Printer ink might be the most expensive liquid you buy—and tests from Consumer Reports show that some printers use far more of it than others, to clean print heads and for other maintenance chores. The extra cost of using those models can add up to $100 or more a year.
The ink usage tests we've conducted in recent years consist of printing pages continuously in big batches. But some of our readers were able to print far fewer pages than we did in our tests. One reason, our engineers believed, was that those readers were printing intermittently, perhaps a handful of pages a few times a week, rather than continuously.
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So we devised a new test, in which we printed 30 pages, in batches of two or three pages, once or twice every day or two (skipping weekends) for three weeks. And we shut off the printer between sessions. The results confirmed our suspicions: In intermittent use, plenty of models delivered half or less of their ink to the page, and a few managed no more than 20 to 30 percent. "The High Cost of Wasted Printer Ink" tells the whole story.
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