CONSUMER REPORTS -- It’s hard to resist a good sale, but when is a deal, not always a deal?
“Inkjet printers vary widely on how much ink they use, “ says CR Electronics Expert Rich Sulin. “The price of a cartridge ranges anywhere from $12 to $120 by itself. So, that printer you may have paid only a little bit for will cost you a lot more over time.”
In a Consumer Reports survey, almost half of printer owners said they are “paying too
much for printer cartridges.” And more than a quarter of them said they have to “buy new
cartridges too often.”
Consumer Reports suggests doing the math. For example, the HP Envy will cost you $130 at first. It needed new ink after just five months. After three years, your total cost is up to $471. Five years, it’s $735.
This Brother model is a little more up front at $225. It didn’t need ink for almost a year. After three years, your cost is up moderately to $336 and five years, it’s $444.
“Another option is a printer with refillable ink tanks. The tanks hold a lot of ink, so you go a
long while before you have to refill them.” The $280 Epson EcoTank didn’t need new ink for more than two years. After five years, it’s total cost is $315. That’s less than half of what the bargain printer costs after five years.
“The drawback with the EcoTanks, including this models, is that text quality was only fair in our tests.”
Consumer Reports has also been looking into generic or third party Printer Ink Cartridges. So far, our survey results seem promising, but using generic ink may void the warranty on your printer. You may want to wait until your warranty is up to try it.