Keep in mind the primary reason you need a printer. There is a lot of hype to induce the unsuspecting consumer to purchase far more printer than they can really use.
The MFPs or MultiFunctional Printer / Copier / FAX / Scanners are sold to prevail with one source of cartridge. Black printing is done with the color AND the black cartridges. They are used in combination to produce the best black color possible. This also improves the consumption of ink. On the up side, the one machine does it all. On the down side the one machine must do everything. If you run out of ink, you run out of FAX printing, copy printing or computer printing.
Ink jet printers are primarily sold or given away by the printer companies to entice the user to purchase ink or cartridges. The cost of the machine and the research and development is borne by the sale of the cartridges. Consumables amount to the billions of dollar of revenue enjoyed by these companies. Printer manufacturing companies expect a printer will last the consumer about 36 months. During that time the consumer will pay for the printer in the first 4 to 6 months of use of cartridges. After that time the income from the purchase of cartridges is gravy. Cartridges are manufactured for cents. They are sold for 1000% profit. The $30.00 Dell or HP cartridge cost them about 30¢ to manufacture distribute and sell.
Color printing is of course, the primary reason to purchase an ink jet printer. This is second to the low cost of the machines. Often they are bundled with computer and monitor sales. This promotes the overall sale and puts a consumable into the hands of the customer. Computer manufactures don't sell enough memory or storage upgrades to the consumer to be able to call there consumables. It's the printer that gets the customer back into the store for more sales.
Most cartridges from HP are reuseable 3 to 15 times. Or you can sell them to us!
Laser printers are sold for two major reasons:
1. Networking and linking the necessary software and hardware together requiring the consumer to purchase more hardware to make the systems work together. This is a major effort of Hewlett Packard. Compac tried this with the Lexmark printers and it failed mainly because of the above premise, the ink jet cartridges are the major consumable and there was an enormous shortage of the correct ink jet cartridges and the majority of the Compac customers were so dissatisfied there were more complaints than ink cartridges. Lexmark desk top inkjet printers are no longer available.
2. The other reason the printer companies produce and sell the laser printers is the obvious one having to do with consumables again. A rule of thumb is that one toner cartridge contains about the same amount of printing as three ink jet cartridges. This is true for most of the HP printers and the Canon inkjet printers which use the print head type ink cartridges (BC-01, BC-02, BC-20, etc.). The other manufactures stretch out the differences quite a lot more.
Duty cycle is or should be the primary reason to choose between the available printers on the market. The "Duty Cycle" is the number of pages you expect to print each day or week or month. Most printer manufacturers descriptions include this information. If they do not, ask. If the person in charge has no idea, go somewhere else to purchase your printer.
3. There is no free lunch. No free printer either. There is always a trade off. If you stay in the $100 to 200 dollar inkjet printer region, your duty cycle should be in the hundreds of pages per month. If you are going to print thousands of pages per month then we recommend you choose a laser printer. It will pay in the end avoiding replacing the printer on a regular basis. Few things can be done to repair an Ink Jet printer. They are just too cheeply made. HP does the best job of allowing things to be replaced within the printers. Laser printers require regular maintance to continue to provide optimum service. Much of this service can be done by the owner such as roller replacement and some cleaning
You could give us a call if you need some advice about printer purchase or options regarding your needs.
(866) 677-1900 - Sue Harrison