Friday, April 14, 2006

For the past week and a bit, my laser printer has told me that it's running out of colour toner, namely yellow, cyan, and magenta. The main reason why I decided to get a colour laser printer was due to the fact that inkjet printers tend to burn through cartridges much faster, and are by extention more expensive to maintain.

This is referred to as the "razor and blades" business model, in which a relatively inexpensive peripheral requires the purchase of consumable products. In this case, the printer cost is negligable until you factor in the consumable ink. As well, clauses within the warranty indicate that using ink and toner "not recommended by the manufacturer" will void the warranty.

Which brings us back to the story. According to the diagnostic tools bundled with the printer, I am down to less than 1% toner in the colour cartridges, which means that i only have 8 pages left, based on a 12.5% page coverage. After a few quick phone calls and searching the 'net, I determine that replacement cartridges will cost around the nighbourhood of $99.99 USD + conversion if ordered directly from HP, while they don't seem to be available from outlets such as London Drugs.

So, I call up the local toner refiller shop and they'd be willing to refill preexisting cartridges for $99/throw. Noting that I still have "8 pages left," I decide to burn off as much toner as possible by printing up numerous copies of my Major Studio Production cover. About 30 or 40 pages later, I still have "8 pages left."

I really don't know who I'm supposed to believe at this point. Given the number of shenanigans that computer printer companies have been known to play with consumers, this doesn't really surprise me at all. My printer is equipped with 2000-sheet capacity colour cartridges, of which, it has only printed about 700-some odd pages. Even after 30-40 pages on the "8 pages left" status, there is no deterioration in image quality.

Methinks I still have several months to go before it actually starts running out of toner. Considering that I haven't been doing tons of colour printing and it's been running for less than a year, there's really no reason for this at all.

And then I discovered a company that sells compatible catridges (4000-sheet capacity) at $89/throw, shipping included. And they're local too. I'm going with them when my printer toner goes for real.

Sphere: Related Content

No comments: