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 user 2007-12-19 at 4:00:00 pm Views: 55
  • #20853

    Inkjet printers are filthy, lying thieves
    new study says that on average, more than half of the ink from inkjet
    cartridges is wasted when users toss them in the garbage. Why is that
    interesting? According to the study, users are tossing the cartridges
    when their printers are telling them they’re out of ink, not when they
    necessarily are out of ink.The study by TÜV Rheinland looked at inkjet
    efficiency across multiple brands, including Epson (who commissioned
    the study), Lexmark, Canon, HP, Kodak, and Brother. They studied the
    efficiency of both single and multi-ink cartridges. Espon’s printers
    were among the highest rated, at more than 80 percent efficiency using
    single-ink cartridges. Kodak’s EasyShare 5300 was panned as the worst
    printer tested, wasting 64 percent of its ink in tests. TÜV Rheinland
    measured cartridge weights before and after use, stopping use when
    printers reported that they were out of ink.

    That’s the first
    problem. Printers routinely report that they are low on ink even when
    they aren’t, and in some cases there are still hundreds of pages worth
    of ink left.
    The second issue is a familiar one: multi-ink
    cartridges can be rendered “empty” when only one color runs low.
    Multi-ink cartridges store three to five colors in a single cartridge.
    Printing too many photos from the air show will kill your cartridge
    faster than you can say “blue skies,” as dominant colors (say, “blue”)
    are used faster than the others. Therein lies the reason Epson backed
    the study: the company is singing the praises of its single-ink
    cartridge approach, an approach which is necessarily more efficient in
    terms of wasted ink because there’s only one color per cartridge, and
    thus only one cartridge to replace when that color runs out.

    ink cartridges aren’t exactly perfect, however. Such cartridges still
    were reported as empty with an average of 20 percent of their ink left,
    which means that an entire cartridge worth of ink is wasted for every
    five which are used. Given the sky-high prices of ink, this is an
    alarming find. Epson’s own R360 posted the best numbers, with only 9
    percent wasted. Yet again, Epson commissioned the tests, so we must ask
    what’s missing.The study did not measure how much ink is lost due to
    lack of use, or through cleaning processes. Inkjet cartridges are known
    to suffer from quality problems if they are not used for long periods
    of time, sometimes “drying up.” This problem has been addressed in
    recent years, but it has not been eliminated.The study also did not
    calculate the total cost per page, which arguably is more important
    than efficiency. If Epson’s multicartridge approach is more efficient,
    it could nonetheless still be more expensive per page than multi-ink
    cartridge systems. In its defense, Epson and TÜV Rheinland said that
    their study focused on the ecological impact of inkjet printing. This
    is a familiar argument: hybrid cars have also been criticized for their
    supposed efficiency, with debates raging as to whether or not your
    average driver will ever see cost savings from better miles-per-gallon
    given the relative expensive of hybrid engines.

    As such, anyone
    in the market for an inkjet printer still needs to compare specific
    models to one another to get a feel for efficiency, and Epson’s
    efficiency claims needs to be weighed next to the comparative cost of
    competing inkjet solutions.Still, the unintended result of this study
    is that regardless of the battle between single- and multi-ink
    cartridges, inkjet printers themselves are significantly off the mark
    when it comes to reporting the fullness of their cartridges. As the
    Eagles would say, you’re best off when you “take it, to the limit.”.