With the spread of personal computing and the burgeoning of the Internet age, there has been, in recent years, a proliferation of data unlike anything the world has ever seen before. In fact, some estimates show that more than 90 percent of humanity’s aggregate historical data footprint was generated only during the last few years, thanks to the ever increasing processing power and storage capabilities of the world’s computers.
Indeed, our civilization has achieved so much in terms of digitization of knowledge and data. It really makes one wonder whether or not printed documents still play a crucial role in our daily lives today. But make no mistake, these paper-based documents remain to be very useful in a lot of applications.
In office environments, printed documents are still widely used for marketing, auditing, and accounting purposes. Furthermore, even in this age of electronic document processing, most legal and official documents, as well as professional reports and proposals, are still normally submitted in hard copy form
Paper-based documents are also the more logical choice when it comes to certain situations simply because they are more practical. For instance, printed documents are still more easily accessible (no fiddling through a device), and it is still much easier to scribble notes or make annotations on paper than on an electronic device. And if you were traveling to a remote location where Internet connectivity is not very reliable or is completely non-existent, then preparing hard copies of your itinerary or map would make a lot more sense.
Printer Ink: Necessary But Expensive:
Printed documents are valuable, but for a lot of consumers, the high prices of many original printer ink and toner products are a cumbersome burden that counterweighs the benefits that hard copies can provide.
In fact, printer ink is one of the most expensive liquids one can buy according to the non-profit organization Consumer Reports. In an article published by the group in 2013, it was revealed that even the cheapest original manufacturer ink products, at about $13 an ounce, cost more than fine champagne. The priciest ones, on the other hand, cost more than a famous brand of luxury perfume at about $75 an ounce.
Indeed, in the grand scheme of liquid things, printer ink products don’t even remotely come close to being the most economical. This is the precisely the reason why there are a number of money-saving alternative ink products that exist in the market today.
On more than one occasion, manufacturers have defended the high prices of their products by saying that printing hardware and printer inks cost a huge sum of money to develop. In a feature article by the online publication Computer World, an executive from a major printer brand noted that printer inks are formulated in a special way so as to endure high temperatures, vaporization, and being dispensed at great speeds. Hence, their hefty price tags.
Prolonging The Service Life Of Your Printer Cartridge:
Thankfully, there are a few practical things you can do to make your printer ink or toner cartridge last a little longer. Here are some of them:
Use ink-saving typefaces and fonts – Some typefaces and fonts have been shown to save more ink or toner compared to others. These include Century Gothic, Times New Roman, and fonts belonging to the Garamond typeface family. Additionally, there are also typefaces that have been developed by innovative startups specifically for the purpose of helping people save ink or toner. Ecofont, for instance, has holes along the length of its letters and numerals, while Ryman Eco is made up of fine lines. The blank spaces within the holes and between the fine lines don’t use up ink or toner, helping consumers save money in the long run.
Print in grayscale mode – Do you really need to print the document in color? If not, then perhaps printing it in black and white would be the more economical choice. Take note, however, that if you always print in black and white, you might run out of black ink faster than you might consume the color inks. Some printer models with tri-color cartridges will just completely refuse to print any more pages when this happens. If you think you’ll be printing mostly in black ink, consider buying a monochrome printer instead. You can also choose a model that has single-color cartridges. This way, you’ll be able to replace the cartridges individually, depending on which one needs replacement.
Print in draft mode – The draft mode refers to a printer setting in which the printer prints documents at a lower quality and usually at a faster speed. If you are only printing non-essential documents, using the draft mode is a great way to save on ink or toner.
Print only when you really need to – Don’t be too eager to click on that print button. Ask yourself whether you really need a hard copy or if you can just save a digital copy of the document in your electronic device.
Don’t let the printer sit for too long without being used – If you are using an inkjet printer, make sure to run the device at least once a week. Prepare a test page or a document that you can print out to prevent the cartridges’ nozzles from drying up and to get its precious juice flowing. Furthermore, most printers also have a maintenance or a cleaning utility that can be accessed through the computer. Run this from time to time to keep the cartridge clear of debris or clogs.
Turn off the printer properly – You should always make sure to turn your printer off according to manufacturer instructions. Never just pull the device’s plug. Properly turning the printer off allows its capping station to seal or cap the printer head, preventing the ink from drying out due to air exposure.
Store your new cartridges properly – Never remove a cartridge from its original packaging unless you are ready to use it. Always store unused cartridges in a cool, dry place, and never under direct sunlight.
Aside from following these simple tips, many consumers are also opting to purchase alternative products to save on printer ink and toner expenses. Some choose to buy XL cartridges which are the same size as regular cartridges, but often hold up to two times the amount of ink. The initial cost of higher yield ink cartridges is higher, but the cost per printed page is a lot lower than standard yield cartridges.
Others also purchase remanufactured and compatible cartridges. Remanufactured cartridges refer to recycled cartridges that are first thoroughly cleaned, prepped, and refilled by a third-party company before being professionally reassembled. Compatible cartridges, on the other hand, refer to newly manufactured cartridges that are also produced by third-party suppliers. To make sure that you are getting your money’s worth when buying such products, purchase only from trustworthy dealers with good reputation for product quality and good customer service.