Ink tank Inkjets could push laser printers into history

Epson, HP, Canon and Brother are a few printers that feature ink tank-based printers that could render the laser as an expensive option.

Inkjet printers are well known for the highest quality printing options to date. Laser printers are restricted to their resolution and on the other hand, they are pretty expensive to replenish as well as maintain on a monthly basis. And lastly, laser printers are also bulky and expensive on their own. So how do you find a mid-way solution to your printing needs?

Document and photo printing needs to be fast, excellent, eco-friendly, and definitely cheaper. A few years ago, inkjet printing was still an expensive affair, but now the game has changed completely. Inkjet printers, though excellent in print quality results, are now become cheaper to operate — thanks to ink tank technologies that are bringing the convenience of ink refilling to the consumer. So no more rushing to your trusty stationary guy to have that cartridge refilled.

Ink tank printers are nothing but conventional inkjet printers that have a larger ink reservoir, unlike the yesteryears where the cartridges used to have 5 – 15ml of ink. Companies such as Epson, HP, Canon and Brother and a few others have learned that cartridge replacements were pretty expensive, forcing the consumer to opt for laser printing solutions where the ink is probably cheaper than the inkjet counterpart. Since the cartridge used to incorporate the print head too, it was a costly affair, and brands have finally separated the head from the ink reservoirs. This called in for the moving head to be connected by a soft pipeline to a stationary ink reservoir. The reservoir, or tank, can now be larger and easily refilled by the consumer themselves.

With this technology in place, consumers can buy the ink themselves, replace it at will, and the ink is definitely cheaper than the earlier methods. Inks are now available for just Rs 500 – 800 per colour/black bottle (CMYK) and each bottle holds around 65ml of ink if not more. This can help users to now print a whopping 4,500 to 7,500 pages on a single refill. The ink tanks are also equipped with a transparent or translucent wall where the user can easily see when the ink is running low. The all he needs to do is buy the respective ink that is running out and top up that tank, individually. Also, you don’t need to buy all colours together, you can simply buy the colour that runs out.

Ink tank printers can also help reduce the cost of printing by a huge extent — how do you like 7 paise for a printed copy? Yes, it can get as cheap as 7p for a black & white or monochrome print, excluding the cost of the paper. And this cost is an average which takes into account around 5% of the paper filled with printed ink or area. Printing coloured documents would cost you a maximum of 12 paise per print. Photos will definitely be expensive, but a lot cheaper than getting them printed at the photo shop.

And finally, the cost of ownership is also far lower than the laser printer you would probably think of. Let’s take for example the Epson printers that were recently launched. They put forth three printers that are aimed for the small business (SOHO) to medium enterprises. The M1100 and M1120 are aimed for SOHO and come in standard and wireless options respectively. The M2140, on the other hand, is meant for medium-scale businesses but lacks wireless connectivity. However, it does give you an auto duplex printing option to help save on time and paper. All three printers are multi-function devices that can scan and copy apart from just printing. These printers could also be used for schools and colleges where can print their projects, and also for small offices where documents can be printed for business needs. The printers come with the ink supply in the package (one bottle each for all four colours CMYK) and totally yield around 12,000 to 13,000 pages till you shop for more ink supplies. The black bottle will cost you Rs 699 (for three refills) and will give you approximately 6,000 pages, while the colour bottle costs around Rs 449 each and pushes approximately 2,000 pages.

Additionally, inkjet printers can also help reduce your electricity bill. The inkjet printers consume a maximum of 12 – 15 watts of power (depends on brand to brand) and can relax on standby eating up just 0.3 Watts on average. Now compare that to a laser printer which is nothing less than around 20 Watts in sleep mode itself.

Lastly, the cost of the equipment itself will make you think on ownership of a laser printer. The starting cost for any monochrome laser printer or MFP starts from Rs 8,500, and a colour laser will demand a price of Rs 50,000 and above. Ink tank inkjet printers, that can print higher resolution, print at lower prices per page, have cheaper refills and keep your electricity bills well under the limit start around Rs 8,000 onwards. The laser is better left to the corporate that requires high-speed printing with multiple features.

So if you are looking at an affordable and high-quality printing right on your desktop, the ink tank printers are what we would highly recommend.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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