Buying a printer can seem like a daunting task. You have to decide what you’ll be using it for and how much you’re willing to spend on buying one. But what most people don’t take into account is how much printer ink will cost in the long run. One of the most important things to keep in mind is the cost of the ink cartridges and how many printed pages you’ll get for what you’re paying.
We’ve spoken before about the high cost of ink in our infographic What Does Ink Really Cost, so you understand the need to save as much ink and money as you can. This means that you’ll have to do your research when it comes to picking your printer. Now we know that this sounds like a lot of homework, so we’ve taken some of the guesswork out of choosing the right inkjet printer for your needs.
So what should you look for when it comes to buying an efficient and economical inkjet printer? You might have to be willing to spend a little more than you originally anticipated as the general rule is that the cheaper the printer, the more expensive the ink cartridges will be. Most multi-function printers that have the ability to scan, copy, print and fax usually have the lowest ink cartridge costs, but the printer will be pricier than a basic inkjet printer. Look for printers that have a separate ink cartridge for each colour as it is far more affordable to replace one colour when it has run out than it is to replace all three colours because you’re out of one. Also look for high yield ink cartridges as you’ll get more pages for your money (read our blog post What is a High Yield Printer Cartridge? for more info). You should also look out for compatible ink cartridges for your printer as these are usually up to 70% cheaper than the original cartridges.
We’ve put together a list of printers from our leading ink cartridge and printer brands. We’ve had a look at the price, features and the printing supplies costs. We’ve also worked out how much you can expect to pay per printed page if you use both compatibles and originals.
Brother printers are known for having the most affordable ink cartridges on the market. This multi-function printer has A3 printing and scanning capabilities so it is a bit bigger than most desk printers. You can also scan, copy, fax and print standard A4 sized documents. It also comes with a USB and SD card slot so you can print without using a PC. The printer has an automatic document feed for A4 and A3 pages. This printer uses LC77XL high yield ink cartridges and LC73 standard yield ink cartridges.
Canon Pixma printers are known for printing excellent photographs and this one is no exception. The printer has scan, copy and fax capabilities as well as being able to print on A4 and photo paper. It also has automatic duplex printing and you can scan straight to USB. The Pixma MX714 uses the PGI-425 and CLI-426 ink cartridges.
The smallest of the Epson all-in-one printers, the Epson SX230 is perfect for small home offices. You can print, scan and copy and it produces good quality photos. The printer doesn’t support duplex printing but you can print without being connect to a PC using the LCD screen and memory card slot and takes both standard and high yield ink cartridges.
This HP OfficeJet printer supports A3 printing as well as standard A4 and photo printing. While it does not support duplex printing, it does have an excellent print speed and does give you the option of printing borderless photos. With the second most affordable printer ink on this list and HP’s high quality standards, you know you’ll be getting good value and the best quality prints for your money. This printer uses the HP 920XL range of high yield ink cartridges.