I have two Hewlett-Packard Apple AirPrint enabled printers at our house. One I bought for the family, the other I bought to bring to school (out of my own income). I brought the school printer home last year as students kept printing to it (not understanding or even caring that I was buying the ink and paper out of my own pocket), and we have been using our other printer as we do.
There were two problems: first, I have two young boys (5 and 9) who like to print things, and ink is expensive. As in ridiculously expensive. We are at the point where we need to buy another color cartridge for our printer (HP 60), at $25 each, or for $34 for a set of black and color cartidges. It really adds up.
I was trying to exchange our used cartridges for credit at Office Depot, but it turns out that you can only exchange ten cartridges a month (we had a stockpile of nearly 50) and you have to spend at least $10 a month to get the $2 credit per cartridge. We had exchanged 30 cartridges before figuring that out (I had to e-mail customer service), so we are no longer participating in that process. We were hoping to earn a good amount of money towards a new printer–but Office Depot’s policy/strategy makes it impossible to do that. Having to spend $10 to get $20 back that expires is not a good compromise.
We were intrigued by the promise of the newer Epson EcoTank printers that use refillable ink (very inexpensive on Amazon from other sources) for a printer that doesn’t cost that much more than a new HP printer. So, as we needed another set of cartidges, it was time to buy a new printer. I headed to Sam’s Club last week and bought the entry level Epson ET-2650 for just under $290 with tax.
Early reviews criticized print quality and connection to Apple devices–but in our experience so far, the printing looks fine, and it connects perfectly to our network and our devices–no worse than our HP printers.
We can now print in color without thinking of the price to do so. We can let the boys print things when they want to. My wife can print things without worrying about running out of ink. I can print things for school without having to worry about sending them via e-mail to print on school printers (for large orders, I would still send items to our district printing office).
And I will try to sell the printers, as is (needing ink), on Craigslist this summer for $25 each. Reastically, it might be a year of printing in our house and the EcoTank will pay for itself (particularly if you factor in the printing we are doing now that we were avoiding before).
I metion the printer on the blog, as you might need a printing solution for your home or office, or you, too, might be tired of the cost of ink cartridges for your printer. The EcoTank does require filling–but I don’t mind this–and you don’t need to take your empty cartridges to a specialty cartridge store to be refilled, either. The refill process is pretty painless…certainly easier than the old “fill your own cartridges” I used in previous printers (before manufacturers started putting smart chips on the cartridges that track how many copies they have printed).