For the next table, we estimated an average annual rate of use based on 500 A4 pages of text, 150 A4 mixed color/text pages, 100 4" x 6" photos, and 20 A4 color photos.
Cost over one year (excluding printer price)
Cost over three years (including printer price)
Compared to last year, the quality levels of today's printers are still very high, but performance has increased. This is due both to the progress made both by Canon with its Pixma iP5200 - which has adopted the possibilities offered by its 8-color Pixma iP8500 model - and by HP, which has changed a long-standing practice by using separate ink cartridges on the Photosmart 8250.
These two printers, which have the same price, still show their manufacturers' differing approaches, however. Canon remains very conservative where functions and ergonomics are concerned, but has put an effort into increasing the flexibility of their printers by offering duplex and CD/DVD printing as standard features.
For its part, HP stresses ease of use, including many very effective built-in functions. The result is some excellent printers, with the only relatively low marks going to the Photosmart 8050, whose costs per page are too high.