Do you change printer ink when you're told? If so, it's costing you

Do you change printer ink when you're told? If so, it's costing you

Summary: A superb bit of gadgety investigative work done by PC World reveals that if you listen when your printer tells you you're out of ink, you may be wasting up to 40 percent of the cartridge.Wondering just how far a user can push it when it comes to ink, PC World weighed new catridges and compared them to the weight of cartridges that the printer considered "spent" -- the point when the printer actually shut down, after preliminary warnings appear.

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TOPICS: Hardware, Printers
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Inkblot SkullA superb bit of gadgety investigative work done by PC World reveals that if you listen when your printer tells you you're out of ink, you may be wasting up to 40 percent of the cartridge.

Wondering just how far a user can push it when it comes to ink, PC World weighed new catridges and compared them to the weight of cartridges that the printer considered "spent" -- the point when the printer actually shut down, after preliminary warnings appear. By calculating the remaining ink weight, they found that a Canon Pixma MP610 left 24 percent of an OEM's catridge's ink unused.

What's worse, using an aftermarket G&G cartridge, the Canon printer shut down with nearly 45 percent of the ink left.

Canon wasn't the only company/printer tested. Here's the breakdown:

Canon Pixma MP610: OEM - 24 percent unused; aftermarket - 45 percent unused.

Epson RX680: OEM - 8 percent; aftermarket - 41 percent.

HP Photosmart C5280: N/A (didn't shut down - ever.)

Kodak EasyShare 5300: OEM - 43 percent; aftermarket - 36 percent.

The bottom line? Watch for page yield figures rather than amount of ink left to accurately gauge how much you're getting for your money's worth. Amusingly, none of the companies in the test disputed the findings - only gave a list of reasons for the disparity.

Do you comply when the printer demands a new cartridge? Do you refill your own cartridges? Tell us how you save money printing in TalkBack.

In the meantime, I'll be printing on my Samsung ML-3051ND laser printer...until it won't print no more.

Topics: Hardware, Printers

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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