Love inkjet printers, but hate the pricey cartridges?
There's a fix for that: A new style of inkjet printer that ditches cartridges and replaces them with refillable "supertanks" to which you can add ink as needed.
The upfront cost for these printers can be four to six times higher than a traditional inkjet. Epson all-in-one print/copy/scan devices range from around $220 for a home model to $1,200 for an machine.
But long-term, they're a lot cheaper. Consumer Reports found that after two and half years of use, supertank printers are less expensive than any other printer the magazine reviews.
Supertank printers also send less waste to landfills.
Epson touts that environmental friendliness in the name for its EcoTank line of printers.
An Epson EcoTank can crank out 4,000 black-and-white pages or 6,500 hundred color pages — which means it can go for two years without needing a refill, the manufacturer says.
Then, when a refill is necessary, the ink is relatively inexpensive.
Epson was first to introduce the supertank printer in 2015. Canon came along after that with a line of MegaTank printers that range from $250 for dedicated printer to $350 for an all-in-one machine.
Canon says its refillable tank is equivalent to 30 inkjet cartridges.
Reviewers of supertank printers find that refilling them can be a little tricky — and potentially messy.
But with the long-term savings potential, expect more supertank printer technology to come to market.