Not long ago, there was an urban legend circulating: Offices across the U.S. would purchase brand new printers, use them until the ink ran out, and toss the printers in the dumpster. Then they'd order more printers and start the cycle again.
The reason? Ink. Cartridges had become so expensive, companies decided it was cheaper to buy an entire machine than replace those little plastic units. It's hard to tell whether this story is true, but one thing is for sure: Ink costs way too much, and most people will do anything they can to avoid shelling out for it.
But if you use a printer a lot, there's a solution: "supertank" printers, which use refillable cisterns to keep the ink flowing. That's why our sponsor, Epson, wants you to know about its supertank printer, the ET-2750, and how it will quickly save you money -- and help the environment in the process.
How they work
A supertank printer works the same as any other printer, but instead of using little cartridges, you use an actual bottle of ink. You open a little door on the side of the Epson ET-2750 and squeeze the bottle into the tank, the same way you'd stick a gasoline nozzle into your car.
Here's the exciting part: Each bottle is equivalent to dozens of cartridges, depending on what kinds of materials you print.
When refilling the tank, each bottle is keyed to fit the designated tank depending on color. This is beneficial because it prevents color mix up.
Upfront cost vs. long-term use
A supertank printer, like the Epson ET-2750, is pricey, so you do have to commit to the idea. This model costs about $300, significantly more than your run-of-the-mill inkjet printer at Best Buy.
But consider how much those cartridges cost: Consumer Reports said that the average user could spend more than $500 on ink after four years of use. This is many times the value of a cheap printer. The most basic cartridges can cost about $30 each, while a single bottle of supertank ink can cost about $12 and will last significantly longer.
How much does it actually print?
The Epson ET-2750 arrives with ink already inside. Using just the factory supply, you could print 6,500 black-and-white pieces of paper, as well as 5,200 color pages. If you printed an average of 300 pages per month (typical for most casual users), the supply would last about two years. Meanwhile, you can load reams of 150 sheets in the printer at any given time.
Consider that the typical ink cartridge only yields between 200 and 300 printouts, that's a significant gain. You'd have to buy 30 black-and-white ink cartridges to print the equivalent of the already-installed Workforce ink, amounting to well over $1,000.
The wireless advantage
Whether you work at home or in a crowded office, the last thing you want is a tangle of cords connecting everything together. A wireless system is especially important if you need to move around or connect several different terminals to the same printer.
Unlike many of its competitors, the Epson ET-2750 is affordable and wireless, which makes it easy for an office to coordinate its printing queue. This is great for regular computers and laptops, of course, but it also enables fast-paced workers to print materials directly from their tablets or phones. The EcoTank doesn't just save money, but time and energy as well.
Experts estimate that 1 million ink cartridges are thrown in the garbage every day, amounting to 11 cartridges every second. The ink can contaminate groundwater and the plastic won't biodegrade for millions of years. Yes, you can recycle cartridges, but this process can be annoying and many office workers forget.
Using a super tank printer like the Epson ET-2750 can radically reduce this waste because each bottle of ink offers so much longevity. You won't have to worry about refilling for months or even years, and that container is as easy to recycle as a bottle of motor oil.
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