Beware of color ink jets

I want to launch us into the weekend with an update about printers.  

I have been noticing a disturbing trend with color inkjet printers.   It finally hit me last night when I was doing some printing on one of these printers. Fortunately this failure happened in a test environment and not with a real client.   FYI, Color Inkjet printers are the most common type of printers that residential consumers will buy.   These are the printers that are typically advertised for  $79 – $149.  They are made by HP, Epson, Canon, Lexmark, etc.  

My main point here is that, I am done recommending these printers.  If you want them, you can have them.  I will plug them in and install the appropriate software, but I will not give recommendations on which to buy.  

They troubling trend is that these printers are not allowing customers to print in black, when one of the three color cartridges is empty.   A client recently asked me,  why don’t they sell printers with just one color cartridge like they used to.    My friends, those days are long gone.   The money is in the ink!!  So with this particular printer (happened to be an Epson), we were simply trying to print a Black and White document from Google Chrome (with Black and White clearly selected in Google Chrome) and the printer would not print because the red (magenta) cartridge was empty.

That’s a scam in my book.  It’s not consumer friendly.   

So you are probably asking — will I recommend any printers?   Yes, I will recommend black and white laser printers to clients.   I have made these recommendations to clients in the past and been turned down.  What if I need to print color?    Personally, I haven’t printed color at home since 2008 and in that time have likely printed out 10,000 plus pages.  On the rare occasion when my wife, daughter or I needed to print color — we simply send the document over to Staples or Fed Ex Office (formerly Kinko’s) or an independent print shop or bring it on a flash disk.  They charge 49 cents per color copy and we are out the door.  Life goes on.   Unless you are printing dozens of pages of color per month at home, you should have a black and white laser printer.  

Current models of black and white laser printers that I like….

All in one (print copy scan) Brother MFC L2740 DW 

Basic printer  — Brother HL L2340 DW

HP also has some decent black and white laser printers, but I can’t quote the current model numbers off of my head  

Both of these printers can be set up local (direct connection to computer) or via wireless connection.  They are sold on Amazon, if you are interested.  Local stores may carry them as well.  

Be a smart printer, and don’t be afraid to go it alone (if you want the inkjets).