We have covered the costs, non eco friendliness, and inconvenient inkjet printer cartridge area in several articles including refilling inkjet cartridges. We recently ran across several software programs that claim to help reduce the amount of ink you use while maintaining high resolution quality prints.
Ecofont is a free typeface that looks like Arial but has lots of little holes punched in it, so it will require up to 20% less ink to print. At sizes of 12 point or larger, the holes are very visible. Selecting the font Century Gothic will also reduce the amount of ink that is needed.
inkgard costs $9.99 a year and claims to have upto 75% ink & toner savings. It works on your PC in the background and uses ‘intelligent image processing’ to prevent wasteful overlapping of droplets and toner particles. They also sell replacement ink.
PretonSaver claims they will save you up to 50% using Pixel Optimizer technology to identify and delete wasteful pixels. Free 30 day trial. $19.99 for a 1 year subscription.
inksaver is another ink saving program that costs about $32 and works with Window. At least it does not charge by the year. Free 15 day trial.
Kodak inkjet printers have been shown to yield a lower cost printing solution. They charge a fair price on the printer and lower prices on ink.
A free option is to select extremely low-quality, low-ink/toner, b&w printing options in your print options.
Hopefully someday these optimizations will be added to printer drivers themselves. Unfortunately the printer companies have no incentive to do this.
HP Officejet Pro 8500 Inkjet Printer Eco Friendly, Green?
We recently bought an HP Officejet Pro 8500 all in one inkjet printer on sale. It is quite a decent printer, scanner, and fax machine. The software is a lot less bloated that HP consumer oriented printers. One bad thing is the long 2 minute warm up time.
It is Energy star qualified and sips very little power when turned off. HP touts it as Saving upto $500 a year compared with color laser printers. It has individual color ink cartridges that you can replace as they run out. Also available are extra large cartridges that help save money and approach 2 cents per printed page.
Some issues are of cost of consumables. The Black ink extra large cartridge costs $35.99 and are good for 2200 prints. The three colors ones cost $26 a piece and are good for 1400 prints. Of course your mileage will vary. This OfficeJet Pro 8500 printer also uses two printheads that cost $60 each. There is no approximate data on when they need to be replaced. Filling this baby full of new ink and print heads costs $234! It is cheaper for me to purchase an EXTRA printer for spare ink and heads.
HP makes its money on supplies so they have special 940 series ink cartridges that are not refillable and have not been cloned by 3rd parties.