Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Printers and ink cartridges

I've owned many different computer printers over the years. We still have an old laser black-and-white printer made by HP that we got before my wife and I were married. We used that to print some of our pre-wedding materials. I can't believe it's still working. We also have a nice color ink printer made by Epson that we use to print photos. You can get a really decent scanner/printer/fax for less than $150 these days. Several years ago, the same type of machine would have cost over $300. Scanners have come down in price and these types of "all-in-one" devices have gotten very popular.

Companies that make printers often sell printers at a very low price because they make their profits on the ink cartridge. Do you know how much an average ink cartridge roughly costs? There was a time when I used to use refill kits. Instead of buying a replacement ink cartridge, I got ink and simply refilled my old cartridges.

So what type of printer do you use? At work, I even have an old Xerox printer that uses solid ink. Essentially, it melts "wax" and sticks it to the paper. The results is a nice color printout that won't smear if it gets wet. It's cheaper to maintain than a color laser printer, but I'm disappointed that we have not seen other companies replicate the Xerox technology of solid ink color printers.

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