Is Your Printer Wasting Your Ink And Money?

Is Your Printer Wasting Your Ink And Money?

Everyone’s been there: You just bought an expensive ink cartridge for your printer, you use it for a while, and then suddenly—much sooner than seems reasonable—your printer tells you that you’re either low on or out of ink. Suspicious of the amount of ink wasted by adhering to the low ink warnings of popular printers, PC World hit the lab, testing just how much ink is left in “dead” cartridges. The results:

Many manufacturer-branded (OEM) and third-party (aftermarket) vendor cartridges leave a startling amount of ink unused when they read empty. In fact, some inkjet printers force users to replace black ink cartridges when the cartridge is nearly half full.

In most cases, printers were more apt to call it quits early on third-party cartridges. You can do a lot to offset high cost of printing—many of which we’ve covered before. First and foremost, you can always refill your ink cartridges yourself and save a ton of money in the process. Software applications like previously mentioned HP Smart Web Printing and GreenPrint are designed to help you cut down on wasted pages. If you really want to conserve, check out our guide to smart and easy ways to reduce your printing costs.

When possible, I suspect most of us continue printing until the results have visibly deteriorated after receiving low ink messages. But for those of you whose printers refuse to print after you’re warned of low ink, this news is probably all the more frustrating.


  • I recently bought a Lexmark X5495 3-in-one. It went through the first 2 ink cartdriges faster than I thought. After researching, I found that the printer somehow contacts Lexmarks server on a regular basis reporting ink use. Also, the printer will shut down and refuse to work if a cartridge other than Lexmark is used. They have you over a barrel buying their ink. Big brother is in my printer and I can’t get him out.

    • I was doing some research in some sites that said all this stuff and a Canon that looked really good was said to suck up the ink like that, so I didn’t buy it.
      I did, however, buy an Epson Artisan 800 which I really like a lot, however, it is also sucking up the ink like every two weeks they are all low.
      I printed out some business cards this morning with color and I just put the whole page down on my desk. Now that I look at it the whole thing ran and smeared. What do I do about that. More wasted color ink. I am quite p—-d.
      Thanks for letting me vent.

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