Inkjet Colour Printer: Troublesome inks?

15 Nov 2005
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Cook Islands
I have been using laser printers for years, fast, smudge-free, sharp B&W

However I suppose sooner or later I will have to get a colour squirter for photos

I have just seen a HP Deskjet F4180 All-in-One Printer, Scanner and Copier where the price is less than a replacement set of ink cartridges :eek: Obviously HP hope to trick the customer into buying this cheapo printer and then spending hundreds of pounds on overpriced inks.

I currently don't see myself printing photos often and will use the laser for everything else.

I have heard that if you don't use them frequently, the inks dry out and you have to use a cleaning cycle which makes them run out even faster. is that still true?
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Hi John

Well do you really need an all-in-one printer?? More to go wrong!

I would first check that the new printer includes normal capacity cartridges and not reduced demo ones that will run out in no time at all!

In my experience HP cartridges will be fine as long as you are printing every other month or so.
I have had an HP1210 PSC all-in-one for almost five years with no problems.
Prints very good photos when using photo paper and set the settings to picture quality.
I need a scanner and the printer for setting up the pub quizzes that I do and my 5 year old AIO has given excellent results with compatible cartridges for about the last three years.
Get my cartridges from here and have never had a problem with the supplier or the cartridges.
Making a decision on a new printer is an individual thing because no-one else knows all your printing requirements but what I would suggest is take a look around the major supermarkets and make a note of make mode and price of what each is offering. Then check out a site like I mentioned and see what cartridges will cost.
I probably do a little more than the average amount of domestic printing and I use 3 to 4 colour and 5 to 6 black cartridges a year for my HP.

I use a Dell A920 which came bundled free with my Inspiron (stolen a couple of months back) just over 4 years ago. This is an All-in-one printer scanner and is still going strong. I was originally appalled at the replacement cost of the cartridges – about £20 a piece - as these (at the time) could only be obtained via Dell so used a £10 JR Inkjet refill kit. This gave about three fills to both the colour and B&W cartridge. On the third kit now so this method is very economical. The original B&W cartridge packed up after about 12 refills about six months ago so got a remanufactured replacement for about £11 – seems that Dell have relaxed their stringency with regard to copyright etc. Print quality never really been a problem.

My folks have a Canon Pixma MP130 printer/scanner bought for about £38 from WH Smith. Again, the cartridges from Canon are priced pretty high so the refill kit has been deployed twice. The quality of prints is very high for everyday use though proper photograph paper has not been used so far.

It seems that the cartridges can only be removed and replaced a certain number of times before they cease to function. Evidently this is due to the printed circuit contacts in the print head being pretty vulnerable. I think it was is known as built-in obsolescence.

Good luck with your choice. ;)
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I've got an HP1350 all in one and I don't do that much printing to be honest. I think my cartridges had been in for over a year!

One thing I noticed with the HP cartridges is that they actually have more ink in them than other makes - so even though you think the cartridge is expensive, you're getting more ink in it. And I just got Tesco own compatibles last week and they seem fine - and a good few quid cheaper.

BTW - they also do Dell compatibles as well
Unfortunately, for occasional use you are a little bit stuffed either way. HP are quite good at the print heads not getting dried out, unlike epsons. However, they cartridges expire. It's a bit of a cheek, as they would still work fine (I've tried it by changing the date on the PC) If the printer thinks that the cartridges have expired it won't print. Do you really need a colour printer. I used to do all my photos but after having heads clog and using gallons of ink to clean them, I gave up and just send them to Photobox