Disposable printers

As I’ve mentioned, my daughter’s going to college. Now, in the house we use a shared printer, but she’s got a low-end (but decent) color inkjet that had been unused for a year or so. I went to do some maintenance on it, and discovered it’s fine except for the fact the ink cartridges are dry.

Replacing the two cartridges – the color and black ink both – will cost more than buying the newer version of the same printer.

I wondered if that was normal, or if it was unique to this particular brand and model. Lo and behold, it’s not abnormal. If you buy a decent low-end color printer, you can expect to spend almost as much if not more when it comes time to buy the next ink cartridges. (If you buy a black only model it takes around three replacement cartridges to reach this point, by the way.)

Now, a printer will last through several cartridges – that’s just the way it works. But at this price I can’t help wonder if companies might not be smarter to start thinking in terms of disposable printers. A sealed package except for the paper slot that, once done, is pitched and replaced. After all, that’s basically where they are already.

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One thought on “Disposable printers

  1. I got in the habit a while ago of checking the ink prices on any printer I was thinking of buying, going with the comparable model who had the lowest ink prices. I also take some of the sting out by shopping at http://lasermonks.com/ for both home and office. Ink is pretty cheap there, quick service and great customer service if a cartridge is faulty, etc.

    I have used them for almost 10 years and they are great. They are real monks and their ink profits go to women’s shelters. And if you are so inclined they will also pray for you (which I actually did while my brother was in Iraq – figured every little bit helped). I haven’t tried any of their other products…when I first found them all they sold was ink, but they have really branched out.

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