Printers getting cheaper, inks getting dearer... the lunacy has finally hit the mid point here in OZ.
My old Canon I560 printhead died finally after a bazillion elcheapo ink carts & refills went through it, no complaints it was a workhorse... I've tried dozens of different inks in my I560, the majority (> 90%) worked as good as the original, usually for less than a 1/10 the price of OEM.
So I did a bit of research, liked the ip4200, found out about the chipped carts & the old "void your warranty" if you refill bit... didn't care. I'm not after some fancy last 100 years ink, most of my prints are for my kids school/uni assignments & get binned after a few weeks, hell I want the cheapest ink that works...
Photos! I can go to a 7 day photo lab & get real photos much cheaper & quicker than any home printer I'd buy. How many people really need all this fancy ink technology (dubious claims) for their everyday use?
Here's the craziness:
New ip4200 printer = $125 (from various vendors)
Replacement OEM Ink Carts (all 5) = $125 (from various vendors)
So, I can buy a WHOLE PRINTER(inc the ink cartridges) for the same prices as just the INK CARTRIDGES themselves!
If Canon want to play this stupid game they're mad. I checked the carts with the new printer, they are FULL carts, so why wouldn't I buy the whole thing & get a spare printer for free?
Buying non-genuince carts (if/when avail) or using refill inks (avail now) and voiding my warranty is a no-brainer as even if I only get 1 use out of the refills & the printer dies (self destructs, locks up, implodes, travels back in time) & I have to buy a new printer, I'm no worse off.
(It is interesting though that no countries have forced printer manufacturers out of this extremely wastefull practise of stopping refills and that most computer magazines won't print articles exposing this crazy, rip the consumers off behaviour.)
Far be it from me to rebut your Canon bashing---but to be fair---HP, Lexmark,
and Epson are equally flawed---and in fact---Canon in the form of something like the chipped IP4200, ip4300, and the chipped ip5200 gives the user the cheapest OEM ink consumable costs as any currently produced ink jet photoprinter on the market today.
Only the refiller can now beat the inkjet printer manufacters at that game--the inkjet technologies have been hijacked to permit huge rip off profits on ink cartridge replacement costs.
To a certain extent its a antitrust conspiracy--and to a certain extent its due to ignorant consumers who don't educate themselves---and these rip off machines fly off store shelves.
In a better world--governments would ban these rip offs--in this world--don't hold your breath---its gonna get worse before it gets better.
And it has gotten a lot worse in the past few years---consumers almost demand to be ripped off---until that changes---I see little hope.
While I was having a go at Canon, I agree the other printer manufacturers are as bad as well. I must also say that I'm very happy with the Canon units themselves (my last 3 printers have been Canon) & I'd be willing to pay extra up front for it, if it meant lower running costs. Part of the reason I got the IP4200 was it's cheap (compared to others) running costs using OEM inks. (However if I do have to buy OEM, I'm buying the whole unit again to have some spares.)
Yesterday I went to a chain store and saw this neat little HP all in 1 unit. The display was sprouting how cheap the ink carts were for it... (<$15 Oz) but they were the smallest ink carts I've ever seen.... unbelieveable, I bet 1 or 2 full A4 HiRes color pages would empty the carts.
As for getting worse before it gets better, I'm afraid you're probably correct there as well. Still, the dearer the consumables, the greater length I & others shall go to to circumvent the manufacturers ink/carts monopoly. All they are doing is making it more profitable for non-OEM cart & ink suppliers to develop a work around themselves, and for end users to hack their printers.
I would like someone, like Toms Hardware though, to expose this blatant rip off & wasteful practise. (What ever happened to being environmentally GREEN.)
Why are we still getting butt f$%#ed over ink! They are taking us for a royal monopolistic ride and we have to go along with it!!?? There should be some GOVERNMENT intervention here when you change an Ink cartridge every 2 days it has no disernable wieght difference! It's maddening that they can charge us so much for so LITTLE! High price perfumes a\ Uranium / plutonium should cost as much!