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How to get the most out of your ink cartridges
on 18 September 2009
First and foremost, this is a brilliant printer and the sheet feed scanner has transformed the way I now store letters that I get through the post.
For storing letters, it is now a simple matter of feeding them into the scanner and then keeping the PDFs on my PC (suitably backed up I hasten to add).
However, this isn't the main reason for writing this review nor, if you've read the title, for you reading it.
Now onto cartridges... Yes, the price of almost all ink jet printers is artificially low to get you to buy them and the manufacturer makes his profit on the cartridges (everyone must know that by now). The set of cartridges that come with it aren't the full capacity, but that's what everyone expects.
I have seen many reviews where people have complained about getting as little as 17 pages from a set of cartridges. Having used Epson printers for quite few years now, I can honestly say that the cartridges do last well if you follow five simple rules.
1. The first is bit obviously really, but printing photographs does take a lot of ink. Cutting back in this area is one thing you might consider - don't give me any credit for this one, it really just plain common sense, the rest are better...
2. Leave your printer switched on the whole time. If you switch your printer off, you will waste loads of ink. As part of the power on sequence, Epson printers clean the print heads. This uses a lot of ink. Indeed it would even be possible, just by switching off and on, to use a complete set of ink cartridges without printing a single page! But, I hear you say, what about the environment? Well, this printer is "Energy Star". This means it has its own energy saving mechanisms built into it to help reduce the power consumption when it is not in use. At least this quells my conscience.
3. Do not replace the ink cartridges when the printer tells that they are low. Epson printers are very pessimistic about the state of ink in the cartridges. Indeed, my prompt today to write this review is that I have just replaced a cartridge; nearly a month after I was first warned about the ink being low. I've printed close on 200 pages of mixed text and graphics in that time with it telling me that the Cyan needed replacement...
4. This is linked to (3) above. Only replace the ink cartridge when the printer refuses to print. You won't lose any quality as you get near to the end of the ink. The printer will not compromise on print quality. The main point to note here is that you should order spare ink when you're warned that it is low, but only replace when the printer actually stops.
5. Finally, this one saves you both ink and makes printing faster. Change the default print quality to text for most of your usage. Unless you are printing photographs, this is probably perfectly acceptable quality for the vast majority of your usage. You can always change the print quality on an as-needed basis when you do want really top quality. The added bonus is that printing is also faster.
(To change the default quality, go into <Control Panel>, and then right click on the printer icon. Then select and you can then change the printing preferences - I suggest <Text> is a good option. When you come to print, you can always change the setting for that job only by clicking on the tab as part of the print dialogue.)
I hope you find this useful.