Which? tests uncover shocking printer ink waste
Is your printer hitting you in the pocket? Last year, we exclusively revealed the shocking amount of ink that printers waste when cleaning their print heads in between occasional printing jobs. This is ink you’re paying for that will never hit your printed pages.
We’ve since changed our printer tests to measure the amount of extra ink used by a printer if you only print occasionally and to work out how this affects printing costs. This means that for every printer we test, we can now show you just how much ink it wastes if you only print once in a while.
Find out more about how we test printers.
Our most recent tests show that prints from some printers cost three times more when printed over a period weeks compared to printing the same number of pages in one go.
Testing printer ink waste
The Epson XP-30 is a cheap printer that looks like a bargain at just £35. However, our tests found that it uses more than three times as much ink if you print occasionally, rather than continuously.
It would cost you £3.11 to print 10 colour graphics and 20 mono text pages in one go, but £10.56 to print these pages over a few weeks, so a cheap printer doesn’t necessarily mean cheap prints.
We compared the amount of ink used to print 10 colour graphic and 20 black-and-white text pages when you print continuously, versus printing the same number of pages occasionally over a period of weeks, with the printer switched off in between.
Which printers produce the cheapest prints?
When it comes to ink costs it’s impossible to walk into a store and know which is the best value printer in terms of realistic ink use. We’ve been speaking to manufacturers to push for more clarity around ink use in printers.
Cleaning the print heads may be necessary to maintain good print quality from an inkjet printer, but some printers are clearly more frugal than others in terms of the amount of extra ink used for cleaning, as our tests show.
We’ll keep testing for this additional ink use with every printer that goes to our lab, so you can understand which printers offer the best value if you only print occasionally.
In a poll of 1,045 readers on the Which? Conversation website, 79% of respondents told us they felt that their printer wastes too much ink.
Is your printer wasting ink? Let us know on Which? Conversation.
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