4 October 2023

Digital Technology Guru

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The Hidden Cost of Printer Ink: What You Need to Know

2 min read
The Hidden Cost of Printer Ink: What You Need to Know

When shopping for a printer, it’s important to consider the hidden cost of ink. While a budget inkjet printer may seem like a good deal initially, the expense of frequently replacing cartridges can add up over time. The cost of ink varies depending on the manufacturer, model, and type of printer.

Monochrome printers typically have a single cartridge, while color printers use multiple cartridges, sometimes with as many as ten different colors. Printers designed for photo-quality printing require additional special ink cartridges, resulting in higher costs. On average, you can expect to pay around $25 for a black cartridge and $35 for each color cartridge. High-capacity cartridges, which contain more ink and last longer, may have a higher upfront cost but offer a lower cost per page.

Alternatively, laser printers use toner, which is more economical than ink in terms of cost per page. However, toner cartridges require a larger initial investment compared to ink cartridges. On average, toner cartridges cost around $80, with black lasting longer than color. Some printers offer high-capacity toner cartridges, which provide better cost per page but come with a higher upfront cost.

To determine the cost per page, you can calculate the yield of the ink or toner cartridge. The yield is the estimated number of pages that can be printed before a new cartridge is needed. The cost per page can be easily calculated dividing the price the yield.

Tank printers, such as the Epson EcoTank, offer the most economical printing solution. These printers eliminate the need for cartridges, reducing manufacturing costs. Instead, you only need to pay for the ink itself. Each bottle of ink can print over a thousand pages, resulting in an extremely low cost per page.

In summary, the most economical printer type depends on your specific needs. Tank printers and monochrome laser printers are the most cost-effective options for high-volume printing, while color laser printers offer durability and efficiency. Inkjet printers are versatile and affordable, but the cost of ink cartridges should be taken into consideration. Thermal printers can be an alternative for specific purposes like receipts or labels, but they may have limitations in terms of paper size and upfront cost. Consider the cost per page and your printing requirements before making a decision.

Source: Digital Trends