How much does your printer really cost?

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A new online calculator shows how much your inkjet printer really costs you.

The American Consumer Institute has released a free online calculator to work out how much you really pay for your inkjet printer.

The ACI calculator only displays a short list of indicative printers with estimates over 3,5 and 7 years of use. Enter in estimates of how many pages you print each week in Black & White (cheapest), Color or Photos (most expensive).

The price you pay for an inkjet printer is only the start of your costs, in fact it can be as little as 10% of the overall cost of printing. Printer manufacturers rely on the sales of consumables like ink, toner and paper to make their money. The printer itself is almost a ‘loss leader’ to drive sales of consumables.

This financial reality is the real reason why printer makers go to such lengths to encourage (if not force) people to use their own branded consumables instead of cheaper, third-party, alternatives.

The calculator doesn’t allow for the cost of any special paper where again, printer makers encourage you to use their own brands. You can save money buying third-party alternatives – for example most office supply chains have their own brand of photo and color paper that is worth trying.

The popular Office Watch article Easy switching between color and B&W printing shows how to make different ‘printers’ in Windows setup for a range of print options (B&W, Color, two pages on one side etc).

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