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Printer Hardware

How Aftermarket Inkjet Ink Holds Up After a Year 152

An anonymous reader writes "About a year ago I found a link on here for a test of inkjet printer inks. The article compared original manufacturer inks against much cheaper third party stuff and the results were surprisingly in favour of third party products. They've now published the final part of this study, examining the prints produced a year ago. This time the printer manufacturers have come out far better, with some third party prints having disappeared completely! Cartridge World ink still seems worth a try though, if you don't want to pay manufacturers' inflated prices."
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How Aftermarket Inkjet Ink Holds Up After a Year

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  • Why I love my Canon (Score:5, Informative)

    by IWantMoreSpamPlease ( 571972 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @10:05AM (#23237534) Homepage Journal
    I have a Pixma IP4200 inkjet. Bought for about $150 (not on sale) and the individual carts are about 6$, for Canon ones, why bother with 3rd party? At this rate I can toss them out the window and still come out ahead.

    This is why I love my Canon. HP could learn a thing or two about ink pricing from them...
  • Sunlight is key... (Score:5, Informative)

    by ramk13 ( 570633 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @10:05AM (#23237536)
    The summary neglects to mention that the third party inks failed in sunlight, but were fine in indoor or controlled storage conditions. It's still something to consider, but nearly as bad as the summary makes it out to be. Tons of photo processes produce photos that'll fade in a year of sunlight, so it's reasonable you'd have to put in a little more expense there for pigments instead of dyes.
  • by Bullfish ( 858648 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @10:29AM (#23237782)
    Ink jet printers are stupid, especially for people who print occasionally and in black in white. A toner cartridge is more expensive, but is cheaper in the longer run producing far more copies and it never dries out.

    If you need to print photos, a colour ink jet is a damned expensive way to do it... if do print photos occasionally, at least around where I live, photo printer kiosks abound.
  • My horror story (Score:4, Informative)

    by njcoder ( 657816 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @10:35AM (#23237848)
    I had an epson photo printer for many years and always bought epson inks.

    Then I found a link to third party inks at a great bargain. I bought 5 sets of color and black cartridges for about the price of one set of epson brand inks.

    Within a relatively short period of time the print head got clogged up and the printer was useless. I tried everything I could to clean it, all the way to taking it completely apart. Nothing I did got the printer working again.

    The printer was very old but never had any problems before. I think epson overcharges for ink but the third party ink cost me more. I wound up getting a color laser printer for normal printing and will be getting another epson photo printer at some point for photos. Though I mostly send out stuff to the lab since I prefer the tone and quality of lamda or fuji frontier prints over inkjet ones when I'm not printing them myself in my darkroom.
  • Get a laser. (Score:5, Informative)

    by snarfies ( 115214 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @10:42AM (#23237916) Homepage
    I don't print things out from home too often now that I'm out of school, but when I do go to print things out, I expect a printer to WORK. After going through three inkjet printers in as many years, with ink cartridges that dry up, nozzles that CONSTANTLY get clogged and take several minutes to completely clean, blotches on my printouts, and so on, I came to the conclusion that inkjets are poor investments indeed, even with cheap third-party ink.

    Three years ago I bought a laser printer. It cost around $200, quite a bit more than an inkjet, and doesn't print in color. But I am STILL using the original toner cartridge that came with the printer - I have yet to run out. Admitedly, I'll probably have to pay a good $75 for a new cartridge when the existing one runs out, but I'd say $75 for several YEARS worth of ink that won't dry up and/or clog is well worth it.

    Prices have dropped a bit since then. You can buy a laser for around $100, around triple that if you insist on color. And it'll really LAST - every place I've ever worked has had laser printer that have been around forever.
  • Re:Does it matter? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @11:05AM (#23238246)
    Mod the parent up for curiosity!

    I would like to know more of people's experiences with a CIS (continuous inking system).

    From quick google searches, a CIS is a tank of ink that is connected to a cart via tube. You can fill the tank of ink with any ink and the chip on the cart tells the printer it's always full.

    The slashdot DIY crowd should be interested in this.

    I'm cheap and i want to know if other people had good expereinces with this system?
  • Re:Does it matter? (Score:3, Informative)

    by MMC Monster ( 602931 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @11:16AM (#23238442)
    Care to give the name of the manufacturer and model number?

    Some of us could use a decent printer from a manufacturer that isn't out to bleed us dry.
  • Re:Does it matter? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Flavio ( 12072 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @12:42PM (#23240074)
    Now if only some honest printer manufacturer would embrace this sort of thing - I'd gladly pay a lot more for a printer with easily replaceable heads and nice, big refillable ink reservoirs that the printer can't lie about and doesn't waste excessively. I don't expect to ever see that happen, though.

    Get an HP Officejet K5400. It has replaceable heads (which are NOT part of the cartridge, unlike all other HPs), and you can also install a $50 CIS kit. It prints faster and cheaper than any laser in its price range, with the quality of a color inkjet.
  • by nuzak ( 959558 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @01:25PM (#23240708) Journal
    Not to mention the inkjet clogging if you don't use it for a month. That's pretty much the main reason I stay away from inkjets. That and you can print on cheap copier paper -- an inkjet will smudge.
  • Re:So? (Score:3, Informative)

    by MoxFulder ( 159829 ) on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @02:59PM (#23242226) Homepage

    Now the "final solution" is about to be unleashed, which is the encryption being applied to the ink cartridges themselves. That has been coming for awhile AFAIK, and it will be interesting to see how third party manufacturers react when they have to break these new "DRM" like methods of protecting business revenue.
    This has already been around for several years... most of the DRM has been thoroughly broken by third-party cartridge makers.

    For example, a US court case in 2003 found that the Lexmark could not use the DMCA to prevent a competitor from making DRM-breaking chips for use in compatible cartridges [].

    For another example: most Epson inkjet cartridges keep track of how many pages they've printed, then refuse to print when they think they're empty, to prevent refilling the cartridges. But you can buy a "chip resetter" for under $10 []. They work nicely.

With all the fancy scientists in the world, why can't they just once build a nuclear balm?