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Printer low on ink, what to do?

  1. Nov 11, 2012 #1
    I have 3 options; get a new black ink cartridge, refill the one I have, or buy a whole new printer.

    It's absurd, but the price for all 3 are about the same, as far as I can tell. Am I just looking at the wrong places to get new cartridges or refills, or is this normal?

    What do you guys do when you run out of ink in your printer?

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 12, 2012 #2
    I used to work in an electronics retail store, you're not looking at the prices wrong at all, it is by far cheaper to purchase a new printer than to replace your ink cartridges, what i used to suggest to customers only printing in black is to purchase a black Laser printer as they last a hell of a lot longer and im sure they have come down to around $100 if not less, The reason why a new printer is almost the same price and sometimes even cheaper than replacing your ink is due to new printers only coming with "test" cartridges meaning they will not last as long as a new print cartridge and are practically half full, with laser printers they come by default with a full drum and powder unit. if you are just printing off invoices or resume's ect. i would definitly just go for a black & white laser printer.

    if you are looking at the colour side of things the ball park changes completely, laser initial cost is by far over the top of the traditional inkjet printers but in the long run are cheaper to run/replace parts.
    In saying that you could easily go out and purchase a new inkjet printer and update when it runs out of ink as its cheap, it really comes down to quality, if you are printing photo's the quality is better with an inkjet printer compared with a laser (at equal price range) but printing photo's again comes down to cost vs quality.

    I wont go into figures for cost vs quality as its so variable between brands i would be here all day but a rough guide line is the more you pay for a printer in the initial cost the higher the quality and the more expensive the ink cartridges are (usually equalling the initial cost of the printer) and with laser you get slightly less quality, lasts longer and is cheaper in the long run.
  4. Nov 12, 2012 #3
    side note, refilling is usually cheaper than the other two options but depends on the company doing the refills there is a few places that are DIY they used to work back in the day when the cartridges were not chipped, with majority of the new printers each cartridge is chipped with information letting the printer know when it is empty so if you manually fill it, the printer will still state that it is empty. This is what i personally hate, printer companies want you to purchase their ink and no one elses, so they make the most out of you, granted there are still a few printers on the market that do not use this technology (majority of the <$100) but they do not give you the quality.
  5. Nov 12, 2012 #4


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    I have decided to use a laser printer. If my wife or I want a color pic, we shop it off to Wal-Mart or similar to get it printed. The cost of buying color cartridges is just too high.
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