Who Makes the Most Economical Inkjet Printer?
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Welcome to the May edition of 'Computer & Printer Tips'.
This month's issue has a couple of interesting things of note.
First, it contains one of our "newsletter subscriber only" discount coupons. This one is good for 10% off your entire order. A great little perk for being one of our loyal customers
(Scroll down for details on that offer.)
Secondly, we've got a great feature article that we hope gives you some good information regarding new printers.
Over the course of our operation, we periodically have customers who email us asking for suggestions about what the best printers are to buy.
Being closely involved with the printing industry, we are quite familiar with printers and supplies, and so we're always happy to lend a helping suggestion or nugget of advice.
Since we consistently get these types of "advice request" emails, we decided that it would be a good idea for us to periodically put our recommendations down on paper (virtual paper that is). So, about every 6 months or so we revise our reviews and rewrite our recommendations.
So, for this month's newsletter -- we've included an article on who makes the most economical printer. There are a quite a few different angles you can compare printers on (best photo printer, best laser printer, best fax/scanner/combo, etc.), but for this article we've chosen the "most economical" topic.
We've done a good amount of research and tried our best to give a quality and unbiased review. You be the judge.
With that said, here are the details of the coupon followed by our feature article.
SPECIAL 10% OFF DISCOUNT COUPON
From now through the end of this month (May 31st), we're offering all of our newsletter subscribers an extra 10% off your entire order.
Although postage costs just went up again, we are still offering free shipping on all orders! Take advantage while we still can.
Here is your special 10% off discount promotion code:
DISCOUNT COUPON CODE (newsletter list members only)
To use this discount coupon code, simply shop our website and add items to your cart as usual. http://www.asapinkjets.com/
When you proceed through our checkout process, our system will ask you if you have any promotional code or discount coupon.
Simply enter the code word above, and the discount will be applied on the final checkout page.
*** LIMITED TIME -- This offer expires Saturday, May 31st ***
FEATURE ARTICLE: Who Makes the Most Economical Inkjet Printer?
This is one of the most common questions we receive from people who are looking to buy a new printer that uses inexpensive printer supplies. The answer we provide will vary depending on when you ask, economical printers come and go and this information is time sensitive. This information is current as of May 2008.
Based on planned printing of both text and color images, we have searched, accumulated and filtered out a long list of inkjet printers to render a handful of very cost effective machines. These gems are an oasis in the current desert of economical printers.
This year's printer review produced a smaller list of truly economical printers in comparison to years past which is testament to the changes in the industry.
Most new printers produce excellent quality images usually expressed in DPI (dots per inch) from 6000 x 1200 to 4800 x 1200. Given the homogenous high resolution, this area is not a point of divergence between good and bad printers in this review.
So how did we come to our conclusions? First, we targeted printers best suited for printing text/color with maybe a few photos, but this is not a review on "photo printers" per se. Printers can be multifunction or not, but we are primarily concerned with the cost of putting ink to paper.
Next, we eliminated known expensive or problematic cartridges and the new printers that use them from the list (Dell and Lexmark mostly).
A printer must be available as "new" from Amazon.com and have at least 10 user ratings to qualify for review consideration.
Once that list was created, the resulting 60 printers were reviewed in the following areas.
- Cost for cartridges - Based on cost per ml (milliliter)
- Cost of printer - Retail price
- Ratings from users on Amazon.com - Star rating 0 - 5 stars (5 being the best rating)
- Reliability rating - Our assessment of the most reliable aftermarket cartridges available
Least Expensive Printer Cartridges
The printer cartridge cost is the most heavily weighed portion of this review since it comprises the majority of the cost of ownership (unless you rarely use the printer).
"Page yield" information is inaccurate because, realistically speaking, you will not get the same page yield from an inkjet cartridge as the manufacturer claims. The listed pages yields are created by printing the same document at exactly 5% coverage, using 12 font, "Times New Roman", double spacing, no bold or underlined etc. This type of printing is rarely the case in the real world.
For this reason we focused on the cost per ml (milliliter) of ink in each cartridge to determine value (cost of cartridge /ml of ink contained in the cartridge).
For the lowest price BLACK text printing with an aftermarket cartridge, the hp (88) series black high capacity cartridge (C9396AN) landed in first place with an amazing low cost per ml of .22 cents! The Brother LC-51 black was second at .27 cents per ml and the Epson T0601 was third with a cost of .40 cents per ml.
For color printing, these cartridges ranked at the top. The Kodak 1810829 (Kodak 10 color) came in first with .20 cents per ml, which is simply amazing, especially for color! Epson T0602 yan, T0603 magenta, and T0604 yellow were next with a cost of .40 cents per ml. The Brother LC-51 series cyan, magenta and yellow were in third place with .49 cents per ml.
*** Fun facts ***
Most expensive OEM black and color inkjet cartridges ever made (to our knowledge) are the HP 74 (4.5 ml of ink $3.33 per ml) and the HP 75 (4.5ml of ink $5.14 per ml)!
Cost of printer
Typically, the lowest priced machines generally also had higher priced supplies, with a few exceptions from Epson and Brother.
As a general rule in today's market, the lower the printer cost the smaller the volume of ink in the cartridge. The revenue for cheap printers is made up quickly by the rapid replacement of tiny printer cartridges. This is the quintessential "razor and razor blade" model that has given a black eye to many printer manufacturers in the last 3 years.
Your best bet is to focus on the moderately priced printers ($90 - $160), not the lowest priced printers (less than $70) unless you rarely print anything.
Ratings from Owners
We wanted to present unbiased quality information on what people thought of each of the printer model reviewed. To do this, we gleaned the star ratings listed from printer owners on Amazon.com to determine their level of satisfaction.
Although many printer manufacturers had machines with 3.5 to 4.5 star ratings, some brands ranked better than others.
It was clear at a glance that Canon printer owners were happier as a whole than any other group, with he purchase of their machines. The Canon printers are among the most reliable and durable printers on the market and their quality puts them at #1 for ratings alone. The printer supplies seem to be the Achilles heal with this year's models which have turned some cost conscious people away. If the price of the cartridges comes down a little more, Canon would probably be the best choice.
In close second was Brother showing strong customer support for most of their printer models currently available. Brother has been around for years but has never been at center stage as a competitor but that may be changing.
There was not a clear 3rd place winner since ratings were all over the board for HP printers, and only a couple Epson printers made it into the review list.
In terms of reliability, it was close. After much contemplation and debate we have concluded that the Brother LC-51 series cartridge has edged out the competition in performance. While the Kodak 180829, EPSON T0601 and HP (88) series all have incredible records of problem free use and excellent economy, the Brother LC-51 beat all three in one category; simplicity.
The LC-51 ink cartridges do not use a microchip to communicate with the printer like the Kodak, HP and the Epson cartridges do. With no electronics and a simple sponge reservoir, there is very little that can go wrong with this ink cartridge. It is no more than a plastic box of ink, simple, economical and reliable.
Printer Review Final Summary
Considering all of the information: cost of supplies, cost of printer, ratings for printer owners and ratings of the cartridges, printers do well in some categories but maybe not in all.
The best all around printer (and it happens to be a multifunction printer- print/scan/copy/fax) we would recommend one of two Brother printers, the MFC-440CN or the MFC-5460CN.
Both printers use the same printhead technology and deliver inexpensive, quality printing in both black and color. The Brother printers have a 4 out of 5 star rating from people who own them, and retail for $140 or less. They use the LC-51 series cartridges and have an excellent track record using compatible cartridges from ASAP inkjets.
In second place for great all around printing would be the Epson C88+.
This was one of the last printers Epson released that we would recommend. This Epson printer uses the T0601 - T0604 series cartridges which are reliable and inexpensive for both text and color printing. The printer will cost you less than $100 (if you can find it) and the rating is 3.5 out of 5 stars.
In third place would be a Canon Printer such as the Canon PIXMA MX700, PIXMA MP530 or PIXMA MP510.
These printers have scan and copy capabilities (MX700 can fax too) and retail for about $150 or less. These machines use the PGI-5 and CLI-8 series cartridges. These printers are bullet proof and loved by nearly everyone who have purchased one.
We don't sell printers but try to help people make good decisions when looking to buy one.
If you are in need of a new printer now or have been on the fence about getting a new one, you may want to act sooner than later as the economical ones are disappearing.
About The Author
Bob Stephens writes for ASAP Inkjets. ASAP Inkjets offers ink cartridges & toner at up to 80% off.Signup for their free newsletter for tips & discount coupons at: http://www.asapinkjets.com/ or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Ok, that's it for this month's issue.
We hope you learned something from the feature article, and that you can benefit from our 10% coupon that we're running right now.
Lastly, we'd like to welcome our newest advertiser "BodnerDatabase.com". (see ad at top)
If you need any database work done or ideas for one, give them a call and take them up on their free consultation offer.
Until next time...
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