Uncategorized Writing tips

A New Printer

Time to junk the old printer. It was an inexpensive Epson, lasted about two years, had terrible print head problems. Always delivering fuzzy copy. And it ran through ink quickly, although all printers do. I remember a Consumer Reports’ article on ink cartridges. They cut open several and found half the space inside the cartridge was empty. I briefly looked at laser printers. In each case the cartridges upon replacement would cost more than the printer new. Sigh.

Went instead with a moderately priced HP inkjet.  A HP OfficeJetPro 8710. $129. Then I enrolled in their ink subscription plan. There are many price levels. I went with $4.99 a month for 100 pages a month. Unused pages roll over but the monthly cost stays the same. First three months free with the printer purchase. HP sends ink to my door when a cartridge gets low. Sixty dollars is about what I would spend on cartridges each year but this way I never run out of ink and I never have to find a store out of stock. The plan runs only month to month and can be cancelled at any time. The printer talks to HP over the net.

Setup took about an hour and fifteen minutes. There’s an incredible number of steps with a printer these days. You have to connect it to your wireless network, register the printer online, give your billing information to HP, download software drivers and so on.

And although it may not be worth it to most people, I am trying a fancy inkjet paper. It’s called HP Bright White Inkjet. Compared to my normal paper, this expensive paper has a wonderful sheen and a brightness to it. It’s a 24 pound paper so it will feed into your printer without a problem. But it’s denser and you can’t see through it easily. It’ll make double sided printing better, with less bleed-through. Maybe something to consider when you have to run a special report. $15 for a ream. Ouch.

Update: After 23 pages printed, HP is sending me three new color cartridges and one new black. The ink levels in the existing cartridges are in no way low, however, I think HP is sending me them in advance of what they predict my use will be. I recently printed a 16 page report that was heavy on graphics. HP must think I will be using ink at that rate for the rest of the month. (With a few free trial months on their plan I may be. 🙂 ) At least I will have plenty of ink on hand, even if I don’t need the cartridges right away.

One last note. HP says “Monthly plans and savings are based on pages printed, not cartridges used.” This means people printing photos and using lots of ink will not be limited by the amount of cartridges they need. They’ll just be billed by the page. I wonder how long HP will keep this condition? I am always staggered by how much ink a simple color project requires.



By thomasfarley01

Business writer and graphic arts gadfly.

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