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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
(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
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
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
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
cyan, 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
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
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
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
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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