Home office printers have, frankly, been the bane of my life for years!
They are either too large and bulky, or too slow and noisy. The paper feed can jam, but only at the most inconvenient moments, and given the fact that they mostly resemble black builder’s skips, they are inordinately ugly.
But all of these imperfections could be forgiven if the wretched things didn’t cost the price of a small mortgage every time you want change the ink cartridges… which in my case is often. I do a lot of printing.
The overall concept of the printer/copier industry is run very much on the same principle as the shaving industry, in that they practically give the main tool away for free, thus setting up a continuous demand for their expensive accessories, namely the ink and the razor blades.
The demand by the home user for printers however is rapidly waning. Not everyone uses a printer at home in the same way as I do for office work. Many historically used their printers to produce their own digital photos, but with the fast rise in social media people are eschewing printing images in favour of swapping them online, or simply posting them to social sites such as Facebook.
This noticeable decline has presented manufactures with a small dilemma, although I beg you not to lose any sleep over their predicament, for it would seem that they have come up with a novel idea.
They have decided to launch a new range of printers with affordable ink replacement solutions!
Brilliant idea – why didn’t anyone think of it before?
OK… now that I’ve got that out of my system, let me elaborate on two recent print-saving solutions launched within the last couple of months…
HP Instant Ink
HP launched a plan whereby, assuming your printer is eligible, you can participate in their HP Instant Ink replacement service. This service is designed to save you up to 70% on your overall ink expenditure.
Whether you work from home or your office, your participation in the scheme means that you don’t ever have to worry about running out of ink, as HP will deliver all the ink you need directly to your door. As if by magic your printer will know when it is running low and will place your ink order online for you.
What makes this scheme different is that you pay by the number of pages printed and not by the number of ink cartridges used, so it doesn’t matter whether you are printing in colour or in black and white.
HP has three monthly payment schemes, each tailored to your own printing needs:
Occasional printing plan
• £1.99/month – Up to 50 pages per month
• Yearly savings = £78
Moderate printing plan
• £3.49/month – Up to 100 pages per month
• Yearly savings = £168
Frequent printing plan
• £7.99/month – Up to 300 pages per month
• Yearly savings = £516
To get started you will need an eligible printer – check eligibility here – and an enrolment card. You then pick a plan to suit and you are good to go.
Epson’s New Eco Tank System
I plumped for this option: initially a more expensive printer, but one which comes with its own refillable ink tanks.
Tokyo-based electronics company Epson has unveiled two new printers that have refillable tanks rather than ink cartridges. In place of costly cartridges they both have an ink reservoir which can print 4,000 pages in black or 6,500 in colour on one fill. When depleted it costs £8 to refill the printers with Epson’s own ink.
Both come with wireless connectivity so users can print from smartphones and both have print, copy and scanning functionality.
I bought the Epson Eco Tank L355 printer and set it up yesterday in about half an hour. Epson claim that the ink which comes as standard with the printer will last the average user up to two years and reduce the ink cost to £0.03 pence per sheet.
One point to be aware of is that the refillable ink is in fact a colour dye, rather than a pigment, and as such is fine for general printing requirements, but less suitable for high definition colour printing for prints and artwork.
Well I live in hope of great savings – only time will tell. And as I took my old printer to the tip this afternoon I was a little bit sad, as it has been a good, if not a costly, worker.
I guess I just hate to let things go, even if they are machines. I’m the same with cars that I have loved and lived with. If I had my way all my old cars would be parked up in a retirement garage somewhere.
Until next time, have a great week.