ArsTechnica is commenting on study that says on average, “more than half of the ink from inkjet cartridges is wasted when users toss them in the garbage” because their prints report they’re out of ink.
The study was commissioned by the Epson and not surprisingly their cartridges/printers were amongst the highest rated. Lexmark, Canon, HP, Kodak, and Brother were also tested.
That’s the first problem. Printers routinely report that they are low on ink even when they aren’t, and in some cases there are still hundreds of pages worth of ink left.
The second issue is a familiar one: multi-ink cartridges can be rendered “empty” when only one color runs low. Multi-ink cartridges store three to five colors in a single cartridge. Printing too many photos from the air show will kill your cartridge faster than you can say “blue skies,” as dominant colors (say, “blue”) are used faster than the others. Therein lies the reason Epson backed the study: the company is singing the praises of its single-ink cartridge approach, an approach which is necessarily more efficient in terms of wasted ink because there’s only one color per cartridge, and thus only one cartridge to replace when that color runs out.
The Kodak’s EasyShare 5300 faired the worst in the study. I guess Lexmark and Brother improved since I last looked at them. They always left over a lot of ink and had higher than average refill costs for most of their less expensive printer models. HP was pretty bad as well but typically a little better. I always found Canon’s most cost affective and their cartridges don’t seem to have much ink left in them when the printer reports them empty.
With many supermarkets and other stores now offering on site cartridge refills you might want to hang on to your old cartridges before sending them the landfill. Just be careful not to refill cartridges that don’t have the print head built into it as if there is a problem with the refill ink it could ruin the printer.
[tags]inkjet printers, inkjet printer, inkjet cartridges[/tags]