Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Words on Printing

Considering the enormous troubles and cost of printing associated with commonly offered ink-jet printers here in condensed form my take on the average bunch of low cost ink-jet printers.

A few things to keep in mind:

  1. Printer manufacturers don't make money on the printer, they make oodles of money in the ink. Printer ink is said to be the most expensive liquid in the world with up to $35,000.- for a gallon.
  2. Most pictures printed on ink-jet printers will fade after only a few years.
  3. Printing pictures on ink-jet printers is extremely expensive because it uses lots of the expensive ink to have good coverage.
  4. Many ink-jet printers can print pictures only in one format, 4x6 for example.
  5. Printing pictures on ink-jet printers is mostly very slow.
  6. Dried out ink cartridges or clogged nozzles are a major problem for many ink-jet printers that are not being used regularly on a daily basis.

My recommendations for "normal" household usage is twofold:

  1. Photos:
    Edit the photo to be what you want it to look like (cropping, color correction and so on).
    Copy the file to a USB drive (at the time of writing $6.- and up at Walmart).
    Take the USB drive to Walmart, Walgreens, Sam's Club or the like and print your pictures on the machines there.
    Better quality and all in all much less money - but admittedly not quite as "convenient".
  2. Text:
    Drop the dream of color and print your text in black on white.
    Excellent quality b/w laser printers can be had at the time of writing from $60.- and up.

IMHO the biggest advantage of laser printers: They can not dry out! And on top of that the cost per printed page is a fraction of what it is with ink-jet printers.

As usual I welcome comments and suggestions right here in the blog. Thank you in advance.

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