Look, we know that printers aren’t exactly a sexy consumer good in the same way that mobile phones or fast cars are. However, they’re something you’ll find in most households, and for many years now, there’s been a sneaky pricing ploy to separate you from your money.
You see, most printers these days are sold as “loss leaders” to get you hooked; that fancy laser multifunction that costs just $300 is actually worth more than that. However, it’s sold at a discounted price to get you on board with an introductory laser toner cartridge, and boy oh boy, when it runs out, you’ll pay for it through the nose. It’s not uncommon to see ink/toner refills that cost almost as much as the original printer did!
There are alternatives, though.
To help share the news about one such alternative, Epson has partnered with comedy legend Jimeoin to spread the news about Epson’s EcoTank printers.
Epson EcoTank printers use easy-to-fill, supersized ink tanks instead of cartridges that include enough ink in the box to print thousands of pages, which means less waste and fewer trips to the store.
As Jimeoin remarked:
“Cartridges do my head in. In the beginning you buy a cheap printer and then six months later the cartridges run out and they cost more than the printer. And you forget how to change the cartridges as they explained it six months ago, so it’s easier to buy a new printer than try to figure out how to change the cartridges.”
Yep, been there.
EcoTank printers can save you literally thousands of dollars over their useful lifetime; not only do they not use cartridges, but the ink tanks are quite large, and fairly cheap to refill.
They’re more efficient, too: they use heat-free PrecisionCore print heads, and so EcoTank printers consume less energy, especially compared to power-hungry laser printers.
I’m trying out an Epson EcoTank ET-4750 at the moment (shown above), which is almost 2/3rds the size of the laser multifunction it replaced, and it does all the same things and more; colour printing, scanning direct to the cloud (or email), double-sided printing to save paper and more.
My favourite feature so far is the scan-to-email function though – once the exclusive domain of expensive office multifunctions, this diminutive printer makes it easy to get paper forms into your inbox, ready to email off to get things done.
When it comes time to refill your EcoTank printer, forget about paying hundreds of dollars for new ink cartridges which are messy and fiddly to install – refill ink bottles start at just $14.95.
The Epson EcoTank ET-4750 printer retails for $649 recommended with free delivery, which is a little dearer than the typical “loss leader” multifunction you might find on the shelves, but there are cheaper printers in the range, too, starting at $299 for a stand-alone printer, and $449 for a basic multi-function.