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Printer for basic infrequent use & wireless

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Depending how infrequent, you may want to look at the HP Instant Ink printers.

 

If you print less than 20 pages per month you'll be eligible for their free tier (basically you get free ink, for the lifetime of the printer).

 

Other tiers are 50 pages for £1.99. 100 pages for £3.99 or 300 pages for £7.99 (it makes no difference if you print high quality photos or text in B&W, each is classed as a page - so it makes sense to set the quality to maximum on every print job), and unused pages carry over to the next month.

 

You'll find printers out there with cheaper per page cost in terms of ink (except the free tier, of course). These are very much about convenience, in that you'll never run out of ink. Ink levels are monitored and as soon as you start to run low they'll post out full replacement cartridges and a (freepost) recycle bag for your old cartridges.

 

You can get a suitable printer, including 4 months worth of ink, for <£40 (i.e. HP ENVY 5030)

 

Thankyou, I will go for this one after I research where to get one from

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Thankyou, I will go for this one after I research where to get one from

 

John Lewis. £39.99

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Crikey, how on earth are HP making any money on that? The whole reason printers got so cheap is they supposedly made all the profit on the inks. :/

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I see no mention of a free tier there, the pricing discussed certainly makes more sense. After all, it would make no sense for them to roll out that service unless they expected to make MORE profit than just selling ink normally. Although obviously a lot of the subscription is to ensure you are paying them for ink, not some cheap refills/replacements.

 

Ultimately I still prefer a laser. It might have cost me ~£250 but I have had it 3+ years and not replaced the starter toner yet, despite it being reported as "very low" for 2+ years. There is also the reassurance that postage labels are not going to run, as even the best ink cannot guarantee completely waterproof as it IS water based ink after all. Toner is wax and plastic based so looks better than ink on plain paper.

 

If you want photos then you can still get them done professionally relatively cheap anyway and of a better quality than a home printer. Although obviously if all you want is a "good enough" photo then an ink based printer with budget photo paper is probably better value, but then that can also apply to lasers with again the benefit of not having ink you can smudge shortly after printing, that will fade quicker in sunlight and generally can be a little unpredictable at times in quality.

 

Bottom line, you really have to seriously consider how you are going to use it before deciding on a printer. I switched from inkjet to laser after going long periods without printing and finding the cartridges dried up or the ink went off in storage, causing it change colour.

Edited by AlexAtkin

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