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 "...Color Laser Printer Instead of an Ink-Jet Printer&q 
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Post "...Color Laser Printer Instead of an Ink-Jet Printer&q
When to Buy a Color Laser Printer Instead of an Ink-Jet Printer
by: Mark Vander Ploeg



Computer and technology products continue to improve, and color printers are no different. If you liked the printer your friend bought last week, just wait. You'll be able to get one better and cheaper next week.

So, if you're in the market for a new home or small office printer what should you get, ink-jet or laser? My short answer - laser. Let me explain.

When black ink-jet printers first came out you had to pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $500. You could get a replacement ink cartridge for 20 bucks and you're good to go. Or, you could buy an ink refill kit and refill your cartridge for a fraction of the cost of a new cartridge. Well, those days are long gone. Now you pay twenty bucks for the printer and $500 for the ink! Well, not quite, but it seems that way.

I've worked on printers with a single color cartridge and with one cartridge for each of the three standard colors and either way, you end up paying a lot for ink. So what do a lot of people do to save money on ink? They use their printer as little as possible. While this may seem like a reasonable solution it creates another problem; the ink dries up. Then when you go to print it's all streaky because the ink has dried up and clogged the microscopic jets. So what to do now? You run your printer through the cleaning process, which, unfortunately, USES A TON OF INK!

Here's the answer, buy ink cartridges on sale and stock up. Oops, wrong answer. Ink cartridges have an expiration date and usually don't work after that date.

How about refilling? Most cartridges today use some kind of “smart” technology that knows when it's empty and won't work when refilled - plus it can be a real mess.

The reason most ink-jet printers are so inexpensive today is that printer manufactures use the same business model as cell phone companies, that is, give away the phone (printer) and make the profit by regularly selling minutes (cartridges). Add to that the natural trend of computer products getting cheaper and the fact that today's printers are really cheaply made (notice I didn't say “inexpensive,” I said “cheap”) and you'll see $29 ink-jet printers all the time.

But don't think you can just buy a new printer whenever your ink runs out, because most printers are sold with “starter” cartridges which are less than 50% full.

So, what about color laser printers? Color laser printers have been around for quite a few years now, costing about ten grand and weighing 100 pounds when the first came out. Now you can get one for under $300 that weighs less than 40 pounds. So obviously it costs more to purchase a laser printer than an ink-jet printer, BUT, the cost per page is much less with laser and the hassle is greatly reduced as well.

So, for routine small office and home use these days, I recommend color laser printers.


About The Author

Mark Vander Ploeg

Saving money when buying quality computer equipment requires research. Mark has more articles about computer problems and solutions on his website, http://www.thattechblog.com


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[Note: Due to size restriction, this articles title has to be abreviated. Apologies to Mark Vander Ploeg. - Admin.]

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Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:02 am
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