I *Heart* My OfficeJet G85

The inkjet printer market cracks me up. So many advances in print quality and technology, and yet most major manufacturers seem to design their printers to drive the sale of ink cartridges. Why do you think they are so eager to give many printers away these days? I mean… really… have you seen the size of some of the ink cartridges on many new inkjet printers? Do they have a shrink-ray on the assembly line, or did they leave them in the dryer too long? It seems like each year, they get smaller. As Gnomies, this is probably not much of a revelation.

Which brings me to why I love my HP OfficeJet G85 all-in-one. It’s been my printing, scanning, copying, and faxing workhorse for over four years now. It won’t win any prizes for print quality, although it holds its own on text and basic graphics. Plus it’s built like a Sherman tank. And speaking of tanks, its ink cartridges are massive compared to the carts I’ve seen in most comparable AIOs on the market today. To give you an idea, I ran a little experiment on ink cartridge life. It wasn’t a scientific experiment by any stretch, but it did reinforce what I already knew.

Almost a year ago, I purchased some replacement carts (it takes one black + one tri-color cartridge). For yuks, I thought I’d try an OfficeMax brand cart, just to see how long it would last over time. When I put the carts in, I printed out a self-test page that contained a page count. I marked the date on it, then taped it to the side of the printer. I actually had forgotten I did that, when I noticed the print quality was fading. So I popped out the old ones and put in some new HP brand replacement carts. As I said, it was almost a year ago when I started the experiment, and when I looked at the new self-test page, the old carts had lasted nearly 800 pages. Perhaps a testament to the OfficeMax brand carts, but more likely an indicator of the volume of ink they contained. I’ll let you know how long the HP carts last me, but it may be a while.

Ink carts are a major cash cow for printer makers. Everybody knows it. Roughly a year ago, HP just stopped short of filing a lawsuit against CartridgeWorld, citing patent infringement. Personally, my theory is that it felt a threat against that cash cow, and patent infringement is just a convenient cover. Once in a while, I’ll see some sexy new all-in-one gracing the aisles of my nearest big box store. It slices, dices, has built-in Wi-Fi, and a color LCD. But it has tiny ink tanks. Small tanks = no, thanks.

[tags]InkJet, printer cartridge, toner, ink, printer, print, OfficeJet, G85, all in one[/tags]

  • Johnny

    I love my G85 also! Or rather, my wife does. I bought it for her business about 4 years ago, back when the office supply superstores gave out 25% off coupon codes for online orders (ah, those were the days!). It has performed flawlessly since. I’ve bought a few throwaway printers for myself and have been OK with them, but whenever I needed more muscle I would sneak and use her printer. I am currently using an HP 812C that I bought at a consignment sale for $5 and it’s been great, way better than those throwaway printers. I’ve tried to talk her into getting a new one but I cannot deny the durability and quality of the G85.

    Also, we’ve used different brand carts and they are all OK but the HP seem to produce better pictures, though the cheap carts look good with high quality photo paper.

  • Steve

    I love my G85 as well. I got it about 4 years ago as well and have had no problems whatsoever with it! The ink cartridges generally last me about a year or so. I have always used the HP cartridges therefore I cannot comment on other brands.

    G85 Rulz!

  • Ian

    It has been the work horse I had hoped for. When I bought the G85 I planned on getting something else but they had a sale as they where upgrading to a newer version. I got it for around $200 bucks. It has been about 4 years I guess and I also have a Epson Stylus R300 that has also lasted the test of time but the ink issue is a no brainer. The HP outlasted the epson conciderably. Now I wish my ink lasted as long as Matt’s but they do quite well. The G85 is the printer I go to when I have a big job and want fast prints. The over all quality of the prints are great even if it is just an office printer.

  • NOE

    in the last 4 years I’ve bougth 6 different printers for my house, and they allways seem to break, and in my office i’ve had the old faithful g85 always working good, and being use 10 or 20 times more than the one’s at home and still in here working great. it’s a great workhorse.

  • Rick

    I have owned a G85 for about 5 years. I first bought it for my business to supplement my 4400 laser printer. After about 3 weeks it messaged that the color cartridge was low on ink and needed replacing. There had been no sign of fading or streaking. The G85 would permit no further printing. I removed the color cartridge, cleaned the contacts, and reinstalled it. The G85 messaged that this was not the correct cartridge. I installed a new HP cartridge. I also cut opened the “bad” cartridge only to find the lowest reservoir 1/4 full of ink. Since then I have been forced to replace cartridges at an alarming rate, some in as few as 7 to 14 days. I buy HP factory cartridges from the office supply. As a result of the down time and ink costs, I retired the printer 3 years ago from the office and brought it home where I use it once a month. I am still forced to replace the cartridges 2 to 3 times a year. Although mechanically it has never faultered, my G85 is a back hole for cartridges. Two years worth of ink buys a new printer. I am round filing it and searching for another brand. I’m thinking Canon or Panasonic.