The ink jet scam

Posted: 17th November 2010 by Seth Killey in Nerdy Stuff

Over the years I’ve been irrationally brand loyal to HP printers.  I had a multi-function (scan, print, copy) HP Photosmart C3180 at home which recently conked out (after about 2-3 years…pathetic) so I’ve been looking into a replacement.  I’ve known for a long time how much of a rip off ink jet printers are compared to laser jet printers, but I don’t think it truly sank in until I recently ran the numbers.  If I were to get a similar replacement for my current multi-function printer (ink jet) it would yield about 200 pages per black cartridge, 185 for color pages.  After figuring in the cost of the black and color cartridge it comes out to about 12 pages for $1 .  Think of it as a vending machine, if someone at home had to insert a dollar every 10-12 pages it would quickly sink in that the short term up front cost savings evaporates in a hurry.  Yes, I realize that there are cheaper alternatives where you can refill a cartridge at a company like cartridge world, but those things never last as long for me and I’ve had instances where it doesn’t work at all or leaks like crazy.  By comparison if you get a laser jet multi-function printer you can easily get over 100 pages for $1…less than 1 cent.  To get an idea of how expensive black ink truly is, check out this chart http://www.cockeyed.com/science/gallon/liquid.html.

So I’m losing the option of printing in color (we’ll just order pictures online if needed) and getting a laser jet multi-function by Brother http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16828113371.

  1. If the manufacturers see this chart they will come up with a scorpion venom ink. It wouldn’t matter what’s in it as we would get stung just the same! I think you are right on with getting a laser printer. I have had problems with HP in the past and then switched to Epson. I think I have printed thousands of pages through the Epson over six years and it still works perfectly. Most photographers use the Epson line from what I have learned. But for anything other than photos I agree that a laser printer would be the best choice.