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No one likes to spend money on a printer. It’s one of the most mundane pieces of tech in any household.
As such, it’s tempting to opt for a model at the cheaper end of the price spectrum. After all, printed text all looks the same to most people, right? No one would know whether your printer was top-of-the-range or plucked out of the bargain basement.
Pieces - Tech - Printer - Balance - Price
Unfortunately, unlike most pieces of tech, choosing a new printer isn’t as simple as finding the right balance between price and features.
You’ve also got to factor in the price of replacement ink cartridges. Cheap printers could end up costing you a lot more in the long run thanks to costly refills.
Pages - Ink - Cleaning - Printheads - Printer
Worse still, it’s not just printing pages that use your ink. Cleaning printheads and other printer maintenance tasks use a significant amount, especially if your printer sits idle for long periods between sessions. Some reports claim maintenance tasks alone could cost you more than $100 per year.
This reality makes manufacturer guidelines for ink mileage inaccurate. They are based on bulk printing, i.e. when you print dozens of sheets in one go. If like most home users, you print a couple of sheets here and there every month, your ink will not go as far as the claims suggest.
Printers - Home - Use - Ink
So, which are the best printers for home use with cheap ink?
May also be available from: Walmart ($379.99); Epson ($379.99); Jet.com ($379.99); B&H ($379.99).
Pick - Ink - Cartridges - Ink - Wells
Our first pick doesn’t use traditional ink cartridges. Instead, it relies on refillable ink wells.
The upfront price of the Epson Expression ET-3700 EcoTank isn’t cheap, but it ships with enough ink for two years of heavy usage—it’s good for 14,000 black pages or 11,200 color pages. According to the manufacturer, that’s roughly equivalent of 30 regular ink cartridges.
And even when the time comes to refill, you...
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