*NEWS*IS LASER PRINTING THE WAY TO GO ?

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*NEWS*IS LASER PRINTING THE WAY TO GO ?

 user 2005-08-24 at 11:09:00 am Views: 71
  • #12607

    For some,laser printing is the way to go

    I’m just back from a
    shopping spree at a giant computer store. I spent much more than $100.
    What did I buy? Cartridges for inkjet printers. Nothing else.
    We go through a lot of cartridges at home. My wife does most of her
    work from there. I often print photographs and drafts of stories.
    We make that same expensive trip to the store every two months or so.
    Over a year, we spend more than $600 on printer cartridges. That amount
    seems really ridiculous because our two printers could be replaced at
    retail (complete with cartridges) for less than $300.
    Selling the blades
    Years ago, the marketing people called this “giving away the razor and
    selling the blades.” Back before disposable razors were the norm, you
    could buy a razor dirt cheap, then pay dearly for blades.
    Razors are disposable now. Maybe printers should be, too.
    You can buy a nice one for less than $100, but most people will spend more than that over a year replacing the ink cartridges.
    There are options, of course. One is to use refillable ink cartridges.
    You can buy them at almost any big computer store. By filling them
    yourself, you do save money. I tried it once and ended up with an ink
    splash on my shirt that, from the right angle, looked liked a bad
    painting of a pine tree. There also are off-brand ink cartridges
    available over the Web. But reliability is a problem and, unless you
    stock up in advance, you often don’t have time to wait for a mail-order
    delivery when the ink runs dry.
    Another solution is to add a laser printer. There’s no doubt that the
    cost per printed page is lower. I don’t trust the cost comparisons I
    see, they’re all over the ballpark – other than to believe that the
    cost per page is at least two to three times lower when you use a laser
    for black-and-white prints.
    I did some quick price shopping on the Web and found black-and-white
    laser printers for not much more than $100, and there were lots of good
    ones clustered in the $180 price range. Color laser printers cost more,
    especially the good ones. The cost advantage of the laser lessens when
    you make color prints.
    And you will be making color prints. The availability of high-quality
    color inkjet printers has changed how most of us print. The photographs
    I print at home look at least as good as the ones from a commercial
    processor. Even for business uses, color has become common. When my
    real-estate agent wife prints out a market analysis showing what homes
    sell for in a neighborhood, she’s likely to include color photographs
    of the homes.
    I have taken the long way around as far as offering advice today.
    That’s because I wanted to show you there’s no one solution for
    everyone.
    Assess printing needs
    If you don’t often print out information – a lot of you are in that
    category, especially those who use a PC to keep records, send e-mail
    and browse the Web – the best and easiest thing to do is to stick with
    an inkjet printer. Hold your nose and pay the price when you need new
    cartridges. You’ll get beautiful prints, and the cost won’t be a big
    deal.
    For people like me, who spend a big part of our yearly computing budget
    on ink cartridges, an affordable black-and-white laser printer makes
    sense as a second or even third printer.
    When you are printing large quantities of black-and-white documents,
    use the laser. The inkjet can be used for times when you need color, or
    when you’re printing out a photograph.
    My final suggestion will sound like a joke. I sort of wish it was
    because it’s an almost offensive example of how we’ve become a
    disposable society.
    I see color printers for as little as $50. For instance, I’ve used the
    Canon Pixma ip1500 and had fairly good results. It retails for $49.99
    and comes with the ink cartridges.
    As wacky as this sounds, it would make sense for some people to buy a
    printer like this and use it until the ink cartridges run out. Then
    donate the printer to charity, or give it to a friend who doesn’t mind
    replacing the cartridges.