If you think buying a low cost ink jet printer is a good buy think again. Manufacturers of this class of printers are not about to tell anyone what the true cost of ownership is for this style of printer. A general rule of thumb is the cheaper the printer, the more expensive the disposable costs for refills are.

Here’s an example according to Jeremy Shulman, vice president of operations at Relnk Technology using a $55 inkjet printer with an ink tank costing $19.00 but with a page yield of only 170. If you only print seven pages a day times 300 days you get 2,100 pages, an ink bill of $235.60 a year. Own the printer for three years, you shell out $700 or 13 times the cost of the printer. Seven pages a day is conservative, a small business could very easily print 50 pages a day times 300 days a year equates to printing 15,000 pages annually, your ink bill will be $1,596.

But help is on the way, HP has come out with a new class of printers that seems to fill the gap between those cheap inkjet printers that cost you a fortune and laser jet printers. Take the HP Officejet Pro 8500 wireless All-in-One, cost about $300.00, it’s fairly fast, quite and is free of the usual inkjet annoyances and glitches. It takes four cartridges, black, cyan, magenta and yellow and the page yields are very impressive, 2,200 for the black and 1,400 for the colors.

Small Business Computing did some testing, they got a page count of 1,670 pages before the black cartridge ran out, not bad for an inkjet. Using that number the cost per page drops to just a little more than 2 cents when you pay $35.99 for a cartridge. Printing 15,000 pages in a year your ink bill now is $300.00, down from the whopping $1,596 in the above example. So when buying an inkjet don’t go just by the cost of the printer, check the price of the cartridges, what the page yield is and how much you print in a month or year, then run the numbers.

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