Steer Clear of Cheap Printers With Tiny Ink Cartridges


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Are you really getting a bargain with a $50 printer? If you factor in the cost of replacement ink cartridges, it could be a lot more.

If you walk down the printer isle these days, you'll probably see a few printers selling for about $50. You might see yourself , “Hey, what a great deal" - but is it really?

Lexmark was first manufacturer marketing $50 printers. The printer was a loss-leader and the sales of replacement cartridges subsidized the low initial cost. The cost of 1 black and 1 color cartridge exceeded the value of the machine itself.

Many people who never owned a printer before didn't realize Lexmark's strategy. They were so blinded by the printer price that they never thought about the price of the printer cartridges themselves. As time went on Lexmark continued their process and also began to decrease the size of their ink cartridges. Their cartridges got smaller and smaller and required more frequent replacing.

Consider this:

One Lexmark 10N0016 OEM Black cartridge retails for about $30 and will yield 410 pages at 5% coverage

One Lexmark 10N0026 OEM Color cartridge retails for about $32.00 and will yield 275 pages at 5% coverage

It was commonplace to buy Lexmark printer for $50 just for the ink cartridges, and throw the printer in the garbage and just buy another one. Hewlett-Packard has now followed suit and is using the same strategy to takeover market share.

Several new machines will enter the market in July 2006. Many of which are cheap to buy (starting at around $25.00), but can be expensive to operate. Many of these new cheap printers do not come with connection cables or both ink cartridges which entices users by lowering the initial price.

Over the course of a few years however, the low cost of the machine will be overshadowed by the large amount spent on replacement inkjet cartridges

The inkjet cartridges that most of the new HP printers use contain only 5 Milliliters of ink. In comparison, about 4 years ago the most common HP black cartridges contained 42 milliliters of ink. That's roughly 8 times more printing at about 1/3rd the cost (per milliliter of ink).

Some of the people who owned older machines, feel they've been taken advantage of when they see how fast their new printer uses up the ink.

Almost nobody is aware of the true cost of operating these machines until the first or second time they need replacement cartridges.

HP is now attempting to squeeze out the competitors by dominating shelf space with a multitude of printer models. Most machines have the same general features but the more they have on the shelf, the less room for competitors. Hewlett Packard hopes to lure people with their brand-name and low initial cost.

Once the consumer commits to their printer, HP will have a continuous stream of replacement cartridge business for the lifespan of the machine. It's in the supplies where they make their money.

So the lesson here is this¡­ It is critical that you investigate the price of replacement ink cartridges before you purchase a new printer. Comparison- shop both the printer and cartridges at the same time.

A brief list of printers to avoid are printers using the HP 21 and HP 22 ink cartridges. (these contain only 5 milliliters of ink)

PSC 1410 Series, Officejet 4315, Deskjet F340, F380, HP Fax 1250, HP Deskjet 3910, Deskjet 3940 Series, Deskjet 3915, Deskjet 3930 Series

Printers Using HP 92 and HP 93 ink cartridges (5 milliliters of ink)

PSC 1510 Series, PSC 1507, Officejet 6310, Deskjet 5440 Series, Photosmart 7850, Deskjet 5440 Series

The only people who should consider these particular new HP printers, are those who print infrequently (less than 3 cartridges per year).

HP makes quality machines, however we recommend simply seeking out a model that does not use the #21 and #22 or #92 and #93 cartridges. Many more of these new HP printers will be released this month.

Another option is to look for a different manufacturer such as Canon, Epson or Brother. Their inkjet printers often get as good or better reviews from users.

Again, check the cost of replacement cartridges, page yield or milliliters of ink contained in the cartridge to be sure you are getting a good value in comparison.

ASAP Inkjets sells ink cartridges and laser toner at up to 80% below retail store prices. You buy printer ink anyway, why not get it from a company who saves you money & takes care of their customers? Signup for your free newsletter for tips & discount coupons at: or visit:


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