There’s nothing I hate quite so much as printers. As an IT professional, printers are the bane of my existence; they’re awful to manage, awful to support and awful for end users, no matter how they’re configured. But for business, they’re a necessary evil.
For the home, I hate the decades long business model of selling a dirt-cheap printer with ridiculously expensive cartridges. And I despise the act of printing. When I’m forced to print, it usually means I’m signing a contract, dealing with a bureaucracy or about to spend a lot of money. So I was surprised to finally meet a printer I liked.
The printer was Epson’s Expression ET-2750, which sat in a review pile for at least three months before I bothered opening the box. The ET-2750 is one of Epson’s Ecotank printers, which costs a lot up front at around $500, but includes enough ink for over 6500 black and white or 5200 full colour printed pages. Despite the high upfront cost, the total cost of ownership is probably a lot less than the $60 printer that needs a new cartridge every six pages. Canon have a similar line of printers that don’t hide the cost with their PIXMA line. Whichever you choose, you’ll be saving money and the environment in the long run if you need to print often.
Printers like the Epson ET-2750 cost a lot more up front, but you don’t need to constantly buy new ink.
I don’t need to print often, which is why it took me so long to unbox the Epson. But once I did, I started finding uses for it. We started printing off our favourite photos, something we previously did every few months with the app Picture Postie. Using photograph paper, the Epson provided instant gratification and higher quality images than the online service.
We then started using the printer as part of our child’s iPad time. When it comes to introducing technology to children, one consistent recommendation is the idea of mixing technology with real world, hands on play. Using the printer, we could create digital scrapbooks and letters to grandma on the iPad, then print them off via AirPrint. Our three year old was amazed to see the creations she made with her fingers on glass turn into printed pages, ready to take to daycare or to post to a loved one.
After months of using the printer, we haven’t needed to replace the ink it shipped with. When the time comes, the ink is easily refillable, and the bottles cost about $30, which works out to less than half a cent per page.
This model has a bunch of other features — most notably scanning — that we’re yet to explore, but for the small business or family that prints often, I can happily recommend an Epson Ecotank printer.
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