Of all the usual PC peripherals, multifunction inkjet printers must surely be the weakest link. The thing that bugs me most about these printers is the ongoing cost of keeping them supplied with ink.
With the exorbitant price of genuine replacement ink cartridges, the less expensive of these printers have become virtually disposable. Take these two inexpensive HP multifunction inkjet printers, for example (prices are in Australian dollars):
Both these printers take the same ink cartridges which are priced at $54.00au for standard and $79.00au for XL (extra capacity) which is roughly the same price as purchasing the brand new printer. Sure, consumers can purchase generic ink cartridges at a reduced cost but, because of the chips which identify non-genuine cartridges, they can be very much hit and miss. I know from experience, for example, that generic ink cartridges will not work with Canon inkjet printers, at least they wouldn’t work with the Canon models I have owned.
Here’s a brief rundown of the 3 brands of multifunction inkjet printers I have owned:
HP: Quality hardware but their software sucks big time. The HP multifunction inkjet printer I owned stopped working after just one week. Figuring it was a software issue I uninstalled the driver and associated software. Then, prior to re-installing, I checked manually to see if there were any leftover bits and pieces. To my horror, I discovered literally hundreds of leftover bits and pieces littered throughout the system. I promptly returned that printer to the store and got a refund.
Canon: I’ve really liked the couple of Canon printers I’ve owned BUT, man, are they ink guzzlers. My hand was in my pocket the whole time forking out for replacement ink cartridges. In the end, I dumped a perfectly working Canon printer simply because it was costing me a small fortune keeping ink up to it.
Epson: This is my favorite and current brand. Quality build, inks last quite well, and their software is excellent. However, once again, I’m fed up with continually forking out for replacement ink cartridges. I’ve owned this current Epson (XP442) for around four years now and during that time I estimate that it has cost me around $600.00, the original purchase price of $60.00 for the printer plus a further $540 in replacement ink cartridges.
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Monochrome Laser Multifunction Printers
My Epson XP442 has been printing patchily for some time now and the usual maintenance operations are not improving the situation. So, I’m in the market for a new printer. I’m thinking monochrome, I don’t really need color printing, and a laser multifunction. I get the sense that the monochrome laser printers are more robust than inkjet printers and the toner lasts far longer than inkjet cartridges but, in the absence of any firsthand experience, that is pure conjecture on my part.
If anyone has any experience in this area (monochrome laser printers), I would very much appreciate your input. At the moment I am seriously considering these two options:
I’d never heard of Pantum but a little research revealed a number of favorable mentions. Yes, they are built in China, but then, what isn’t these days? The only difference between the two is the slightly more expensive model (M6559NW) comes with an auto feeder. Both take the same replacement toner cartridges priced at $68.00. I’ve also looked at Brother and Lexmark brands but they are more expensive, both in terms of the original purchase price and replacement toner cartridges.
I don’t mind paying a little extra for a printer just so long as I can cut down on the ongoing costs. Any insights from monochrome laser printer users would be appreciated.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments.