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Which printer is cheaper as cost per page?

Back when I was a student:

- laser printers were expensive, but had very low cost per printed page

- ink jet printers were inexpensive, but had a very high cost per printed page

Now, it seems it's the other way around?

XXL
Tuesday, July 08, 2003

As consumables are forever, I see the lasers as cheaper, but far less colorful.  Today, you can get a nice (not great) black&white laser for about $150 US. 

It will print for years and while a laser cartridge is expensive it is still much less per page. 

BigRoy
Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Here's a PCMag article comparing laser to inkjet that's about a year and a half old, but still probably pretty accurate.

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,3196,00.asp

Lasers still generally have a lower cost per page, but you have to check individual printers because there can be variations.  That is, there are probably some inkjets that now have lower ccp than some lasers.  If you're doing a lot of printing, even a $0.01 difference in cost per page can add up to a lot over the lifetime of a printer.

Herbert Sitz
Tuesday, July 08, 2003

There was just an article on the web.  Ink is 7 times as expensive as vintage champagne.  Laser is always cheaper per sheet after you eliminate the initial acquisition cost

http://adserver.anm.co.uk/html.ng/site=til&size=120x90&channel=/tilnewscity&subchannel=/tilnewscity&pos=403

Mike
Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Holy Cow Herb! If new postscript laser printers are going for $150-$250 nowadays it would be *insane* to consider anything else for black and white printing.

I paid $1000 for my laser printer in 1992. Here it is 11 years later and I have had no problems with it despite having printed many tens of thousands of pages. At a grand, it was a good value. At $150 it's an absolute steal.

X. J. Scott
Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Good monochrome laser printers are really cheap these days.  A real Adobe PostScript license is expensive but the PS Level 2 emulation of my HP LaserJet 1200 works just fine -- at a price that can compete with the upper range of inkjet printers, except with much better quality, much lower cost per page, and much higher speed.

Really, there's no reason to buy an inkjet for black-and-white printing.  Colour printing is a different issue as colour lasers are still outrageously expensive.

Chris Nahr
Tuesday, July 08, 2003

+1 for day to day laser usage for lower costs. We have a relatively slow laser printer (which I'd love to replace, but it's way down on the list of things to do), and a relatively fast inkjet. Ink would last a few weeks at the rate we print, whereas our laser printer cartridges last us usually more than a year.

Replace cost for BOTH is about $60. Hmm... $60 every few weeks, or $60 once a year? Even refilling ink, there's no way the per-page cost would approach our laser.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Oh, and something to be aware of when buying an inkjet printer: the starter cartridges are usually half full at best.

Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
Tuesday, July 08, 2003

My wife and I want to be burried with our Xerox laser printer. What a machine!

tk
Tuesday, July 08, 2003

and you <b>will be</b>!

mortuary man
Tuesday, July 08, 2003

I have been refilling my ink jet cartridge with fountain pen ink. A bottle of ink costs $7 and I can get 3 refills from one bottle. That brings the cost of printing down to almost zero.

Matthew Lock
Wednesday, July 09, 2003

"With the top brand names costing more than vintage champagne, it is an unnecessary waste that people can ill afford"
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3035500.stm

Matthew Lock: "refilling my ink jet cartridge with fountain pen ink" -- Great! There was me believing that the printer manufacturers' ink had "special properties". What printer do you use?

Laser printers -- fantastic for our B&W use at home. Been using a Samsung for a few years now, only changed the original toner cartridge the other week after all this time. In addition, to save paper we print 2 per page (the printer driver does it) and manual duplex - very easy.

Duncan Smart
Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Yes, OEM inkjet ink prices are outrageous, but there's a big industry out there in providing replacement inks at much cheaper cost.  Printer manufacturers have a razor/blade sales model, give away the printer for next to nothing and charge out the wazoo for the consumables.  Epson printers even have inkjet cartridges that have chips in them that prevent you from refilling the cartridge (which has since been worked around by several different methods of chip-resetting, which you can purchase for not much money).  You can find cheap inks at many sites, here are two of the better sites that also sell premium ink for inkjet photograpy.  Make sure you don't get any of that stuff, it's completely unnecessary for ordinary office printing:

http://www.inksupply.com/index.cfm?source=html/cartridges.html

http://www.mediastreet.com/cgi-bin/tame/mediastreet/compatible_ink.tam?&case=epson

Herbert Sitz
Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Duncan, I have used it with an old Canon BJC210 and a newer Compaq IJ600 (which uses those Lexmark cartridges - the mega expensive ones)

I have been refilling one cartridge for over a year and it's still going strong.

Matthew Lock
Wednesday, July 09, 2003

I can never get the refill kits for HP printers to work. The guy here in Colombo promised to refill the cartridges for me and refund me if there was a problem,  but the HP is in Saudi, as I got an Epson here just to save on cartridges.

I rarely print at home, but if I did I would have bought a laser for most b/w stuff.

That said, the quality of print that you get from the HP5550 is phenomenal. Every time I buy a new printer I get the wow effect just from the test page.

Stephen Jones
Friday, July 11, 2003

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