Thursday, 28 March 2013

My Ink is too Expensive/I Think my Printer is Broken

HP Officejet 8500 Pro

You can never go a day in a sales associate position in the tech world without hearing “I need a new printer.” Why you ask, because they always break and they are not likely to last past two years. So whether it be now or later, you will be asking yourself what kind of printer you need that is cheap on ink or if you should just go laser.

There are two myths that are around today and that is that laser printers are more efficient than inkjet printers and it is cheaper to buy a new printer than a cartridge. I’d also like to point out that the cost of the cartridge does not reflect the printer you are going to by, or it shouldn’t at least. You need to find out the number of pages within that cartridge. I have seen them range anywhere between 150 sheets per cartridge (SPC) and 2500+SPC. This does hold true for inkjet cartridges. But before we get to these points, we need to determine how much you print to find something that is right for your lifestyle.

There are three classes of printers, in my opinion; 1) home use, 2) business/school and 3) big business. People in education print out a lot and yes, this means students as well. The home use person will print approximately 10 pages per week while the business/school use will print more like 50+ sheets per week. This may not sound like a lot, but it does in fact add up. If you are in the big business category, more than 250 sheets, then you may want to look into higher end printers or re-evaluate your printing because you can create PDF documents in place of paper. Establish where you are and then aim for a cartridge that will last you two months at minimum.

If you are looking for a solid recommendation, I would encourage Hewlett Packard’s (HP) line of Officejet printers, specifically the 8500 series. The black XL cartridge can last up to 2,300 sheets for about $43 CND. This is better than most, if not all, retail store laser printers. They also have the capability to do higher quality prints and have four cartridges. Running one black and three separate colours saves you money down the line. When one empties, you just replace that one. Just a little word of advice; never EVER get a tri-colour cartridge, they just aren’t worth it.

When looking for a printer, do not forget to look for something with a scanner, wireless networking and one that is compatible with mobile devices. The HP Officejet 8500 series printers are all capable of doing this. They may start at about $220 , but they do go on sale as I have seen one go for $149. Before you think that is too much for a printer, you could pay $50 for a printer that does 500 SPC for $30; that simply doesn’t make sense. By the time you spend $120 on ink (about 2000 pages and black ink only), you have now spent $170 on the printer and cartridges also come half full with the original purchase. Going with an HP Officejet 8500 series, you would have spent $190 and have 300 more pages to go. Once you purchase the next cartridge, you will have already saved $80.

I hope you learned a bit about printers with this post. Keep in mind that the price of the printer reflects the cartridge. See below for more tips about printer maintenance and some features you should all have.

The Printer List:
  • Keep your printer turned on, it will help with the life of the cartridge and the printer.
  • Purchase a printer with four or more cartridges.
  • Purchase a printer with wireless and/or wired networking
  • Get something that is compatible with your smartphone and tablets
  • Don’t be cheap, get a good one or you will spend more money than you think.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this informative post, Jordan! Having a printer at home is of great importance since paper works, documents, and school projects could be printed in a whim. You might consider it as a huge investment. And I would advise to take time to research the best suited printer for you.

    Stasia Snellgrove @ ALB Image