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 user 2009-08-04 at 9:22:44 pm Views: 42
  • #22695

    through exorbitant ink prices or through flimsy construction, your
    printer may be robbing you of money or time. Here are five ways to tell
    whether you’re being cheated.
    Don’t let that blank, boxy look fool
    you: Printers can steal your money and your time if you’re not careful.
    Printer manufacturers have come up with a few creative ways to drain
    your wallet through ink and toner cartridge costs. Other printer models
    just make you waste precious minutes fooling around with complicated
    menu systems or stupidly designed hardware. How do you spot a thieving
    printer? We’ve identified some of the leading suspects for each
    specific crime. But to determine whether your printer is pilfering from
    you, check its specs and our reviews for these warning signs.

    1. If the Printer Is Cheap, the Ink or the Toner Isn’t
    you got a great deal on your printer? Think again. It?s a common ploy
    for printer vendors to sell machines at or below their production
    cost–and then make their money later on with extremely high ink or
    toner costs. How can you tell? Do the math: Take the cost of the
    cartridge and divide it by the page yield?the number of pages the
    manufacturer says the cartridge can print. (Note that most vendors base
    their page-yield numbers on industry-standard testing that is designed
    to represent real-world usage. However, the page yields you obtain may
    vary, depending on what you actually print.) Some vendors make their
    page yield information easy to find online (thank you, HP!), while
    others bury it (we’re looking at you, Canon). The cost per page for the
    printer?s ink or toner does not reflect other printer costs, of course,
    such as those for an inkjet?s special paper or for a laser?s belts,
    drums, and other longer-life consumables. We collected cartridges
    prices and vendor page yield information for a number of printers. From
    them, we determined that the following costs per page for
    black-and-white and four-color pages for inkjet and laser printers are
    about average.

    Plain black text: 4 cents to 5 cents per pageSimple four-color page:

    12 cents to 14 cents per page Plain black text:

    1 cent to 2.5 cents per page Plain black text: 2 cents to 3 cents per pageSimple four-color page: 12 cents to 15 cents per page.

    your printer’s costs fall at or below these averages, that?s good. But
    if its costs exceed these averages, you should consider looking for a
    different printer. A person who prints two dozen or fewer pages per
    week, mostly text with a little color, might tolerate a higher cost per
    page; but with so many good printers out there, why go with one that’s
    going to soak you? Here are some printers and multifunction printers
    (MFPs) we’ve tested recently that aren’t as inexpensive as they look:

    2. Lower-Capacity Inks = Higher Cost Per Page

    World’s research has shown time and again that lower-capacity ink and
    toner cartridges cost you more in the long run. If you print relatively
    little, it may not matter much, since the high cost is spread over a
    longer period of time. But if you print a lot, look for ink cartridges
    with yields above 250 pages, or toner cartridges with yields above 2000
    pages. Some printers offer high-yield consumables that can save you a
    lot more. Here are the worst and best models for cartridge capacity
    that we’ve reviewed recently.

    Printers with standard-size cartridges that are low-capacity and pricey:

    Printers that give you lots of ink or toner for a low price:

    3. Plain Paper or Bust
    your inkjet printer requires specially coated paper to produce the
    best-looking output, you’ll end up shelling out a lot for paper over
    time. Most inkjets can print at least adequately on plain paper, but a
    few that we’ve tested recently still can’t hack it.

    4. The Waiting Game
    slow printer steals your time. But as important as print speed is, you
    need to take any printer vendor’s page-per-minute (ppm) speed claims
    with a grain of salt: Some vendors quote draft-mode speeds or use other
    contrivances to make their printers seem faster than they’ll actually
    be in normal everyday use. Here are some particularly slow printers
    that we’ve tested recently:

    5. Cheapo Paper Trays
    way that some vendors reduce the cost of their cheapest printers is by
    providing skimpy (low-capacity) or flimsy paper trays. So you save a
    few bucks at the front end, but then for the life of the printer you
    have to waste time replacing paper constantly or fighting with a bent
    plastic extension that rattles annoyingly. Some designs even pile
    printed pages right on top of blank ones in the same tray. Among the
    cheesiest models we’ve seen recently are these suspects: