We already knew that many printers waste a lot of ink (and money), but if you're suspicious that your printer is a repeat offender, PC World rounds up five steps to help you determine whether your printer's stealing your time and money.
The article addresses some of the more obvious cost issues—e.g., cheap printers that charge exorbitant prices for ink refills—but they've to make things a little more scientific. For example, the article suggests learning the cost per page of your ink cartridges by taking "the cost of the cartridge and divide it by the page yield—the number of pages the manufacturer says the cartridge can print". Then compare the price of your ink cartridge with these average costs (as calculated by PC World):
Plain black text: 4 cents to 5 cents per page Simple four-color page: 12 cents to 14 cents per page
Monochrome laser/LED printers:
Plain black text: 1 cent to 2.5 cents per page
Color laser/LED printers:
Plain black text: 2 cents to 3 cents per page Simple four-color page: 12 cents to 15 cents per page
If your ink or toner cartridge price-per-page cost more than these averages, you may want to rethink your printer choice.
Similarly, the article calls out printers that require special paper, slow printers that steal your time, and printers with cheap paper trays that are bound to break in time. They've even put together most wanted lists for the biggest offenders (like the image above calling out printers with deceivingly expensive ink costs) in each category. Hit up PC World for the full low-down, and let us know how you navigate the pricey world of printing costs in the comments.