Research finds that low-end printers have the worst total cost of ownership with OEM cartridges.
PC World has found that customers looking for cheap printing by purchasing low-cost laser printers will often end up paying much more than those that opt for more expensive machines.
“Buying toner for a cheap color laser printer is a bit like dining at a trendy new restaurant where you pay $30 for a plate with three shrimp,” wrote Melissa Riofrio. “Cheap color lasers have the most expensive toner, which comes in low-capacity cartridges that print 2000 pages at the most.”
She tested and compared several different Dell model printers, and noted the Dell 1250c had the highest cost toner of any they tested. At $50 per black toner cartridge and a standard output of 700 pages, the printer worked out at 7.1 cents per page. Colour meanwhile cost as much as 31 cents a page.
The conclusion may prove advantageous to the aftermarket, since users are able to buy low-cost machines and enjoy much lower prices through third party remanufactured and refilled products.
Riofrio also criticized low cost machines for having very slow printing speeds and poor quality when it came to colour photo printing. She recommended that only users who printed infrequently and didn’t mind waiting should invest in low-end machines.
“The color laser printers we’ve tested that perform the best-print quickly, produce nice images, go easy on toner costs-are designed for higher-volume situations, such as a workgroup in a busy office, and have higher purchase prices to match,” she concluded.
“Interestingly, Dell, the same company that makes the disappointingly slow and costly 1250c color laser, also makes our current top-rated models, the speedy 5130cdn and 3130cn.”
Most people never consider the cartridge costs of the printer they are about to purchase!
Price the genuine cartridges - do they cost more to replace than the printer itself?
Check if compatible cartridges are available for the printer in question - This can greatly reduce costs even further.
Avoid printers that use only 2 cartridges at all costs! Go for one that uses 4 or more cartridges.
Read more about why 2 cartridge printers are the most expensive to run.
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