Wednesday, December 07, 2005

print heads

So we've decided to buy a printer. We popped along to a local electrical appliances shop and looked at what was on offer. Eventually someone wandered over to see if we wanted to buy anything. His only tip was this:

"Don't buy HP or Lexmark, their cartridges are really expensive." Turns out he's right, the cartridges ARE expensive for these models BUT there's a reason. With HP and Lexmark you get a new print head with every new cartridge whereas with Canon or Epsom you use the same print head and just refill the ink.

The result is that Canon and Epsom printers are more expensive at the outset but cartridges are cheaper when needed. The upside being lower running costs but the downside being the potential cost implication of having to replace the print head should it die on us.

HP and Lexmark printers, on the other hand, are cheaper at the outset but the longer term running costs are higher. The upside of this is, supposedly, better print quality over a longer period of time due to regularly replacing the print heads.

Thing is, I don't think I've ever known a print head to go wrong on any printer I've had or used so is buying an HP or Lexmark a false economy - if we buy a Canon or an Epsom, will the print head go kaput and cost us another shedload?

Any advice....?


  1. Firstly, Rach, add me to your list again! Otherwise you'll have pretend that my friendly advice below doesn't exist.

    Secondly, I have used printers with all four types and only ever liked HP. If you're worried about the cost, I think HP do recycled cartridges for less in some places and you can give your old cartridges to the Recycling Appeal, thereby saving the planet and raising a little money for charity in the process, which might cost you slightly more but make you feel a great deal more virtuous.

    Thirdly, if you post this on Talkback you'll be inundated with people who know more about the subject and doubtless disagree with me too.

  2. I have experienced HP and Epson. Epson is better in my opinion. Oh, look, another thing Martin and I disagree on... :P


  3. Love you Rach!
    Your the only person I know who posts about ink cartridges. Hope the essay went ok!

  4. We (used to) own a Lexmark Z28. We tried using the cheap ink refills from Tesco's but they never worked. Lexmark must have it so that the print head is unusable after the original ink has run out. I don't know.

    Now we have the Canon iP4200. It has 5 different cartridges -- 2 of which are for black. Just recently i had to buy refills for the large black cartridge -- cost me £15 for a set of 2 at PC World. Cheaper than the Lexmark. It may be that the Tesco ink refills will work on the Canon.

    Take care.

  5. Hello! I got a hp printer in june. The cartridges are quite dear but they seem to last ages - i'm gonna have to buy my first replacement colour cartridge soon (it keeps telling me it's running low) but the black one is doing fine. I use it fairly frequently so i reckon 6 months is a pretty good length of time for cartridges to last, and the quality is really good. Hope your printer shopping has a happy and stress-free outcome!

  6. Hi! I have an HP in my office, and it keeps telling me that it's running out (and does streaks), but we shake it when it does that, and it then works for some weeks/months longer. However, I'm inclined to go for the Canon option, just because it seems somewhat nicer to the Environment, and they make good cameras. But I have no knowledge about the interiors of computers, so take everything I say with a pinch of salt!



Sometimes I do go on...