13. June 2014

This week, our inkjet printer kicked the bucket – but it’s not really a bad thing, since the Canon Pixma iP4200 lasted almost eight years on a single print head and the same set of refilled ink cartridges. It was only our third inkjet printer and the fifth altogether, but the one that lasted the longest. Bought in August 2006, this printer has gone through thousands of pages of text and hundreds of photos, all in absolutely brilliant quality especially considering that it had originally cost less than 90 Euro. Actually just the print head is broken – the printer itself is still working, but since a replacement head would cost almost as much as a completely new printer, it’s now time to buy a new one now.

I can almost hear the cries, “Inkjet printing is terribly expensive!”, but that’s simply not true. While there are mechanisms in place that try to prevent refilling the ink tanks, they can be easily overridden on Canon printers so you can just re-use the original cartridges. There are no real ink level sensors on these tanks, the printer drivers just decide that ink tanks get empty after a certain amount of pages. This is why switching off this feature is absolutely no problem – after all, the ink tanks are transparent and you can always check how much ink is left by just opening the printer hood and pop out one of them to look at it.

Refill ink sets cost between 15 and 20 Euro for a set of five 20ml bottles of ink – I have been using the KMP RU5 set since the beginning and never had any problems with it. The refilling takes a bit of practice and is kind of messy, since you need to squirt the ink with a syringe into a hole you have to drill yourself into the top of the cartridge, but if you get used to it, you can refill all five cartridges in less than fifteen minutes. Each set of bottles is enough for about four refills, which is ridiculously cheap considering a complete set of original Canon cartridges costs about 50 Euro!

This is why our new printer is going to be another Canon – the Pixma iP7250 to be specific. Originally, we wanted to buy it in our local electronics store, but guess which printer was the only one they didn’t have in stock anymore? This is exactly why we do our electronics shopping mostly online nowadays. If the local stores can’t keep up then I’m sorry, but I had to order the printer from Amazon anyway and it’s probably going to arrive tomorrow or on Monday.

The good news is that it’s going to cost only about 80 Euro – hopefully it will last as long as its predecessor, who is not going to be put away, but into storage as backup and in case I can find a replacement print head one day that does not cost as much as a new printer. But I’m excited about the new printer – it has more resolution and even WiFi, which will come in very handy as a network print server. Maybe I will do a little product review, but done right this could take some time – nevertheless, stay tuned for more printer shenanigans and maybe an article about our printer history all the way back to the late eighties with the dot-matrix noisemakers :-).

Kategorie: Computer
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