Which Brand of Ink has the Highest Yield for the Lowest Cost?
When choosing a printer, one should collect as much information as they can to ensure that an informed choice is made. Does the company typically get good quality reviews? What features meet your needs? Do you need a straight up black and white basic printer or will you need an All-in-One Printer, Fax, and Copier? These are good things to compare when shopping for a printer. However, one question is more overlooked than the rest and actually most important when considering the ongoing expense of operating your printer.
How much is replacement ink going to cost me and how many pages does each ink cartridge typically yield? Once the printer is purchased, the cost of ink is ongoing as it is used up. Consider this question in conjunction with your intended use of the printer. Is the printer for personal use only? Will it be used in a home office setting? Do you print the 200 bulletins needed each week for your church? Answering these questions will determine what kind of printer and subsequent ink you will need so that you can then choose which company your ink dollars will go to.
Below is a comparison of the major companies with regard to ink usage and replacement costs.
Lexmark:With the recent release of the Lexmark Pro905, Lexmark is now the one to beat. The Pro905 uses high yield cartridges that are priced extremely low @ $4.99 for black and $9.99 for color replacements
Kodak:Has adopted a mission to make quality ink replacement affordable. Cartridges range from $9.99 - $14.99
HP:Replacement cartridges range from $9.99 -$14.99. HP also offers high yield cartridges for the HP Officejet 6200 that are just about double the price of the standard replacements.
Canon:Has the best portables for the cost. Ink replacements range from $9.99 - $11.99 with standard cartridges starting @ $14.99
Brother:Again it depends on the type of printer you are using but replacements range from $11.99 - $14.99.
Epson:Considered the best quality ink on the market, Epson has basic printer inks as well as photo archival safe durabrite inks. Replacement costs range from $12.49-$13.99 for basic and $18.99-$23.99 for durabrite.
In all circumstances one can save money by purchasing combo packs and taking advantage of manufacturer sales. It is also important to note that if you are purchasing ink for an older printer, the older the model, the more expensive the cartridge. In one such example, it was cheaper to purchase a brand new All-in-One with starter cartridges included, than it was to purchase a replacement set of cartridges for an older printer. Don't be afraid to upgrade!
Finally, never underestimate the money one can save by using Remanufactured Ink Cartridges. They are environmentally friendly and reduce waste and pollution, cost 30 - 60% less per copy than OEM cartridges and last 20% longer. One can purchase remanufactured ink cartridges at .33% of the original cartridge rates. The potential savings alone make them worth a look.