Tag Archives: Inkjet printer

Inke The Inkjet Refiller Goes After The Big Boys

My favourite inkjet refill machine, the Singaporean-made Inke, is going for the big time.

A release from the company says that Inke islaunching versions compatible with 305 different kinds of printers and 12 brands including HP, Lexmark, Samsung, Kodak, Compaq, Sharp, Sony, NewGen Sys, Apple, Pitney Bowes and Apollo. They are as follows:

  • INKE LX-70 to refill the Lexmark 70 (12A1970) and Lexmark 75 (12A1975)
  • INKE LX-50 to refill Lexmark 17G0050 and Sharp AJ0C50B
  • INKE HS-29 to refill HP 29 (51629A), HP 20 (C6614DN) and HP 19 (C6628AN) cartridges.

The devices are beautifully designed, pretty unmessy, and inexpensive: Each unit costs Euro 70 before VAT and include 3 ink tanks. Each additional ink tank costs Euro 10. Inke reckons “a user can save up to Euro 350 in ink costs over a 3 year period”. I don’t think they’re exaggerating.

The old INKE HS-45 is now available in Europe, or at least in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Greece, Spain, Italy, Hungary and Poland. Inke says it plans nine models altogether this year. I’ve been using mine for nearly a year and it’s been great.

View: Why Are Printers So Tricky?

 I’ve written before about how printer manufacturers gouge us by selling us cheap printers but expensive cartridges. But either I’m missing something or these guys won’t stop at anything to make a bit more cash: I noticed for the first time yesterday that, with my HP DeskJet 640c, if I change the settings to print from colour to black (or vice versa) the software will automatically change my Draft output setting to Normal — meaning I’ll use more ink. Where is the justification for that? I can’t think of any, but I bet I’m not the only one who only notices the change after I’ve printed a page or two — if then. Sleazy.
 
Remedy? Bypass the HP printer software entirely using something like FinePrint — it also helps you print more onto less paper. Oh, and refill your cartridges using the wonderful Inke. Then the printer manufacturers end up being the patsies, selling you a cheap printer but not making any money off you with overpriced ink.
 

News: One Victory For Ink Jet Companies

 Somewhat bizarre ruling from a U.S. jury in favour of what I think are some rather dodgy practices on behalf of printer manufacturer HP. The Herald-Sun reports that the jury concluded that the average consumer purchasing a Hewlett-Packard printer did not expect that the cartridges provided with the printers would be the same as full replacement cartridges. It also concluded that Hewlett-Packard adequately disclosed to the average consumer that the cartridges provided with the printers would be half-filled with ink. This despite the fact that the only disclosure is on the inside of the box, according to techdirt.
 
Similar lawsuits have been brought in 32 other states against Hewlett-Packard, and the company has won 13 of them, all before the cases went to trial. The trial in Orange County Superior Court was the first of the class-action suits that went to a full trial.

News: “Champagne or ink, sir?”

The chips are down
 
  Unsurprisingly, computer printer cartridges are more expensive than vintage champagne. An investigation by British consumer group Which? published yesterday found that “Epson inkjet cartridges stopped printing even though in some cases there was enough ink to print over a third more pages”.
 
 
Here’s the full press release:
 
“Many of the printers tested gave premature warnings to change ink and toner cartridges, but most gave users the option of continuing printing. However, embedded into Epson’s ink cartridges are chips that stop the cartridge working before the ink runs out. A Which? researcher managed to override this system and print up to 38 per cent more good quality pages, even though the chips stated that the cartridge was empty.
 
“Epson cartridges are pricey – a T026201 cartridge costs about £21 and holds approximately 12ml of ink. This works out at around £1.75 per millilitre for ink, which makes it over seven times more expensive than vintage champagne (a bottle of 1985 Dom Perignon works out at about 23p per millilitre).
 
“Epson said that customers are free to reset these chips to get more ink out, but it will continue to use them ‘to protect the customer from accidentally damaging their printer or producing sub-standard print quality, by unknowingly draining the ink cartridge and damaging the print head.’
 
“Which? experts think that damaging the print head is unlikely if consumers stop printing as soon as they see a drop in quality.”
 
I’ve harped on before about the sleazy price of cartridges. I hadn’t thought of comparing it to bubbly, though. Good one.