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Printer The Almighty Buck Hardware

Kodak Challenges HP's Printer Sales Model 265

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the jig-is-up dept.
Radon360 writes "Kodak has decided to attempt to buck the trend set by HP by offering low cost printers and reasonably priced ink cartridges. Three of their new printers start at $149, with ink cartridges costing $9.99 for a black cartridge and $14.99 for a five color cartridge. To counter, HP has announced a release of lower-priced cartridges, though with less ink and they are still more expensive than Kodak's. It will be a matter of time to see whether Kodak can upset the practice of ink cartridge extortion."
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Kodak Challenges HP's Printer Sales Model

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  • I guess if Kodak doesn't underprice the printers, they won't be as hurt by cartridge remanufacturers and cartridge cloners as the outfits that sell printers at a loss, looking to make it up in ink. Still, even at their low prices... everyone loves a bargain. If someone can profitably undercut Kodak on cartridges or DIY refill kits, will they find that they've just changed the tempo of the game rather than changing the game itself?
    • by Marc D.M. (630235) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @08:15PM (#18893645) Homepage
      My only issue with this is that the DIY refills are usually messy and of a lower quality than the original.

      I'm looking forward to this as it could pave the way for cheaper photo-printing options.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by jridley (9305)
        You just need to be careful to buy a printer with carts that are easily refillable. When I had an HP, it was a little messy. When I had an Epson, it was stupidly messy, bottom fill, poppet valves that leaked, ink all over.
        I now have a Canon and it's rare for me to spill a single drop.

        Lower quality means you've been using crappy 3rd party ink. Buy from a company that formulates ink properly per manufacturer. IMHO good 3rd party inks are at least as good as OEM inks. It's not like the OEMs have some secr
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by UncleTogie (1004853) *

          It's not like the OEMs have some secret process for making ink.

          No more so than Coca-Cola has a secret recipe/process for Coke...
        • by simm1701 (835424) on Friday April 27, 2007 @02:48AM (#18897007)
          Epson cartriges are not worth refilling. Unlike many other printers the printing head is not on the cartridge, its in the printer (atleast on all the epsons I've ever had). This means the cartridges are a lot cheaper to make, true epson still charge an arm and a leg, but the clones are very easy to find cheaply and I've never had a problem with them.

          I think I pay about 3GBP for black and 5GBP for 3 color for my 740 - the printer is also 7 years old now and still works fine.

          I think I'll stick with epson in future - mainly for the sheer ease of buying good quality cheap clone cartridges.

          Having the printing head on the printer has a down side - if it breaks its time to bin the printer - too expensive to replace/repair - the up side it they can use a better quality one than the disposable ones on the majority of cartridges
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Moraelin (679338)

            Having the printing head on the printer has a down side - if it breaks its time to bin the printer - too expensive to replace/repair - the up side it they can use a better quality one than the disposable ones on the majority of cartridges

            As opposed to HP where, at least for a couple of models, it's cheaper to buy a new printer than change the cartridge? Even though nothing is broken?

            Not disaggreeing with you, just saying that if that's the only downside, I can live with that. Happily.

    • by LurkerXXX (667952) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @08:38PM (#18893897)
      If the price difference between Kodak and the remanufacturers isn't that big, who is going to risk f'ing up their printer prints with garbage remanufactured crap when for a very small bit more they could get guaranteed good OEM ink? I know I wouldn't. It's the huge disparity in pricing right now that drives people to take the risk.
      • If the price difference between Kodak and the remanufacturers isn't that big, who is going to risk f'ing up their printer prints with garbage remanufactured crap when for a very small bit more they could get guaranteed good OEM ink? I know I wouldn't. It's the huge disparity in pricing right now that drives people to take the risk.

        Exactly. Particularly when the printer is $150, and not some $20 piece of garbage that's just a holder for the $40 or $50 cartridge. Nobody cares really about messing up their printer, when you can just get a new one practically for free -- but when the printer is a significant investment, and the replacement cartridges are cheap, who's going to do that? It's penny-wise and pound-foolish at that point to cut corners.
        • Exactly. Particularly when the printer is $150, and not some $20 piece of garbage that's just a holder for the $40 or $50 cartridge. Nobody cares really about messing up their printer, when you can just get a new one practically for free -- but when the printer is a significant investment, and the replacement cartridges are cheap, who's going to do that? It's penny-wise and pound-foolish at that point to cut corners.

          That is a very good and logically sound argument but don't underestimate the stupidifying effect that frugality has on some people. I'll fix myself or use third party supplies and parts but when the value of an object reaches a certain point I'm not going to risk ruining something that cost me of 1-2 months wages or more, such as a laptop for example, to save a few cents on running costs and upgrades. Not everybody agrees with this of course, it is simply amazing how many people will spend a dollar to save

      • If only the RIAA would take a note from this exercise. Both industries have similar problems. I hope that the consumer is the real winner....
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by DDLKermit007 (911046)
        It's only a risk if your printer is an Epson generally with non-replaceable ink heads. Something like HPs you can buy the shittiest refills you can, and it doesn't matter. Ink head clogged? Oh well, hit it with a little alcohol, nope, new cart. Too bad I only got to refill that black cartrige three times for printing text.

        Something else of note though. I find it highly suspicious these sites that have been doing photo ink print comparisons all of a sudden. In the control case they use OEM fresh carts, and
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by SythDot (995152)

        The last HP printer I bought (for "Free") is the last HP printer I will ever buy. Black ink goes for $3000 per litre. Yes, that is not a typo, a 5ml cart cost $15; that's $3 per millilitre or, $3000/litre.

        I don't need to support a company that pulls that kind of crap. Besides, they given rise to the single most common class of spam email, the ink refill spam that inundates my server (more that penis enlargement and erectile dysfunction combined).

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You are right. If they don't make much money on the ink, they won't care if people buy it somewhere else.

      Kodak has priced these printers to be profitable on the printer sale alone. Compare the cost of these Kodak printers with similar HP or Cannon printers. The Kodak printers are much higher priced for the same feature set.

      For years the printer market has been driven by the cost of the printer. People want to buy a $49 printer that can do near laser quality text and near lab quality photos and they make the
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by sphealey (2855)
        > Kodak has priced these printers to be
        > profitable on the printer sale alone.

        And the paper. Kodak make a very nice line of inkjet photo paper which comes in that nicely recognizable yellow box with the red logo - and a price to match. They could easily make their profit on the brand if their more cost-effective printers induce people to buy their photo paper.

        sPh
  • by ZoOnI (947423) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @08:13PM (#18893631)
    I will be buying a Kodak if the cost of both toner and printers is low as well as a minimum reliability.
  • Expensive! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wwpublishing (1093863) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @08:14PM (#18893635) Homepage
    Is it me or does a $15 cartridge sounds expensive. I mean, like you go to a copying a store, and copies are like .03 each. $15 = like 450 pages. One of their ink cartridges can't even print that.
    • Re:Expensive! (Score:5, Informative)

      by PhysicsPhil (880677) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @08:19PM (#18893667)

      Is it me or does a $15 cartridge sounds expensive. I mean, like you go to a copying a store, and copies are like .03 each. $15 = like 450 pages. One of their ink cartridges can't even print that.

      The $15 cartridge is for colour. It's $10 for b/w, but it's still more than you'll pay at a copy shop. The copy shop will be using toner-based laser printers, which have a cheaper per-page cost to run. If you're planning to print a lot, get a home laser rather than an inkjet.

      • by macshit (157376)
        Seriously! There are always tradeoffs involved. These printers are intended for casual users, who want the convenience of something sitting on their desk but can't justify a big outlay -- and they certainly seem quite reasonably priced given that convenience! Obviously if someone needs to print a 1000 page tome, they might want to take their lunch hour to drop by a copy shop, or invest in a laser printer if they do it often.

        From my admittedly uninformed ("casual" :-) viewpoint, these Kodaks seem to reall
        • Re:Expensive! (Score:4, Informative)

          by CastrTroy (595695) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @10:09PM (#18894789) Homepage
          In my experience, Inkjets are terrible for casual users. I need to use my printer about once every 3 to 4 weeks. Because it's inkjet, and I use it so infrequently, the cartridge is dried out every time I need to use it. So I've given up on the thing and it sits in a corner. When I need to print something, i'll use the printer at work, or go to the UPS store. For Photos I have Walmart. The next printer I'm going to buy will be a laser, because I don't want to have to worry about the ink drying out. On another note, what happened to dot matrix printers. I remember we had a dot matrix printer and the cartdges (ribbons?) were $5 each and laster for well over 1000 pages.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by fotbr (855184)
            Dot-matrix went out because they're seen as "old", they're NOISY, and the print quality pretty much sucks compared to anything out now.

            That said, I still have an ancient Epson (it was purchased with an old 8088 machine) that still works, and I've got a pile of ribbons for it. It'll print fine from some old dos programs, but I'm too lazy to put together a windows print driver. It is tempting though. Just for the novelty, not for any practical purpose.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by zakezuke (229119)
            On another note, what happened to dot matrix printers. I remember we had a dot matrix printer and the cartdges (ribbons?) were $5 each and laster for well over 1000 pages.

            Dotmatrix was cost effective, but I'm not sure you remember it as well as I do. A ribbon out of the box would last a long time, but contrast would fade. It was ledgeable, but rather quickly wasn't what i'd call presentation quality. A small ribbon would probally do about 300 pages before contrast suffered greatly. Current generation OKI
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by alshithead (981606)
        I've been very happy with my HP Laser Jet 2600n. It prints great for our minimal everyday use and seems to be pretty economical for printing large quantity color tri-fold adverts for my wife's business. The print quality is wonderful and the variety of paper types that can be used is excellent. I've got it on a wireless print server by Linksys so all of our computers can use it as the default printer.

        I would suggest that anyone using a bubble jet investigate a color laser printer. With the toner recycli
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          I have a laserjet 2600n, and can second this, most emphatically. At home, it's plugged into my network, and I've never had a problem with it at all (except for the fact that it seems to do its autocalibration routines in the middle of the night, which can be very startling the first few times).

          Plus, I did the cost per cartridge analysis, and it was half the cost per page of an inkjet printer. Absolutely great. Even if the initial outlay was 399 or so, it was still totally worth it.
      • I don't know why people even buy inkjets any longer. Those multifunction printers are awful and expensive to use. I have HP color Laserjets with network cards in all my places of work and at home. They barely cost anything and produce great quality at reasonable prices. The inkjets I have were freebies I received with my Dell orders - I couldn't even make Dell keep them..
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jlarocco (851450)

      $15 expensive? A while back I bought an old HP Deskjet for $10 at the flea market, my logic being that if it didn't work it wouldn't be a big deal because I'd enjoy taking it apart. A win, either way. But then I had to buy ink. I ended up spending $80 for black and color, and I'll be shocked if they last to 450 pages. Fortunately the printer works, because I don't think they do refunds on ink.

      But anyway, $15 would be pretty sweet given the alternatives.

    • Re:Expensive! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Grishnakh (216268) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @08:29PM (#18893799)
      Yep, it's a rip-off. Comparing apples to apples, the B/W cartridge is $10. For three times that, I can buy a new toner cartridge for my HP laser printer which will print at least 5,000 pages. I'm sure these Kodak cartridges won't last for 1666 pages.

      Plus, toner cartridges don't have to worry about drying out with too little use, like inkjet cartridges do.

      The simple fact is that inkjet printing is just a bad idea, no matter what the costs are. It can't compete in any way with laser printing technology, except by using marketing to take advantage of peoples' stupidity and shortsightedness.
      • by Detritus (11846)
        Except for that little bit about color.

        I'm tired of hearing how studly and economical the laser printer is in comparison to the ink jet, when they're comparing a color ink jet to a monochrome laser. If it doesn't do color, I don't care how cheap it is.

        • by Grishnakh (216268)
          How many TVs do you have in your house? How many cars (especially if there's more than 1 person in your family)? How many computers? How many pairs of shoes do you have? Would you only wear dress shoes because you need those for those few times you go on interviews, or do you have a separate pair for that?

          So what makes you think you need one printer for everything? How much color printing do you do anyway?

          For me, if I can't leave the printer for two weeks without printing a page, and not have the ink d
      • >The simple fact is that inkjet printing
        >is just a bad idea, no matter what the
        >costs are. It can't compete in any way
        >with laser printing technology, except
        >by using marketing to take advantage of
        >peoples' stupidity and shortsightedness.

        What a complete load. Ink-jet probably can't ever match the cost-per-page of laser. But even a $75 ink-jet will run rings around any conventional laser printer for photographs.

        Brett
        • by Grishnakh (216268)
          How much is the total cost of printing those photographs, though, if you factor in the cost of all the ink, and the fact that if you were to wait, say, a month between printings, you'd have to buy all-new cartridges every month because they dry out and gum up the printheads?

          For that cost and trouble, I'd rather just send my photos to costco.com for $0.11 each.
        • Actually, you do have to be discriminatory which inkjet. My uncle gave my grandma one that prints crude photos and it was $90. To be fair, it was a multifunction, but none of those other functions were great either.
      • The simple fact is that inkjet printing is just a bad idea, no matter what the costs are. It can't compete in any way with laser printing technology, except by using marketing to take advantage of peoples' stupidity and shortsightedness.

        I really don't think that's a universal case.

        Laser printing has many advantages, but I still keep an inkjet around for photos. I just saw someone's fancy new color laser today and it's still clearly inferior to the inkjet photo prints that I get with my inkjet. To get a la
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dfenstrate (202098)
        The simple fact is that inkjet printing is just a bad idea, no matter what the costs are. It can't compete in any way with laser printing technology, except by using marketing to take advantage of peoples' stupidity and shortsightedness.

        Coming from someone who has a color laser printer at home and loves it, I can't fully agree.

        I may well buy one of these new kodak printers just for printing photos. I'm currently under the impression that you can't get good photo-paper prints from laser printers because they
        • by Grishnakh (216268)
          Just how many photos do you print "for framing on occasion"? Even the big 8x10 and 8x12 prints only cost $1.49 at Costco's online service. You'd have to print a LOT of photos to make one of these printers worth it, after you consider the $150 initial cost, plus special expensive paper and ink cartridge refills.

          Don't forget that you have to throw away the cartridges and buy new ones every time you decide to print photos (since you only want to do so occasionally) because the ink will have dried out, render
  • About time! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jerry Rivers (881171) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @08:16PM (#18893659)
    Hurray for Kodak! It appears to be attempting to turn things around and be competitive again after years of lacklustre performance and seemingly rudderless operation. The acquisition of Creo put them in a good position in the prepress workflow biz, and now with this announcement maybe we'll have a reason to buy Kodak again at the consumer level. I look forward to trying one of their printers.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Hear hear!

      In their defence, you'd be rudderless too if you were a buggy-whip manufacturer after the Model T was introduced. The multi-mexapixel camera made them pretty obselete, but it is good to see them move this direction, especially since HP have turned into such a bunch of wankers. It's a pity about HP too, they used to make such great calculators, I still have my two 32SIIs that I wouldn't trade for any other calculator that I know of. (Yes, I've seen the 33S, it looks like some dorks from the
      • Hey, now!

        HP used to make great LaserJets, too, all the way up to and including the 4-series and maybe some of the 5 series, you insensitive clod!

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Kodak has their hands in a lot more pies than you seem to think. They're still the ones making all the photo paper for all those digital prints you get printed out from your digital camera. And they also make pretty good digital cameras. I have a C875 and it's a really great camera. Kodak saw the light years ago, and started to change their business model when they saw that film cameras was going to be a dead market.
    • They've built up a very nice range of consumer level digital cameras, and they did it before they disappeared with chemical photography.
    • perhaps Kodak is trying to pickup as the new "Polaroid". They got nailed on instant photography 30 years ago and because of patents never got into the instant developing thing. In the other hand, they spent their time focusing on backroom photo developing.. most of the photo developing machines are Kodak or Fuji. The Kodak ones have been using digital correction for some time... so with the shift to personal photo printing, they need to make the money on PAPER and supplies. I think they see the push of
  • by Jason Straight (58248) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @08:23PM (#18893727) Homepage
    Just my way of telling the other printer makers that ink isn't worth $30,000/gal
    • Great--you'll be glad to know that there is nothing stopping them from jacking it up after you, and many others, buy it.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Nimey (114278)
      Are you a woman? That's the logic that says "I don't *need* this, but it's on sale so I'll get it."

      Yes, I /am/ married.
  • by catbutt (469582) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @08:25PM (#18893747)
    I have real doubts they will be able to compete with that model. People's natural tendency is to seek the cheap (or easy) route now, giving far less weight to the long term.

    I know I have a hard time bringing myself to, for instance, buy things in larger containers....I know it's cheaper in the long term, but I don't like putting out a bunch of cash now.

    I also knowingly do other equally irrational things along the same lines....for instance, if I am standing at one corner of a football field, and have to get to the opposite corner without walking on the field, I will always walk along the long side first. It gets me closer to my destination quicker, even though the overall distance is the same. Irrational, but I can't help it.
    • by Radres (776901)
      Strange football field analogies aside, all it would take is for Kodak to advertise the cost of their ink cartridges somewhere on the little flyer that electronics stores put next to the printer. Anyone who has owned an ink jet printer is well aware of the price gouging involved. Starting at $150 for a Kodak ink jet doesn't seem unreasonable; you would make back the money you spent over a $100 printer on one cartridge refill.
  • The prices are not hidden. Any reasonable printer test includes cost per page figures.
    People seem to fall for this nonetheless. I have no idea why. Are basic algebra skills that scarce today? Or do people not care how much they pay?

  • by budword (680846) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @08:28PM (#18893787)
    Kodak here I come. I'm tired of large corparations taking advantage of the flock because we ACT like sheep. Put HP printers out of business until they get the message. I believe I read (maybe here) that HP printer cartriges had a chip on them that would report to the computer that they were out of ink, when in fact they were not, to get you to buy another over priced cartrige. Hurt them where it counts, or they will never change. I've been buying canon printers, and canon ink (rather than slightly cheaper 3rd party ink) to try to reward them for not gouging me on the ink. I'll look into kodak next time I need a printer. Now if they have native linux drivers, Kodak would be a done deal. They won't change until we hurt them where it counts. Next time you buy a none HP printer, email them to tell them why you won't buy their stuff anymore. http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/feedbac k.do;jsessionid=GxCTB6m1p2fJcoG63U7U0P1YV8VQVD3QNP 177At6udUrxCMjeG6K!711870732 [hp.com]
  • Now if Apple's Steve Jobs would release a line of somewhat pricey, but sleek looking ink jets with reusable ink cartridges at 99 cent per refill (at an Apple store), then we would be in business!

    I can dream... :)
    • If that's a viable business model, create a startup.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by maxume (22995)
        Do you have a Steve Jobs I can borrow?
        • Do you have a Steve Jobs I can borrow?

          No, but I can throw a couple of Joe Jobs your way. Just gimme your Social and I'll take care of it.
    • by kiddailey (165202)
      You must be new ... :)

      In terms of printers, Apple has already been there, done that. And from what I remember, they were very nice printers. You can still find ink and toner for them on the net [abcco.net] and even the printers themselves on eBay.
    • The Apple LaserWriter was the first combination of PostScript with a laser printing engine. Revolutionary at the time, because it allowed people to print any combination of fonts and graphics at the full resolution the printer was capable of. (The first HP LaserJet, by comparison, could print in Courier. Just Courier. The only advantage it had over a daisywheel printer was that it was much faster.)

      Not surprisingly, it cost several thousand dollars--more than even a new Mac, at the time, but it had a faster
  • Breaking from a paradigms is always hard, but breaking from a paradigm like this one will be near impossible. People don't naturally calculate out what is the best for the amount of time they believe they will own the printer, they don't ever realize that they're tied into buying HPs ink for the rest of thier lives. Kodak will have to have one hell of a marketing team to pull this off.
    • I can get ink for a typical Canon printer for a couple of dollars because the head and tank are separate.

      The price for ink bought online via InkDaddy or other sites for the Canon printers runs about 1-1.5 cents a page, or almost exactly what the cheapest laser printers cost(black), and under 3-5 cents a page for color.

  • What a concept... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by epp_b (944299) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @08:39PM (#18893901)
    Well, it turns out that building your products in a way that adds value for your customers is better than intentionally creating a way to continually rip them off (ie: building as much of the printer's "brains" as possible into each ink cartridge)! What a surprise!
  • by gelfling (6534) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @08:40PM (#18893915) Homepage Journal
    My Epson C86 is a wonderful desktop inkjet. Discount ink is $10 for extra capacity black and $8 for each of the other 3 colors. A new C88 is about $80 retail at Staples.

    Does it scan? No
    Does it scan pictures? No
    Does it print w/o a computer? No

    And when it breaks I toss it out and get another one.
  • Typo? (Score:2, Informative)

    by tooyoung (853621)
    Shouldn't that be:

    Kodak has decided to attempt to buck the trend set by HP by offering low cost printers and outrageously over-priced ink cartridges
  • by CrazyJim1 (809850) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @08:53PM (#18894043) Journal
    I used my Lexmark to print out five dollar bills, but I still couldn't afford ink refills.
  • Ink prices (Score:5, Informative)

    by purduephotog (218304) <hirsch.inorbit@com> on Thursday April 26, 2007 @09:03PM (#18894127) Homepage Journal
    Dye Ink costs about 1 to 15$ per gallon to manufacture. Milled ink (methanol milled nano-particulate pigment ink) is about 3x the cost.

    I used to work for Kodak.

    They can dump better ink at lower prices all over the market. HP does NOT want to get into an ink pricing war- everyone would lose.

    • Re:Ink prices (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @09:24PM (#18894303) Homepage
      Wah!

      It needs to be bad for everyone. Although I dont understand why anyone even wants Inkjet anymore for anything but a CD label printer.

      Xerox full color lasers are almost $200.00 with a full set of toner carts. I have ran at home for a year now printing at least 5-10 pages a day between and still have not ran the toner below 1/2 yet.

      The bets part, I can shut off the printer and let it sit there for years and turn it on and print right away. Every inkjet would be completely dead as the heads would be clogged and dryed out.

      Yes nest year I will have to pay $300.00 for the high capacity toner cartridges, but then I'll have 4 years of "ink" at that point and will probably throw away the printer before it needs a refill.

      Not bad for a network laser that has a photo quality mode that looks fantastic works with linux as it's a real postscript printer.

      Does anyone even make a postscript ethernet inkjet?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jeff DeMaagd (2015)
        I really haven't had such significant problems with ink drying like that, and I have left my inkjet printer unused for months at a time. The only special treatment I do is to wrap the printer in a large bag for storage in a closet. Years is silly because if you print that rarely, then you don't need a printer.

        For general use, laser is fine, and that's what I use most of the time. Still, for quality photos, I'm not going to pretend that an inexpensive laser is going to do that as well as my inkjet can fo
      • Re:Ink prices (Score:4, Informative)

        by sacrilicious (316896) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @11:07PM (#18895385) Homepage
        Xerox full color lasers are almost $200.00 with a full set of toner carts.

        Cheapest Xerox color printer I saw on their site [xerox.com] costs $350 (I don't regard "rebate" prices as real; and if I did, I'd compare their "$250" price to something below the expected street value of the kodaks). Doesn't look like free toner cartridges are mentioned either....

  • by rueger (210566) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @09:07PM (#18894163) Homepage
    Get real, this is yet another last gasp attempt by Kodak to find something, anything that can replace the photographic film business that was their bread and butter for so many decades.
    • by Jerry Rivers (881171) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @09:29PM (#18894365)
      Kodak has been in the printer business for a long, long time. Though mostly at the enterprise level as far as I know. I remember seeing Kodak-branded laser printers in the 90s.

      Why shouldn't they get into new business? Are they supposed to just close up shop because film is dead? And they are nowhere near a "last gasp." Kodak's a big company with many assets. Though they have slumped badly in the last seven years they still rake in $13.5B in sales.
      • by afidel (530433)
        They also had some awesome Dye Sub printers in the mid 90's (the still do, but I know that had them at least that far back).
  • The only reason I still have an inkjet is to print CD/DVD's, via the Epson R300. Everything else goes through the $300 Dell color laser. 1 year, ~500 pages (1/3 of those full page color), and I'm at 90% capacity left.
  • In a counter-move, H-P announced Tuesday that it will also be introducing new lower-price cartridges. But these new low-end cartridges will work only on future printers (and a few very recent models). And they will hold less ink than today's standard. Plus, they will still cost more than Kodak's cartridges: $14.99 for black and $17.99 for the combined color versions.

    Huh?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    People must not look beyond HP printers much, if they think this sort of thing is new. Canon has been selling dirt-cheap ink refills for years.

    Case in point: I bought a Canon i475D for about $40 in 2004. The ink cartridges are easy to find, and cost $5.99 for black and $13.99 for color (at Newegg, about $1 more at B&M). It is far from the first Canon printer to feature a system like this.

    If anything, Kodak is late to the game, and HP just continues to suck.

    Epson has also been selling relatively cheap in
  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @09:31PM (#18894411) Homepage

    The early ink-jet printer patents should be expiring soon. The first inkjet printers were developed in 1976, and HP's original DeskJet shipped in 1998. We'll probably see a flood of no-brand-name printers using generic ink over the next few years. That's what happened to laser printers when those patents expired years ago.

    • Unless they continue to get away with the encrypted-chip business to keep clone makers out.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by petermgreen (876956)
        that will stop cartridge cloners, it won't stop builders of inkjet PRINTERS.

        patents can make building PRINTERS much harder (witness the fact that there are only a few makers atm) but as the GP said patents have a finite lifetime.

        the cartridge chip thing only affects builders of third party carts for existing printers.
  • I suppose this depends on your perspective. Since the 1960's Kodak has been pioneering the concept of selling the printer cheap, i.e. instamatic camera, and reaping the profit on the ink, i.e. film. Certainly HP did not set this trend. If anything, Xerox set this trend by primarily selling toner and service.

    One thing I want to know, knowing how Kodak is some times, is if the plan is sell low quality printers at a relatively high price, knowing full well they will break in a year or two. I would much ra

  • I don't mind paying $10 for a cartridge. That's fair.

    But: why is there so little ink inside? In my case (HP) there's 6 mL in a color, and 10 mL in a black. The cartridge is sealed, has a shelf life of a few years, and has no moving parts to wear out. So all HP has to do is put in, say one ounce of color and two ounces of black (about 4x current levels). The extra ink costs pennies, there's no new engineering required, the customer is happy, and HP can respond to Kodak in the marketplace.

    I'd rather throw out

  • For less than $150 I can buy a decent used laser printer and a new toner cartridge for it, and run it for a year or two until it dies and then get another. They print faster, and how often do you really need color anyway? If I need color I'll go to kinkos.
  • by sacrilicious (316896) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @10:53PM (#18895213) Homepage
    Caught this article [economist.com] just a few weeks back, it goes into some detail on Kodak's inkjet technology.
  • by BrynM (217883) * on Thursday April 26, 2007 @11:47PM (#18895767) Homepage Journal
    One of the things I was left wondering after reading TFA is "But does the Kodak software try to take over my computer and is it a resource hog?" That, not the cartridge gouging, is what made me swear never to buy another HP. I was already saying "cool" about actually buying the printer at a reasonable price and letting the ink be a normal price. If Kodak has decent, non-obtrusive software, I'm thoroughly sold.
  • Another alternative (Score:4, Informative)

    by gerardrj (207690) on Friday April 27, 2007 @11:46AM (#18901339) Journal
    People... stop using ink jet printers. I'm not going to talk about brands since I don't want to skew this argument, but for about $500 you can get a really decent color laser printer that will to 20 pages/minute in black and 5/minute in color. Yes, that's five pages per minute not five minutes per page.

    Yes, you pay a lot more for the printer, $500 vs about $100 for a decent inkjet, but you don't need to EVER clean print heads and you don't need to purchase special photo or "hi-res" paper. As a bonus, a page printed from a laser printer will last as long as the paper does; toner doesn't fade or decay at any descernable rate unlike ink which will start fading in a few months unless well protected.

    So lets look at those costs:

    Inkjet: $149 to purchase the printer; $25 to refill the ink. I my experience I get maybe 100 pages from an ink cartridge. For 4000 pages I pay $975 for ink tanks. This number assumes that the tanks in the printer box are full and that I never have to clean the print heads and that all the ink is always used on printed pages. I've now spent $1,125 to print 2000 pages.
    Lets take my laser printer: $500 to buy the printer with cartridges that last ~4500 pages.

    So even for printing 4000 pages the laser printer is $625 cheaper than the ink jet. And yes, I'm ignoring the electricity costs since most lasers today have "instant on" fusers and have quite good power management. The annual electric cost may difference may be $20, but even if the electricity operating cost is $500 more for the laser I still save $120 over the cost of the inkjet.

    The break-even point for the laser is about 1500 pages. And again... all these numbers assume you are using standard paper in the inkjet. hi-res or photo paper can increase printing costs on the inkjet by a factor of two, easily.

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