of course - but they were full and proper carts, identical to the ones I bought to replace them.

    The advent of showing people the amount of ink used probably stopped them giving-away half-empty carts - people would have complained?

    p.s. there's no way I'd print 100s of sheets a month on this thing - if you're printing that much stuff, DEFINATELY get a laser printer!

  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus somini's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fumarole View Post
    Typically they're 25%-50% capacity of a regular cartridge/bottle.
    Not to be insulting, but suddenly, "outright banditry" and "sophisticated theft" don't seem hyperbolic. :|
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  13. #13
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fumarole's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that the more saturation on your prints, the fewer impressions you'll get. The volumes quoted on new cartridges/bottles is for about 5% page coverage. This is why printers are sold as loss leaders; the profit is almost all in the supplies.

    I should point out that you can use less ink/toner by switching fonts. Some more info here.
    Last edited by Fumarole; 03-04-2013 at 03:01 AM. Reason: removed image
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Internet View Post
    I print a lot of black and white stuff for school as does my fiancee. About 110 to 140 pages a month. We do make sure to print in draft mode, but the Kodak printer we have uses color for black and white prints.
    The suggestion for a laser would be your best bet then. I suppose you always have the Kodak around if wanted to do your own photo prints. And the main focus is on B/W 100+ pages anyway.

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Boris's Avatar
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    Color laser printers do exist and aren't that expensive. I have a Samsung CLX-3185fw I got for 250 euros. Ok, that's a high initial investment for a printer, but it's also a scanner and fax, and it prints color but also has a separate black cartridge.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by somini View Post
    Not to be insulting, but suddenly, "outright banditry" and "sophisticated theft" don't seem hyperbolic. :|
    Even if they do bone you on the carts (and I suspect that's a thing of the past) it's nothing to the way they insult you by making you installed 100s of Mbs of crapware just to use the printer - and then update it every 20 mins too!

    Kodak, it should be noted, are being sneaky with their new printers too. Ink costs are low because the carts don't contain the print-head - that keeps costs down but it also means that sooner or later you'll need a new printhead which is more money again!

    The wireless Kodak I setup for someone last year keeps completely uninstalling itself from their PCs too - it's really quite scary, it just disappears from the Hardware list, cannot be detected and when you force it's detection it insists on a complete driver reinstall AND insists on firmware updating itself which takes eons.

    I hate printers - they are by far the most annoying thing about PCs - when people call me and say "printer" I'm always busy ;)

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus somini's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trjp View Post
    Even if they do bone you on the carts (and I suspect that's a thing of the past) it's nothing to the way they insult you by making you installed 100s of Mbs of crapware just to use the printer - and then update it every 20 mins too!

    Kodak, it should be noted, are being sneaky with their new printers too. Ink costs are low because the carts don't contain the print-head - that keeps costs down but it also means that sooner or later you'll need a new printhead which is more money again!

    The wireless Kodak I setup for someone last year keeps completely uninstalling itself from their PCs too - it's really quite scary, it just disappears from the Hardware list, cannot be detected and when you force it's detection it insists on a complete driver reinstall AND insists on firmware updating itself which takes eons.

    I hate printers - they are by far the most annoying thing about PCs - when people call me and say "printer" I'm always busy ;)
    Crapware in general is infuriating. Crapware that get seldom use is even worse. Just Install the bloody drivers, I can already print images side by side!
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  18. #18
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fumarole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by somini View Post
    Crapware in general is infuriating. Crapware that get seldom use is even worse. Just Install the bloody drivers, I can already print images side by side!
    I just download the driver from the manufacturer's website and ignore any software that's recommended; that goes for cameras too. The days of needing special software to use these devices are long gone, everything should be plug and play these days.
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  19. #19
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus somini's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fumarole View Post
    I just download the driver from the manufacturer's website and ignore any software that's recommended; that goes for cameras too. The days of needing special software to use these devices are long gone, everything should be plug and play these days.
    Plug and Play is so old that supporting it should be standard.
    I just bought a Android from Sony and I had to install an App to access the internal memory.
    If I want to sync my vCard offline I need an internet connection to install a stupid program.
    Totally ridiculous.
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  20. #20
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Boris's Avatar
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    That's one of the reasons I went with the Galaxy Nexus and not the Xperia S. No crapware.

    My printer is also very good about crapware. Windows 7 seems to have the driver in the repository and it just works.

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