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Are High-End Ink Jet Printers Worth Your Money?

Performance Tests

As usual with inkjets, no attention should be paid to the specifications manufacturers provide regarding the speed of their products. You'll never get the 20 or 22 pages some of them claim even if you print nothing but blank pages, even in draft mode.

Printing A 10-Page Text

* A high-quality mode is not available in the Epson printer drivers, but the results in "Standard" mode were carried over to the "High-quality" category to obtain an equitable speed comparison.

In text mode, the results for the three printers were fairly close. But speed is not the only point to take into account in this area. It's essential to stress the fact that the Photosmart 8450 - like all HP printers, in fact - produces a level of quality in draft mode that's almost as good as what the other models produce in standard mode. Taking this fact into account, the Photosmart 8450 could in fact be said to be fastest of all, even if the figures seem to prove otherwise. We should also note that Epson's drivers offer only two quality choices - draft and normal. But the normal mode actually corresponds to the other two models' high-quality mode. Unfortunately there's no intermediate mode that would achieve a good compromise between speed and quality.