back to article Epson zaps lasers into oblivion, in the name of the environment

Japanese electronics and printer maker Epson announced this month that it will end the sale and distribution of laser printer hardware by 2026, citing sustainability issues. According to the company, inkjets have a "greater potential" than laser printers to make "meaningful advances" when it comes to the environment. The …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Devil

    Which environment we are talking about?

    I guess the expensive inks environment at Epson will become much more sustainable. So their environment delivering new printers because the old ones clogged. Never understood why they never delivered head cleaning cartridges....

    1. EVP

      Re: Which environment we are talking about?

      And in cases where cleaning doesn’t help, an inexpensive user-replaceable* head. How environment friendly would that be?

      *) ”Unthinkable. Print quality! Safety! Blablaa! And think of children.” — Mr. Epson

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Which environment we are talking about?

      Admittedly this was a while back, but I looked at the price of the Epson ecotank inks and they were so close to imitation ink prices that it wasn't worth bothering.

      The only reason I then still bought a HP Pro inkjet is because I needed a fully A3 MFP (print and scan) and I had already verified the availability of imitation ink before I bought it. The only thing you need to switch off is firmware updates..

    3. Fazal Majid

      Re: Which environment we are talking about?

      I have tow inkjet printers. An Epson EcoTank Pro ET-16600, where the price of refills good for 6000 pages is $22 x 4, far cheaper than any cartridge-based printer,

      The other is a HP OfficeJet Pro X551dw that has the HP PageWide inkjet head that is 8.5 inches wide and can print the whole width of Letter/A4/Legal paper without scrolling back and forth, and thus exceptionally fast, but because it uses cartridges, they cost $120 x 4, or more than the price of the printer itself. At this point, I am going to decommission it because it is not economical to repair or even refill.

      Interestingly, HP decided to discontinue PageWide in favor of laser technology, whereas Epson, the last maker of full-wifth inkjet technology (sadly not for consumer-level devices) is doubling down on inkjet.

      1. atheist

        Re: Which environment we are talking about?

        I believe HP were proud to have patented an new printing tech as their license with Cannon came to an end.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Which environment we are talking about?

          Patented? I thought most of the new model laser printers from "HP" were Samsung devices these days? At least in the larger MFP floor standing business range. The whole design and operation seem different to the traditional HP design.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Which environment we are talking about?

            I thought Samsung bought a large chunk of HP printing?

            It's not just the massive ones that are outsourced, its the tiny entry level ones as well. You can tell which ones are outsourced because they don't work with the universal driver that and they're crap.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Which environment we are talking about?

              How could they be worse than real HP printers?

              HP has been building nothing but crap printers for many years now. It's sad, they used to be among the best.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Which environment we are talking about?

        I had a Pagewide, and yes, the original cartridges were insanely priced.

        The good news is that you can get imitation ones now at a far lower price. Just make sure you disable auto updates, especially of the printer firmware as that is how HP updates its detection for cartridges with a more sane price.

    4. Steve Lionel

      Re: Which environment we are talking about?

      Agree - my last two inkjet printers were Epsons, and while they worked fine for a while, they both started clogging and smearing black ink over documents. Too bad, because I liked the design and features. I since bought a Brother laser printer and have been delighted. Yes, it uses more electricity when it prints, but that isn't often, and I'm not going through expensive ink cartridges on a frequent basis.

  2. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Coat

    Can't help feeling it's more a bottom line thing than a green thing...

    After all, the drum in my (non-epson) laser printer lasts at least five years (that's the last time I changed it) while the kids never get to the end of their (epson) inkjet because it clogs, dries up, and generally makes itself disagreeable...

    Can we have a green icon please? --->

    1. Martin an gof Silver badge

      Re: Can't help feeling it's more a bottom line thing than a green thing...

      inkjet because it clogs, dries up, and...

      The only inkjets I have ever worked with which didn't clog themselves up on a regular basis were those HPs where the printing head was built-in to the cartridge such that every time you changed the cartridge you got a new print head, but then you could never tell whether streaky prints were due to clogged jets or running out of ink and they still needed dismantling in order to clean the head-cleaning sponge, which eventually filled up with so much congealed ink that you got brown ink smears all over the paper. Oh, and every time you changed a cartridge you needed to re-align the heads, which wasted both paper and ink.

      I also owned a Xerox Phaser (solid ink) printer. It was a fantastic machine in many ways, and the ultimate evolution of inkjet technology, but even it - which went through a comprehensive cleaning cycle every time it came out of standby, and had as one of its consumables a roll of special cleaning fabric - suffered the occasional blocked jet which mostly could be cleaned by repeated runs of one of the cleaning cycles (and waste a lot of ink in the process) but had as part of its firmware a "jet re-mapping" procedure so that permanently clogged jets could be substituted for by adjacent ones. Replacing the print head was an extreme expense, and after 12 years in use that kind of spare part was difficult to find. I didn't replace it because it wasn't working (I think it only had one, maybe two permanently-blocked jets after all that time) - I replaced it because it needed a new drum as well as a new set of ink, and I bought a Lexmark colour laser printer, twice the speed, with "starter" toner cartridges claimed to do the same number of pages as a standard set of ink for the Phaser for somewhere around 2/3rds the price of maintaining the Phaser. It uses less electricity too.

      Then again, I was looking for a laser to recommend to a friend the other day and noticed that very, very few of the "affordable" models come with paper trays which can hold a full ream (500+ sheets of 80gsm) of paper. I even found one model where the optional 500-sheet tray cost more on its own than buying the printer + starter toner + 250 sheet tray!

      Perhaps the problem is that in a domestic situation printers get such intermittent use that inkjets are bound to clog up. Perhaps in an office they're better? Back in the day when we had a photographic shop on our high street, their massive poster printing machine was essentially an inkjet and seemed to be working fine whenever I was in the shop. Then again, at the prices they charged for a poster print, perhaps they could afford to replace print heads fairly often.

      Whatever happened to dye-sublimation printers? I still have a Canon Selphy 6" x 4" photo printer and have often wondered (cost aside) what one of those would be like to use as an everyday A4 machine.

      As a final thought, and not wanting to be too cynical about profit from sales of ink, is this just a "not invented here" thing? Am I right to remember that Epson manufactures its own inkjets, but that Epson lasers are badge-manufactured by someone else? More in my line of work, Epson has never (to my knowledge) produced a DLP-based projector; all their projectors use LCD technology. LCDs have traditionally had lifetimes of well under 10,000 hours because the filters and the LCD shutters themselves degrade in the light from the discharge lamps. I have had DLP projectors from Panasonic which have lasted well over 30,000 hours - the originals of those replaced LCD units where the "optical block" was only specified for 4,500h. However, with lamps moving to Laser and LED-based units which are cooler and produce less UV, perhaps it's time to revisit LCD projectors, which can produce "nicer" images than (single-chip) DLP under some conditions.

      M.

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: Can't help feeling it's more a bottom line thing than a green thing...

        Perhaps the problem is that in a domestic situation printers get such intermittent use that inkjets are bound to clog up. Perhaps in an office they're better?

        We wouldn't know. Nobody in their right mind would run an inkjet in an office, or for anything but very occasional light use.

        A standard yield Epson 288 cartridge costs £17.16 and holds 3.2ml worth of ink, printing 175 pages with a cost of 9.8p per page in ink.

        A Ricoh MPC 3003 cartridge costs £41.95 and does 29,500 pages and so costs 0.1p per page in toner.

        While the startup costs of buying a photocopier are higher, by the time you'd printed the equivalent of one photocopier cartridge on an inkjet it'd have cost you so much on ink that it'd have been cheaper to buy a brand new photocopier. And you'd have saved 169 3ml single use plastic cartridges (and probably a couple of crappy dead inkjet printers) from going to landfill so it'd be better for the environment.

        1. Fazal Majid

          Re: Can't help feeling it's more a bottom line thing than a green thing...

          Consumer laser cartridges are much, much more expensive, and not competitive with ink tank inkjet printers.

          1. Martin an gof Silver badge

            Re: Can't help feeling it's more a bottom line thing than a green thing...

            The toner for my printer isn't as cheap as that Ricoh, but with black at £170 (inc VAT) for nominally 7,000 pages - about 2½p per page - it's certainly competitive with HP Deskjet ink at something like £40 for 400 pages (10p per page). HP Enterprise OfficeJet ink is a lot cheaper at something like 1p per page, but again, toner for "enterprise" lasers is cheaper - as pointed out by Peter2 above.

            M.

            1. VicMortimer Silver badge
              Flame

              Re: Can't help feeling it's more a bottom line thing than a green thing...

              HOW MUCH?!??!!!!!

              That's insane. You're paying FAR too much for toner. Don't buy the brand name toner, there's no need to spend anywhere close to that. And cheap toner WILL NOT damage your printer, no matter what the manufacturer claims.

          2. Ian Johnston Silver badge

            Re: Can't help feeling it's more a bottom line thing than a green thing...

            An OEM cartridge for my Brother HL-1210W costs £36 and a pattern one, which seems to work just as well, costs £9. Both last about 1,500 pages of A4, which is 2.4p or 0.6p per page.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Can't help feeling it's more a bottom line thing than a green thing...

              "An OEM cartridge for my Brother HL-1210W costs £36 and a pattern one, which seems to work just as well, costs £9. Both last about 1,500 pages of A4, which is 2.4p or 0.6p per page."

              Cost per page for lasers is a moving target though. Depends on how often you use it. Cost per page as a function purely of the toner, when comparing with inkjet makes it seem much cheaper. While still cheaper, you also need to take into account the drum/developer unit if separate from the toner unit and also the fuser unit. Likewise, the use case. Lasers can't hold a candle to inkjets when it comes to photo quality printing.

              I've got an old Epson photo printer that's almost certainly dried out now, but was very good with an external tank mod for much, much cheaper bottle fed bulk ink. The second-hand colour laser went to the tip when the cost and time of replacing the transfer belt[*] got to be more then the printer was worth, and I'm quite happy with the new mono laser, my primary wishes being an Ethernet port and duplex. My use case has changed over the years :-)

              * Actually economic on the non-duplex version, but my duplex model was a royal pain in the arse to change the transfer belt and nearly twice the price! Part of my job includes printer repairs, and *I* wasn't prepared to spend that amount of time money on it, which tells you something about the shitty design of that printer and probably why I got it for next to nothing in the first place. Still, it did give a few years of sterling service :-)

              1. LybsterRoy Silver badge

                Re: Can't help feeling it's more a bottom line thing than a green thing...

                My justification for buying a laser was that as time moved on I was printing less and less and most times when I wanted to print the cartridge(s) had dried out. Doesn't seem to happen with a laser. I wonder what the price comparison would be like if it included all those disposed of ink cartridges, especially those that had only ever managed to print one A4 sheet in their career?

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                "Lasers can't hold a candle to inkjets when it comes to photo quality printing"

                That's true, but high quality photo printing is very expensive - and you're not going to use you 10-12 colors pro photo printer as you everyday printer - especially since its inks are far more expensive than a eco-tank printer or the like. Those pigment inks are designed to be steadfast even when prints are on display, but don't come cheap.

                I ended up having two printers at home - an A4 laser printer for documents, and an A3+ inkjet for photos. Today I mostly print documents that have to be stored for years, usually some kind of legal of financial one - and laser prints are more durable, even if a document is wet because of some damage.

          3. Rich 2 Silver badge

            Re: Can't help feeling it's more a bottom line thing than a green thing...

            “ Consumer laser cartridges are much, much more expensive, and not competitive with ink tank inkjet printers.”

            I’m my experience, your statement is just flat wrong. Sorry

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Can't help feeling it's more a bottom line thing than a green thing...

              In my experience, your statement is just flat wrong. Sorry

              You're possibly overlooking a fairly critical part of the statement:

              "Consumer laser cartridges are much, much more expensive, and not competitive with ink tank inkjet printers"

              TANK based inkjets can indeed be competitive, it depends on your use case. If it's mainly sitting idle, forget it, but if it's printing a lot a tank based inkjet (or one retrofitted with tanks) can indeed be more competitive.

              Cartridge based ones, though, simply cannot, and if it's not printing often even less so as the cleaning process already uses quite a bit of ink.

          4. cdegroot

            Re: Can't help feeling it's more a bottom line thing than a green thing...

            True. If you don't account for the fact that ink cartridges empty themselves on cleaning cycles, which then don't work, so you have to toss them for fresh ones. All wheelie you're trying to print a boarding pass, say, the night before leaving on a holiday flight (I've stood in the security line once with a phone that was about to die, never again, I've gone back to printing boarding passes, theater tickets, and whatnot).

            I'm now on my second laser since giving up in disgust on costly inkjets at home, and they work (the first lasted ten years before a drum replacement was needed, at what point we decided to upgrade to a wireless model instead). I run toner cartridges completely empty whether I print stuff daily or once a month (more the latter) and while they are indeed more expensive, having the printer always at the ready is a huge benefit and I waste much less.

            Stress-free printing is also worth something :-)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Can't help feeling it's more a bottom line thing than a green thing...

          >>We wouldn't know. Nobody in their right mind would run an inkjet in an office, or for anything but very occasional light use.

          I don't know about that. You look at the cost per page (cpp) of something like an Epson EcoTank/SuperTank Printers, and those things are ridiculously cheap, particularly for colour printing. Using one of those Epson Eco/Super Tank printers, for a common, shared printer with a lot of _regular_ use, the annual cost savings could be quite substantial. Third party testing regularly shows the cpp for b/w is about 0.3 Cents (US), and color run about .9 Cents US.

          That blows the pants off some of the high-yield toner laser printers we buy for common printing, like Lexmark. For example: We use Lexmark's at work for common printing, mainly because they can utilize 20,000 page toners. Even still, the cpp (*) there is 1.8 cents (US) for just black and white, which is a 5x increase over the Epson Eco/Super Tanks just in B/W printing costs. Even our old Phasers with 30K toners, the cpp is still 1.5 cents (US).

          Now, I'll grant you that I like the look of Laser print, and I can spill water on it, and not have to worry about the dang thing smearing beyond recognition. But to simply reject the idea of InkJet for a business use case out of hand might be too shortsighted and quick. That said, I'd agree with Laser printers for home use though. Sure they have higher costs, but you don't have to worry about clogged print heads from non-usage.

          (*) Only OEM toners, EVER. Over the past 15 years, I've thrown out too many "as good as the original re-maned" cartridges to ever trust one again.

          1. rcxb Silver badge

            Re: Can't help feeling it's more a bottom line thing than a green thing...

            Ripping people off is just what Lexmark does. They'd do it with inkjet to just as insane of a degree as they do with laser printers. Switching to any other vendor for any type of printer will save you money.

            https://www.theregister.com/2003/01/10/lexmark_unleashes_dmca_on_toner/

            https://www.theregister.com/2004/01/14/eu_recycles_lexmark_ink_cartridge/

            https://www.theregister.com/2007/06/25/lexmark_v_static_control_components/

            https://www.theregister.com/2010/08/24/lexmark_files_24_lawsuits/

            https://www.theregister.com/2017/01/24/eff_mozilla_laxmark_patent_exhaustion/

            https://www.theregister.com/2017/05/30/lexmark_patent_racket_busted_by_supremes/

      2. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Can't help feeling it's more a bottom line thing than a green thing...

        I wondered about dye-subs too. I was walking through an exhibition in the natural history museum about scientific illustration, and they had a bit about printing. They also had some photomicrographs back-lit. They'd printed them on an inkjet - they looked terrible. Awful. The whole exhibition was about the art of illustrating natural sciences and the attention to detail in some parts of it was near nil. Get them printed up as transparencies for goodness sake! I don't suppose anyone really notices, but the posters on the tube are inkjet printed as well. Large format. They look awful to me. Then again, given my background that's understandable as I've spent over a decade professionally assessing print quality.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Can't help feeling it's more a bottom line thing than a green thing...

          I work in a museum and I've given up moaning about that sort of thing. The original lightboxes were photographically printed and still look very good (albeit some of them have faded). Those which have been updated are all inkjet and you can see the dithering and in some cases the banding. Other things have been printed large from low-resolution JPEGs (it's not as if the museum doesn't have high-resolution lossless scans of the paintings in question which would have worked much better) and look fine from 20ft away, but a blurry mush if you get any closer.

          But it's quick, and it's cheap. If it were a 6-month exhibition, quick and cheap would be high priorities, but some of these things have been on display for five years or more by now.

      3. mark l 2 Silver badge

        Re: Can't help feeling it's more a bottom line thing than a green thing...

        I too had a Xerox phaser solid ink printer about 12 years ago, picked it up used at an computer auction for £10 with some generic replacement ink blocks. It was a fantastic printer probably the best quality colour prints you will get on bog standard A4 paper. I still have some of the photos i printed from it framed on my wall and they have not faded in all this time.

        But it was an expensive beast to run, as it had to be left on all the time or would have to go through a 10 minute warm up procedure which used loads of ink before you could print anything out. So wouldn't be great at the moment with energy prices being so high. I actually sold it on ebay for about £50 after a couple of years of usage do didn't do too bad from in in the end.

        I actually went back to using an Epson Cx3600 after i sold the Xerox which is still working to this day, but I do use it several times per week so thankfully it does get clogged up and the inks are super cheap on ebay, a full set of none original carts (black and all the colours) for less than £5 delivered so i am not ready to give it up, until it packs up.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Ah that burning crayon smell too.

          Much like teachers reminisce about the smell of the Ditto machine.

          The solid ink machines were actually quite good, but with a single supplier they could and did set the price wherever they wanted, and if you account was printing too much, the copier division would come in a squeeze your account until management switched.

        2. rcxb Silver badge

          Re: Can't help feeling it's more a bottom line thing than a green thing...

          The different levels of glossiness really bothered me with those wax printers. Wherever there were areas of big changes in colour (such as from ground to sky, edge of a building, etc.) it would look like someone cut out a couple of glossy photos with a pair of scissors and stitched them together.

          They were impressive in the early days of dark, slow and grainy low-res colour laser printers. But lasers got much better in short order; wax printers had nowhere to go.

      4. BGatez

        Re: Can't help feeling it's more a bottom line thing than a green thing...

        Is it sohard to add paper every200 sheets instead of 500? If you have such a high print rate then your printer need to be a robust model which will hold more.

        1. Martin an gof Silver badge

          Re: Can't help feeling it's more a bottom line thing than a green thing...

          Is it sohard to add paper every200 sheets instead of 500?

          It's not that - though that definitely would be an issue in most offices - it's the problem that you typically buy paper in reams of 500 sheets, and once you open the packet, that paper (or the fine chalk dust between each sheet) starts sucking up moisture from the air (well, more so than when it was tightly bound together anyway). Paper which has been left out "on the side" for too long can lead to mis-feeding in the printer - not picking up in the first place or curling inside the printer and getting stuck. Putting such paper into the nice warm, flat environment of a laser printer's paper tray counteracts this effect.

          The other thing is that a half-used pack of paper left lying around is vulnerable both to damage (being knocked off, getting bent corners, not laying flat and ending up slightly curved, having things spilt on it, gathering dust) which again leads to mis-feeds and possibly print quality problems when it is finally put in the printer, and to "shrinkage" as people take a sheet for the shopping list rather than using the pad on the fridge, or a nice clean sheet for drawing on rather than using the back of something from the scrap paper drawer.

          Open pack, bung it all in the drawer, job done, paper safe.

          I worked all this out when I had my first laser printer, a Canon LBP-4 (as part of a Computer Concepts Laser Direct system). That printer did not have a tray at all; all paper had to be fed through the "multipurpose" slot, 50 sheets at a time, and while it was pretty good at feeding paper from a freshly-opened pack, as the paper you were feeding got older, paper feed issues became worse to the extent that I often had to sit there with moistened fingers, "helping" each sheet into the printer. Not fun when you are printing 50 issues of a 4-sheet (so 8 passes because the thing didn't do duplex) newsletter at the blistering speed of four pages a minute. For long print runs it was actually slower (though far better quality) than the system I had used previously, which involved an LX80 dot matrix and a stencil duplicator. 20 minutes to print an A4 stencil, but once on the Gestetner (we had a very basic manual model) got going it could safely churn out probably 60 pages a minute or more.

          M.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: Can't help feeling it's more a bottom line thing than a green thing...

            Yep. Not many appreciate the role of climate control and "seasoning" paper stocks in the environment where the press is operating. I was once asked why the Indigo room needed (1) a separate environmental control system and (2) quite so much space, for example all the paper and card stock shelves which were just doubling up on those in the main paper store.

    2. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Can't help feeling it's more a bottom line thing than a green thing...

      Not just the drum... I've had my Brother laser for 3 years and I've gotten through the 1/4-filled starter toner cartridges that came with it, and I've barely made a dent in the new ones.

      And when it starts up after 3 weeks of sitting... it just prints. No faffing about with cleaning cycles for 10 minutes.

      Plus after it sits for an hour, it turns itself off. I've yet to see an Epson do that.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: Can't help feeling it's more a bottom line thing than a green thing...

        I've had an HP LaserJet 4MP for 30 years, and it Just Prints too.1 Yes, it's black & white only, but I don't give a damn about color printing.

        The only maintenance it's ever needed has been new toner cartridges, and that rarely (I don't print stuff very often).

        I loathe SOHO inkjet printers. My wife has gone through a number of them, and I've used them in my academic work. I've never seen one I thought was any good.

        1For Linux, I can just send Postscript to the thing. For Windows, the drivers are still available on Microsoft's driver-archive site. It's a Centronics parallel port connection, but a USB-to-Centronics cable I bought online works just fine.

        1. el_oscuro

          Re: Can't help feeling it's more a bottom line thing than a green thing...

          I have a Brother MFC7840W that I bought about 15 years ago. I originally chose it because it had native Linux support, but it has worked perfectly since with every computer we have used. Almost never jams. And other than cleaning the scanner a few years ago, the only think I have had to do is replace the toner cartridges every few years.

    3. Giles C Silver badge

      Re: Can't help feeling it's more a bottom line thing than a green thing...

      I print a club newsletter around 300 double sided a4 pages every month. What do I use - an old hp4250 printer, it just sits there and works, I need a toner cartridge once every 12-18 months and it was bought second hand about 6 years ago. Looking on Wikipedia tells me it is between 17 and 20 years old.

      It still works and until it breaks I am not doing anything else with it. Well tray 2 won’t duplex without jamming but tray 3 will….

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Can't help feeling it's more a bottom line thing than a green thing...

        "Looking on Wikipedia tells me it is between 17 and 20 years old."

        If you print out the status page, there will be some dates on it that will, sans firmware updates, tell you more or less when it was actually manufactured, eg the date of the firmware version. I've seen older, still in use in business, where the page count has cycled around after overflowing the storage space for the value, possibly more than once. On the other hand, I can think of one customer running 200,000 pages a month on one printer that was classed as "out of warranty" after the first month as the page count is well over the monthly duty cycle :-)

        Older HP laser printers were built to last...and they did/do to this day.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Can't help feeling it's more a bottom line thing than a green thing...

      I've had a Canon laser printer for nearly 20 years, only maintenance needed was to change the toner cartridge every few years. I believe it's still running somewhere in the family, which would put it close to 30 years of service. Great quality too.

      Environment my arse.

    5. anonanonanonanonanon

      Re: Can't help feeling it's more a bottom line thing than a green thing...

      Yeah, I don't buy it all, this is greenwashing. My laser printer has been faultless for 10 years with only one change of cartridge.

  3. Filippo Silver badge

    Green?

    What about the huge piles of ink cartridges?

    1. Yorick Hunt Silver badge

      Re: Green?

      What about the huge piles of discarded inkjet printers?

      1. ThatOne Silver badge

        Re: Green?

        This ^ ! People I know buy a new inkjet printer almost every year, as the old one always breaks down somehow (about the only thing you can rely upon on those printers).

        And the ink cartridges on a brand I won't name have become so tiny they'll soon require tweezers to handle them. Of course they have lots of expensive throwaway electronics on them, "for your convenience" of course. "In the name of the environment", sure, pull the other one. It's just the money is in selling lots of crappy vastly overpriced ink cartridges, and and you can't permit laser printers allowing people to avoid buying them.

    2. TimMaher Silver badge
      Facepalm

      “Not a lot of people know that.”

      ... you can re-cycle used cartridges.

      However you will struggle to find a re-cycler.

      We have one, a few miles away, that I have yet to visit.

      Meanwhile, a pile of used cartridges rots away in the cupboard under the printer.

      Ah well....

      1. Joe W Silver badge

        Re: “Not a lot of people know that.”

        Some companies have a mail-in service thing, and even provide a free shipping label.

        1. Captain Scarlet

          Re: “Not a lot of people know that.”

          Can confirm HP at least have a post in service in the UK, but we tend to go for the large boxes via their HP Planet service (Couriers when they find out what they are taking automatically get upset, thats the only issue I find).

          Remanufactured cartridges, just make sure you can send back used cartridges or toners.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          The shipping lable is not there for your convenience

          It's to keep your empties out of the hand of the competition, and resold as a re-fill or a counterfeit cart.

          Literally nothing this company has done has been in the interest of the consumer for decades. They are retiring the laser line because it is less profitable and they have had supply issues with their "security chips" for a couple of years.

          I feel like the author missed the chance to put the shoe to them over this, as their environmental claims are pretty laughable, and they deliberately gloss over the fact that most of their product line is designed to self destruct, producing piles of landfill when users have to change a print head that Epson wants to charge half the price of a printer for.

          The bulk tank printers are a great idea, and ought to be mandatory, but they only introduced them to keep the consumer watchdogs off them for a few years. As soon as they get their way and the laser lines are killed off at below the office copier lines, they will jack the ink price back up on the captive audience they have made. And they plan to green wash all the plastic they send to the landfill by claiming the "one cedar tree" of emissions instead a "savings" of TWO trees because you would have bought a laser instead. (and probably 75% of those personal laser printers are on the same toner cart 3 or even 5 years later).

          Xerox and Cannon pretty much own the copier market. Epson is dropping out of a market it isn't particularly competitive in, and trying to corral it's mostly SOHO and SMB customers onto the worst solution for low duty cycle use. (The notable exception being their large format printers, which still kill print heads at a terrifying rate, but can potentially print photo quality banners if you want to burn the ink )

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: “Not a lot of people know that.”

        Not sure if you are in the UK or not. if so, theres a bin at the front of your local Morrisons near the battery recycling.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: “Not a lot of people know that.”

          It's now the law that anywhere that sells batteries or toner/ink has to offer a recycling facility. The front of our Tesco Extra now has about 10% of the width of its frontage covered with recycling bins for water filters, ink jets, batteries, lightbulbs, plastic bags etc etc.

        2. TimMaher Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: “Morries “

          Ours used to have one until the re-furbish.

          Sigh.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      As Epson would say

      > What about the huge piles of ink cartridges?

      Don't change the subject. We're talking about printers not ink cartridges.

      (Insert joke icon, etc)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    2 birds with one cartridge

    1. we're SO GREEN, LOOK!

    2. sustainability of our bottom line is going - BONUS!

  5. nematoad

    I agree.

    ...inkjets have a "greater potential"

    Cynical old me thinks, "That's true".

    Not for the reasons stated by Epson but as others here have said, it's a ploy to pad their bottom line.

    Inkjets are fine for colour work but I have yet to see an inkjet produce the quality of a laser printer for text and when you are sending letters to people quality counts.

    As Marshall McLuhan said "The media is the message" and if you print out something that looks bad then you have managed to shoot yourself in the foot.

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: I agree.

      The other advantage of laser printers is that the print is waterproof. I have a laser printer just for the purpose of printing documentation and notices that are likely to become damp.

      I'm sure that the solid ink phase printers that someone mentioned above are waterproof, by ink jet prints definitely run, even when laminated.

      1. Twanky
        Boffin

        Re: I agree.

        Without thinking first I tried to laminate a printout from a Phaser solid ink printer. It re-melted the ink and smeared the colours all over the inside of the laminate pouch. Obvious - after the event.

        Yes, it was incredibly expensive in ink (huge wax crayons) and other consumables.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Yeah, there were some trick supplies to get around that

          Low heat "laminated" pouches, transparencies, that kind of stuff.

          But like all such things, they were expensive and never is stock in most places. Easy enough for us to just run it on another machine as the Phaser was used for print shop work and larger tabloid jobs, and we had other copiers for stuff that it wasn't ideal for.

      2. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

        Re: I agree.

        Especially good for postage labels. Inkjet in the rain is not a good look.....

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I agree.

          Is that why practically ALL Amazon labels are thermal prints? I find it quite handy because you can immediately obliterate what's on them with some heat.

          I have taken to this for reasons of privacy and because there has been a case here where so-called recyclers were in reality dumping, and someone had to fight very hard not to be convicted as guilty party because their address was on one of the boxes dumped.

          1. Captain Scarlet

            Re: I agree.

            Nah you can automate label printers having a seperate arm to softly slap labels on and just have the thermal print engines as part of it to get rid of the case (Either direct thermal labels or ribbon on non thermal labels).

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I agree.

            Nope, it's because thermal is really cheap, there are no extra parts to the printer. Just the rollers and heads to wear out.

            It's purely for convenience. Those things print thousands of labels per day

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I agree.

            "recyclers were in reality dumping, and someone had to fight very hard not to be convicted as guilty party because their address was on one of the boxes dumped."

            Officer Obie, I cannot tell a lie, I did put that envelope under that garbage

            (Sorry, a bit US centric, but we did just have our Thanksgiving holiday, so that came to mind)

          4. Kaltern

            Re: I agree.

            Light brushing with alcohol based hand gel does a fine job too. Less fire risk too...

      3. rcxb Silver badge

        Re: I agree.

        > I'm sure that the solid ink phase printers that someone mentioned above are waterproof

        Wax prints were waterproof, yes.

        Fingernail scratch-proof? No.

        Rather similar to a drawing in crayon.

        Epson had waterproof inks in their printers I used some 20 years ago. However, any kind of soap or cleaner would easily ruin it. Laser printouts couldn't be bothered by any of that... you have to destroy the top layer of paper to damage the fused toner.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I agree.

      "if you print out something that looks bad then you have managed to shoot yourself in the foot."

      On the other hand given the general lack of grammar and in some cases coherent meaning in a lot of advertising stuff I get nowadays it might be better if it's not quite so clear: I had one the other day from a window company that I genuinely can't make sense of.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I agree.

        Were they selling clear glass?

        :)

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: I agree.

          Frosted, obvs. :-)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh FFS

    I have had 2 inkjet printers that cost more in never-used cartridges that clog after a few months than the entire printer. WFH with occasional printing needs, inkjet is the worst

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      Re: Oh FFS

      That.

      I had so many ink cartridges clog, or the "cleaning" cycle mostly empty the bloody thing, or the darndest thing just dry out that I am pretty sure the resource use of my laser printer is quite a bit slimmer. Yeah, it is only black I can print, but that covers almost all of my needs. Photos I print at the drug store, or through some website based service. I don't print a ton of stuff anyway.

  7. EvaQ
    Holmes

    my Brother laser printer still working since 2007

    ... before that, my inkjet printers lasted about 2 years.

    So I guess my laser printer is more sustainable than any inkjet printer.

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: my Brother laser printer still working since 2007

      Yep, the laser printer I mentioned above is a Brother - HL2150N - which is not only happily working, but Brother still provide Linux printer drivers for it (and even without the printers, it still works albeit at a lower resolution).

      1. Erik H

        Re: my Brother laser printer still working since 2007

        Amen to that, Brother.

      2. Joe W Silver badge

        Re: my Brother laser printer still working since 2007

        Yeah, the linux drivers are a good argument -even for scanning on MFC laser thingies. Highly recommended.

      3. An_Old_Dog Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: my Brother laser printer still working since 2007

        I've got a Brother HL-5250DN printer and it worked out-of-the-box -- including the duplexor -- with Linux, and without needing any manufacturer's drivers. (Caveat: I had to tell my system it was a lesser-numbered model.) I've gone through several high-capacity toner cartridges, but haven't had to replace the drum yet.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: my Brother laser printer still working since 2007

      Hmmm, I had a HP Pro officejet K<something> that was very heavy and quite fast, and the only reason I sold it was because I needed one with a scanner - HP had stopped the cartridges (and heads) for it but there were still plenty in the imitation market - which is why the person who bought it off me was quite happy with it.

      I'm not quite sure how long I had that one but it must be a decade. It was a decent machine.

      1. gryphon

        Re: my Brother laser printer still working since 2007

        Similar. I had a 6 or 7 year old HP OfficeJet 8000 series until a couple of weeks ago.

        Barely stretched it's capabilities and had it on Instant Ink once the original cartridges neared empty, which took a while, so I wasn't faffing about.

        Died 2 weeks ago when I got 'printhead not found' messages, separate head and ink tanks in this model.

        Cost for new head £120 and no guarantee it actually is the head itself.

        Cost of the printer originally £30, was reduced and HP were doing a £100 trade-in against any old printer.

        Cost of new more basic HP 4000 series inkjet still with an ADF but no proper paper input tray and 2 year warranty, £49 including 9 months instant ink. Has triple colour cartridge so I certainly wouldn't have bought it without that.

        Such a shame to shove the old one out to the electronics section at the dump. Sorry, civic amenity site. :-(

        1. An_Old_Dog Silver badge
          Stop

          No HP MFCs, Thank You

          I had a consumer-grade HP inkjet printer/scanner. It worked fine until the one of the color cartridges "expired". Not only would it not print -- even in black-and-white -- it also refused to scan!

          H.P.: F.U.

          1. I could be a dog really Bronze badge

            Re: No HP MFCs, Thank You

            I also HAD an HP multifunction. I did manage to mostly use it often enough that the printheads didn't clog, but then one day it stopped working and said the cartridges had expired. WTF ! Turns out it had this undocumented feature where ink/printhead cartridges expire a set time after installation and then as you say, the machine refuses to do anything.

            To add to the "annoyance", Trading Standards (or at least the lady in the call centre I spoke to on the phone) didn't seem to think there was anything wrong with this.

            I now no longer consider HP (or Epson). I have a friend who's fairly frequently complaining that his inkjet needs replacing because something or other has stopped working. So far I'm perfectly happy with our OKI laser - unlike HP, drums and toners are separate, and the compatible toners I buy are reasonably priced. And it sits there, in power save mode - and when I print, it just prints :-)

            1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

              Re: No HP MFCs, Thank You

              Yeah, I'll never buy another HP or Epson printer.

              Another problem with HP: the software has been abysmal for years. With a modern HP printer, you don't just get drivers; you get all sorts of bloated spyware and nagware and other annoyances, for who knows how sweeping an attack surface. And some years back I had to debug an apparently hanging HP printer installation on my daughter's Macbook, and it turned out it was running a script that did numerous iterations of "find / ..." to search for existing files, so it was iterating over the entire set of filesystems multiple times.

              Horrible crap, made as cheaply as possible, and designed to extort ever more money from foolish consumers.

              Such a pity, when Epson dot-matrix printers (the venerable MX-80 and the fancier FX-80) were the home printers of my youth, and HP LaserJets were the SOHO printer of choice (and indeed my current preferred printer).

            2. I could be a dog really Bronze badge

              Re: No HP MFCs, Thank You

              And just to add, for a loooong time I've always bought printers with onboard Postscript handling. Part of that is being a long time Mac user, where talking to networked Postscript (or compatible) printers is trivially easy without custom drivers. If you have Postscript, then you can print to it with a generic Postscript driver, though you might not be able to take advantage of all the printer specific features. For a long time, all I ever did was did the PPD file out of the installer (instead of installing all the vendor bloatware) and drop that in the right place in the system - and just like magic, the system could print to that printer with knowledge of it's features.

              And also going back some time with my work hat on, I've written scripts on a Unix system that would (e.g.) redefine the "showpage" operator before a job so as to overlay something on the print (such as a "fax header" for inbound faxes).

              For me, Postscript + network == print from just about anything without too much hassle.

    3. Thorsten

      Re: my Brother laser printer still working since 2007

      I see your Brother from 2007 and raise you a Samsung ML-4500 from 2002. Bought for ~ £100, as came with Linux driver, which I needed back then.

      Still going strong, as driver (now supported by HP) works even in Windows 11.

      Survived two inkjets for photo printing. Definitely more sustainable than inkjet.

      Only drawback: its not available as a WLAN printer. Family rather prints on inkjet instead of bringing their laptops to the laser. Haven't figured out yet whether a WLAN printer server would work with the old thing.

      1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

        Re: my Brother laser printer still working since 2007

        > its not available as a WLAN printer

        that should be the smallest problem. If it is in you LAN your WLAN-people can talk to the printers IP the usual jetdirect or lp1 method - model dependent. And if it does not a have a LAN port get one for that thing! Silex works fine from my experience and is not expensive.

        1. I could be a dog really Bronze badge

          Re: my Brother laser printer still working since 2007

          Or if that's "too hard", just tick the box to share it from the computer it's connected to.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: my Brother laser printer still working since 2007

        Might also, if it's in the same room, be worth investigating the USB on your Router. Mixed results, particularly on Linux but it's worth a shot.

    4. Moonunit
      Pint

      Re: my Brother laser printer still working since 2007

      Brother laser - forget the model - 1996 to somewhere around 2008, Samsung laser from 2009 to date. Few toner replacements over the years. Oh and some 'leccy. That's it.

      Inkjet nice to the 'nenvironment? Yah ... pull the other one. Sorry ...

  8. chivo243 Silver badge
    Windows

    shoulda

    I should have grabbed a decommissioned laser printer from my last job, but I was also moving houses after my last job, and the missus wasn't keen on more junk to move. InkJet Never Again!

  9. Alan J. Wylie

    20 year old HP LaserJet

    I bought a HP LaserJet 1200 in January 2002 (£235.45). It's still going strong, with just one replacement toner cartridge. I turn it off when not in use. The energy I use is miniscule compared to that needed to manufacture a new printer.

    I don't use it very often, but I've just printed out 97 caving rigging guides from the CNCC web site. It worked perfectly. No nozzles to clog. No yellow tracking dots.

    1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

      Re: 20 year old HP LaserJet

      Also a member of the venerable HP laserjet club.

      Mine's an LJ5, with a firmware datecode of 1996. It was offered for free by a legal office in my town, had a busted fuser and stripped drive gears. I watched a few Youtubes, ordered some replacement parts, and had it working within a week, good as new (well, better, actually...I added memory and a $15 JetDirect card off eBay). Total cost to repair and upgrade was on the order of $250, most of which was the rebuilt fuser assembly and a new toner cartridge. Those old printers are incredibly easy to work on, and parts are still available, since they were the standard workhorse printers in many, many offices.

      It sits in my office, connected to the wired network, and prints whenever I need it to. Draws 6W on standby. Still using my first toner cartridge and have two more I got NOS for cheap off the Goodwill site. A pleasant change from the inkjets which always had clogged cartridges whenever I wanted to print (several times a month...we're not big printers, but we like to be able to when we need to).

      1. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

        Firmware Updates? (was: 20 year old HP LaserJet)

        Yes, the old HP LaserJets were great. Question: can you, without a current HP service contract, get firmware updates for your JetDirect card? Reason I'm asking:

        (a) When Compaq was bought by HP, they made a new policy that you couldn't get firmware updates -- at least for server boxes -- unless you had a current support contract with HP covering them; and,

        (b) At work we had had a malware attack on our network which took over JetDirects with older-version firmware, and leveraged those JetDirects to further attack our hosts. Solution: HP firmware upgrade. We did 97% of them remotely, and dispatched techies to manually-update the few which we couldn't reach over the wire (user had switched off the printer, JD was unplugged from the network, etc.).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 20 year old HP LaserJet

        Those things are indestructible. Brilliant pieces of kit.

        They really don't make them like that any more.

    2. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: 20 year old HP LaserJet

      We used to use these on a "one per desk" printing model until I replaced the lot with network printers.

      A 1200 has the developer (and I think also the drum) built into the toner cartridge which means that it has an almost absurdly short life of about 2-3k sheets of toner in the cartridge depending on if it's a high or low capacity cartridge. In my experience these tend to go until the rubber wears out on the paper feed, or the fuser unit goes, which will be about half a million sheets or there or thereabouts with some basic maintenance (ie; rubber roller restorer).

      If you've just replaced the half empty (came with) printer with a replacement then you've probably only done a couple of thousand sheets in two decades; if the rubber holds out and your print quantity stays that low then it's entirely plausible that the printer will outlast you.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 20 year old HP LaserJet

      I scrapped mine when I couldn't get a Windows 10 driver for it, but it was still working, so I gave it to someone running Windows 7 and as far as I know, it is still chugging away. You could almost hit that old HP hardware with a truck and it would keep running, not like the modern HP consumerware.

      1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

        Re: 20 year old HP LaserJet

        You shouldn't have scrapped your Laserjet 1200 for Windows 10. HP universal PCL5 driver can work with that model. Or any driver that speaks PCL5, so you can say "Hey, it is a Laserjet 4050 with only one tray" and it will work. Though you have to click "Windows update" on the "Install printer driver manually" once to get the full list of internal supplied Windows printer drivers. Just checked with Windows 11 since I got curious: Laserjet 4050 PCL5/PCL6 and Laserjet 1200 PCL5 are still on the list of directly supported printers, without needing the HP-Universal driver. Even LaserJet 4, Laserjet III and Laserjet II are still listed there, to my surprise!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 20 year old HP LaserJet

        "You could almost hit that old HP hardware with a truck and it would keep running"

        Back in about 1998 I was working at a small shop that did "IT stuff" (sold whitebox computers, ran network cabling, set up servers, etc.). One day the boss was driving to the office with a load of equipment from our wholesaler. Boss hit some ice on the freeway, spun out, and rolled his SUV. Damage included a totaled SUV, a severely mangled guardrail, and several hard drives that just made clicking sounds when we tried to power them up (oh, and a boss with a bloody face and possible mild concussion).

        The HP5si that was in the back of the SUV? Dusted it off and it ran for about 20 years.

      3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: 20 year old HP LaserJet

        You can get the LaserJet 4 and 5 drivers for Windows 10, from Microsoft's driver archive site. It's a pain to find it, but it's there. PCL and PS.

        1. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

          Re: 20 year old HP LaserJet

          No, it is not a pain. Like I mentioned here in this thread already: Start "add printer manually", and when you are at the driver list click "Windows Update". May take five to fifteen minutes depending on your internet connection. Even Laserjet 2 and 3 will appear on that list, at least on Windows 11.

  10. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Oh sure, inkjets are "green". Pull the other one, it has bells on it.

    From my personal experience :

    I've bought Epson inkjet printers. About every two years when I was still using inkjet. Heads clogging, ink drying, etc, as has been said above, I've wasted God knows how much ink on so-called "cleaning" procedures.

    Inkjets may be fine, but only at the condition that you are printing many pages every day. If you are printing a dozen pages a month, you're up shit creek without a paddle.

    I bought a Samsung laser printer in 2010. It's still working fine, even when I only print a page a month.

    Inkjets are green my ass.

    1. Contrex

      Re: Oh sure, inkjets are "green". Pull the other one, it has bells on it.

      In 2015 I decided I wanted a colour laser printer. My Canon inkjet needed a set of replacement cartridges that cost £50. The printer only cost £80. I found that my local Staples branch in Bristol stocked a budget colour laser for £100. I rang them to enquire about stock. The guy said 'Sorry, they've all sold out. Did you want that particular model, or are you just after a colour laser?'. I said 'Why do you ask?'. He said 'We have an HP ex-display model you can have for £50. No packaging, manuals, or driver disks, but it has unused starter cartridges. You'd have to collect it.' I asked 'What model?', He went away and looked and came back. 'It's an m251nw'. A quick Google... List price £200. 'Hold it for me, I'm coming down!'.

      It's big, heavy and black, and wife didn't like it until she started her OU course.

      With our usage the original cartridges lasted to May 2020. I bought a set of 'compatible' full-capacity replacements from a smelly-sounding UK supplier. Showing 80% remaining.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh sure, inkjets are "green". Pull the other one, it has bells on it.

      This. We bought a Samsung colour laser in 2014 or so (After my wife had bought an inkjet for £20 without asking me first then spent nearly £100 in ink cartridges in the space of a weekend printing what she wanted to).

      Used it to print all our wedding invites and a bunch of other bulk stuff along with regular intermittent things, and only had to replace the cartridges 3 years later. This was even more surprising as I'd heard the cartridges shipped with the printer only came partially full.

      The only downside was I used refilled cartridges and one of them came leaking toner all over the place, the seller sent me out a new one free of charge, but when I put that new one in the drivers updated the firmware and decided 2 of the 4 cartridges were fake/unusable. I couldn't find a way of fixing this and I didn't feel like getting into a back and forth with the seller as it would likely just happen again when Samsung decided to update their firmware.

      In the end I bit the bullet and bought original cartridges (at £100 more than the ones I had paid for), but we've been using them intermittently since and they're still basically full.

      The quality was pretty good, I had to play around quite a lot experimenting with quality and paper/card quality for the wedding invites, table settings.

      The only other issue I had was the printer claiming the waste trap was full a year or so ago (remember one of the cartridges had been leaking heavily), I figured out where that was and it was fairly easy to clean out with a hoover.

      I probably wouldn't go with a Samsung again, due to the aforementioned firmware/3rd party toner issue, however if I did need to replace our printer I would certainly go for a laser again. I have heard good things about brother printers with regards to third party toner but no direct experience.

      1. YetAnotherXyzzy

        Re: Oh sure, inkjets are "green". Pull the other one, it has bells on it.

        "I probably wouldn't go with a Samsung again..."

        Sadly, you can't, at least not new. HP bought Samsung's laser printer division and killed it. When my trusty but old Samsung laser printer finally died, all of the local sources for Samsung printers and parts and consumables had replaced them all with HP. So I bought the only thing available, a new HP laser printer. I learned the hard way that HP's laser printers are no longer what they (or Samsung) once were, and I cannot recommend them.

        Commentards speaks highly of Brother laser printers, so that's what my next one will be. Even though they are not distributed or serviced in my country, the hassle of importing one will likely be less than the hassle of putting up with HP's junk.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Oh sure, inkjets are "green". Pull the other one, it has bells on it.

          If you buy a cheap Brother laser (any?), make sure that you can return it. I just took back a Brother DCP-L2550DN. It has lots of good reviews, but output was very bad. A lot of striping and strange artefacts in prints/scans. Plastic parts felt feeble, but that I was ready to accept in a £200 laser. Print quality, no.

        2. seldom

          Re: Oh sure, inkjets are "green". Pull the other one, it has bells on it.

          I'm dreading the day when my Samsung 3010nd dies

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh sure, inkjets are "green". Pull the other one, it has bells on it.

        I have a Brother laser and use aftermarket cartridges. The only issue I've found is that some aftermarket cartridges don't have the gear that tells the printer to reset the print count; even the hidden menu can't reset it once it's tripped out. But take 2 screws off the old cartridge, remove the gear, and install it in the new one - printer recognizes it as new.

        Save those gears!

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh sure, inkjets are "green". Pull the other one, it has bells on it.

        I had one of the first Brother A3 inkjet printers and I would not touch that ever again - the drivers were more virus infections in that they were impossible to get rid of - they splattered themselves all over in what I think was Win7 in those days.

        That said, the Brother LASER printers are robust to the point of resembling HP in its early days. We had one starting to print page streaks in a cleanroom so we pulled it and had it serviced. It turned out that the drum in that unit had clocked twice the page count it was designed for (design life is 30k pages, it had clocked 65k before it eventually gave up). Oh the joy of end users ignoring all those pesky messages that tell you to replace something (despite all of that being in stock). Engineer replaced it, cleaned the rollers as an extra routine step and tweaked laser alignment slightly (it had gone a bit unsharp) and that was it - it was soon happliy printing again. Worth noting: cleanroom paper is harder on a printer than standard stock (less likely to give off dust and fibres) which makes it even more remarkable that it didn't really complain and just got on with the job.

        So, from personal experience I can only give a big thumbs up for Brother laser printers, but I hope they sacked the wannabee virus writer who coded their inkjet drivers.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yeah right

    see https://www.theregister.com/2021/07/26/which_printer_ink_costs_survey/

  12. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    "Epson's Heat-Free inkjet technology consumes less electricity by using mechanical energy to fire ink onto the page." So we use a piezo instead ... powered by magic perhaps?

    I'm probably one of the few who have a fully working older Epson inkjet (I'm currently hugging a tree for luck) but always use a laser for some jobs - archival 3 or 4 point onto archival card for instance because a) inkjet just can't do it well enough and b) inkjet costs a fortune to run ...

    Do they no longer have a soaker in the bottom of the printer to fill with expensive ink (that the user pays for) which, when deemed "full", bricks the printer (which the user pays for) else the head blocks and bricks the printer (which the user pays for)? And of course there's the issue of brand new cartridges that fail to operate because they are beyond an arbitrary date set by Epson (that the user has paid for). A completely non maintainable/repairable system with built-in obsolescence of both device and consumables, what could be better?

    Using a bit less electricity does not necessarily make something greener but greenwashing can improve profits ....

  13. El blissett

    For volume printing, soy based inkjet technology (what we used to call Risograph) is the only sustainable solution compared to printing with the same volume of plastic (laser toner).

    For individuals who don't need to print much - which is quite a few people these days - or for those who can't refill their cartridges - also most people - the lack of maintenance or inks drying out with a cheap laser printer blows the impact of the ink vs the toner out of the water. I'm in the same boat as commentards above, my old Samsung printer is going to stop working with Windows before it runs out of ink on my usage patterns. The horrific amounts I used to spend on inkjet printing in the 90s and 00s to get something splodgy out at the end is a distant memory.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      I do get some odd looks when I ask if the new PC comes with a parallel port for my Centronics cable.

      1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

        There exist (I have one) HP JetDirect adapters with parallel port interfaces on one side and 10BASE-T RJ45 on the other.

        I have never used it, was given it by our IT people as they had no use for it.

        1. EVP

          Keep it. You newer know if you need it. For example, the power brick (at least the one of the ancient adapter) works with Sony PSP. I just thought to let you know :p

      2. Peter2 Silver badge

        Hardly a serious issue though; you can get USB to Centronics cables.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          But that's not *MY* Centronics cable, though.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "my old Samsung printer is going to stop working with Windows before it runs out of ink on my usage patterns."

      I wonder if a Raspberry Pi Zero or similar bottom end single board device running CUPS as a print server would be more economic than a new printer? Windows would just see it as a networked Postscript device and CUPS and/or Ghostscript can convert the PS from Windows into whatever the printer needs.

  14. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Inkjet, sustainable? My arse.

    My Epson inkjet printer worked for one year and a half, then refused to print. I had to buy several cartridges in between.

    I bought then a Samsung laser, 5 years ago, and it is still working like a charm.

    If I have the choice, I'll never ever buy or advice to buy an inkjet printer.

    For now, when somebody asks me for a personal printer, I tell about a Brother laser printer.

    == Bring us Dabbsy back! ==

    1. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

      Re: Inkjet, sustainable? My arse.

      Same here. I'll always keep buying color laser printers. I've had my LaserJet 100 MW175 since 2014 and I've only recently replaced the black ink cartridge (with a genuine HP one, not a cheaper junk imitation). I've never ever had to replace the color cartridges because I rarely print in color and then usually only a logo or such.

      Ink-jet printers are for suckers AFAIC.

  15. Lazlo Woodbine

    We've just swapped all our lasers for Epson ink-jets

    We've just swapped out all our lasers, a mix of Xerox Phaser colours and Brother monos for Epson inkjets

    We even swapped out the two big Toshiba bulk printers that do all the fancy foldy, staply, punchy things to booklets for a pair big Epson injets.

    Genrally I'm finding the Epson Workforce Pro in my office to be quieter and quicker than the elderly Xerox Phaser colour printer it replaced.

    The colours aren't as vivid though, but I'm not printing photos, so it's not an issue.

    The thing I found most interesting is the big bag of black ink is supposed to last 50,000 pages, and works out at a shade over 2p a page if we buy the genuine Epson part, so I imagine that cost will plumet once we find a compatible supply.

    On that note, I printed over 1,000 pages on Wednesday (we email the school reports home, but teachers are old school, so like a printed report on their desk for parents' evening) and it barely made a dent in the ink level bar, so I'm assuming the 50,000 page figure may be close to true.

    I've had this printer for 3 weeks now, so I can't attest to its reliablilty or longevity, but I'm happy with it at the moment.

    1. cornetman Silver badge

      Re: We've just swapped all our lasers for Epson ink-jets

      > I've had this printer for 3 weeks now, so I can't attest to its reliablilty or longevity, but I'm happy with it at the moment.

      Can't knock the quality of a lot of inkjets when they are using new using genuine ink. The problems come later when you start to get the clogs and then it starts to become very expensive and very annoying.

      Like a lot of the commentators above, I gave up on ink some years ago out of sheer frustration and am laser all the way now. I wouldn't go back. If inkjet devices were built with better quality, the ink was reasonably priced, print heads were cheap and user replaceable and the waste ink pads were user replaceable with a cheap bit of foam (or perhaps a bottle that you can wash out/empty even better) then I might be interested but the manufacturers are not interested in that.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: We've just swapped all our lasers for Epson ink-jets

        To be fair to the poster you are replying to, you are comparing apples and oranges. He's talking about heavy duty business grade inkjets, a very different beast from the consumer grade stuff. Going back some years to the start of the rot at HP, it's like comparing a crappy HP1100[*] with the HP4000 or HP8000 series, the former being cheap plastic with an almost unreplaceable fuser, the latter being devices built like a tank and designed for relatively easy maintenance.

        [*] Anyone else remember the debacle with the paper separation pad meant to last the life of the printer but had to be replaced under warranty with the stick-on pad and the cardboard template to help guide it into place? And the almost total tear-down to replace a failed fuser, also meant to last the life of the printer.

      2. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

        Re: We've just swapped all our lasers for Epson ink-jets

        I just went over to HP's website to look at color laser printers but it seems HP has been thinking the same thoughts as Epson: it's much more lucrative to sell inkjet printers than it is to sell color laser ones.

        They wear out quickly and clog up all the time forcing users to buy new cartridges even when they're still over half full.

        Capitalism sucks in that sense. This is a major loss for the environment will garbage fills filling up with ink-jet printers.

    2. Terje

      Re: We've just swapped all our lasers for Epson ink-jets

      So how do those prints react to water, do they smear in the same horrible way that the usual inkprints do, if so I would think long and hard before I put anything printed on them in an envelope and mail out...

  16. Peter Prof Fox

    Fake Out of Toner messages

    My tiny Samsung laser printer has a habit of telling me it can't continue because it needs more toner. Bollocks! Give it a shake or thump and the life is doubled. Printing technology is inherently dishonest. I'm sure even the butcher substitutes pig's blood for ox. But good news, you can get away with not actual goose feathers for quills. Works fine on goat, sheep, even hamster parchments.

    1. Lazlo Woodbine

      Re: Fake Out of Toner messages

      I guess one of the beauties of the new Epson printers that use a bag of ink, they can't lie about being out of ink, you can tell when the bag is empty.

      The same is ture of the HP Pagewide printers, you can tell when those cartridges are empty because they weigh almost nothing when out of ink.

    2. TimMaher Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Hamster parchment

      Would that be A5 or even smaller?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Hamster parchment

        A6 or maybe A7. You'd need a Guinea Pig for A5.

        1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

          Re: Hamster parchment

          I believe A6 is Shrew ...

  17. Julian 8 Silver badge

    Wrong intro

    Should read:

    According to the company, inkjets have a "greater potential" than laser printers to make "meaningful advances" when it comes to the profit

  18. steviebuk Silver badge

    This is...

    ...green washing at its highest. Inkjet runs out quickly and as others they make it difficult to use other inks. Not forgetting the inks are expensive.

  19. Czrly

    Sigh: Consumer's going to lap this right up.

    If Epson do know two things, they are, in this order: (1.) that this is not about the environment but rather about their turn-over and bottom line and (2.) that marketing works in the printer market and the consumer does not know better – green-wash the turd and the consumer will lap it right up.

    In my opinion, an Ink-Jet printer is basically not a printer. You can't print with it because it is always either empty, dry, clogged or broken or, if it is none of those, then the print job just isn't worth a whole new set of cartridges that will be junked when the time comes for the next job because, by then, one of the first set of states will certainly apply.

    Hell, I'd love to say that I lived in a place where laws banned such things from the market. Ink-Jet is a blatant scam – a false product and a con. Sure, I could believe that it is *possible* to build a worth-while Ink-Jet printer but I just can't believe that any sales and profit motivated corporation ever would and LEAST of all: Epson.

    Also: what, precisely, is "Mechanical Energy"? That's just BS of the highest order.

  20. Barry Rueger

    I Call BS

    In a nutshell, our big Brother laser does two sided printing, scans, etc etc and used two batches of toner cartridges each year, at maybe $80 for the quartet of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. (non-Brother of course) I think I bought the printer for about $500 CAD on-sale.

    While in France last year we picked up a cheapo Epson inkjet. Maybe 80 euros. The cartridges though, dear god. We averaged a 100 euros a month, and sometimes twice that. A mid-range laser printer would have saved us hundreds. And that's not even considering the hassle of "Damn, we need a cartridge. Who wants to drive to the store to buy one?

    I will never, ever buy another inkjet machine.

  21. Detective Emil

    In Epson's defence (although half-heartedly)

    I have had a mid-range Epson all-in-one for four years or so, and in home service, with long periods of non-use, it has never blocked/dried out. It's also still supported, in that firmware updates keep arriving — although what they do is anyone's guess. I think respondents who have had bad experiences in the past (including me) may find the current crop of ink-jet printers less frustrating. On the other hand, the ink prices … (Epson would say "Buy one with tanks, then", with a chorus intoning "green, green, greeny green" in the background.)

    All that said, my default printer in an aged Brother colour laser, which indeed produces damp-resistant results, and is much faster for full-duplex output.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: In Epson's defence (although half-heartedly)

      "with long periods of non-use, it has never blocked/dried out"

      All but the cheapest will, if left always on, burst into life every now and then and run a quick nozzle clean. If you leave it on long enough with full ink carts, it will run out of ink without ever printing anything at all. Not to mention the power used in "stand by" all that time :-)

  22. Jou (Mxyzptlk) Silver badge

    Not water resistant...

    One of the laser-print feature: A speck of water or sweat does not wash the color away. It stays right where it is. Any inkjet: Nada. And therefore does not count as "Dokumentenecht" in Germany, i.e. not trustworthy print.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    HP has been printing 50 pages/minute on inkjets for a while

    (from the article) In a non-colossal coincidence, Epson has also introduced business inkjet and multi-function printers that can crank out 40 to 60 pages per minute – addressing one of inkjets' key weaknesses.

    One of the simplest and fastest inkjet printers I've ever had from HP was a Pagewide printer, second generation, and that screamed through a whole 500 sheet pack of paper in about 10 minutes.

    The reason for its speed was simple: it doesn't have a moving printhead. Instead, it has a stationary printhead of A4 width (apparently with redundant nozzles) so it simply speeds the paper past the head once, and that's it as the ink is dry by the time it leaves the machine. It could do double-sided, but that hits IMHO the second disadvantage of inkjets after clogging (if they're not used much): you are in essence wetting the paper (very visible when printing a lot of surface) which also then introduces drying time delay before it prints the other side. Seeing it print was fun: you have about 5..10 seconds of grumbling while it sets itself up, then the dust flap opens and it starts spitting paper like there's no tomorrow. It was also the first printer where I came across HP's way to speed up double-sided scanning: it simply has a scanner strip for both sides of the paper.

    The ink catridges for it, however, were heartstoppingly expensive - the imitations that have now arrived come in at about 25% of that.

    For home printing, however, I will probably get a laser or LED printer next as I no longer print quite that much.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: HP has been printing 50 pages/minute on inkjets for a while

      Yes, their now discontinued Pagewide stuff is quite impressive with very few moving parts and very fast. Printing double sided is ok if it's just text, but if there's a lot of graphic on the page it can sometimes not quite dry enough and smear a bit going through the duplexor. Likewise, if printing on specialist paper which may not absorb the ink enough. The print speed can be slowed down and therefore increase the drying time. It's supposed to be clever[*] enough to that itself, but sometimes you need to get into the service menu and manually set a slower speed.

      [*] Probably "Powered by AI" LOL.

  24. andy gibson

    Epson: "We're going to stop making laser printers"

    HP, Konica, Lexmark: "You made laser printers?"

    1. Just an old bloke

      I do believe we had a desktop Epson laser some years ago. It wasn't good.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Of course the fact Epson can gouge over 10x the supply costs for an inkjet vs. a laser printer has nothing to do with their "decision."

    Just got rid of an Epson. Absolute junk. Constantly demanding feedings of $90/set ink cartridges despite rare usage. This time was the end - I hadn't printed a single page since replacing cartridges and it decided one had run out so it wouldn't work. You can't even scan with that garbage when it is out of ink.

    Death to inkjets!!!

  26. WolfFan

    I have an

    Aged Epson MFD inkjet and an even more aged Brother laser at home. The Epson doesn’t use Epson cartridges, they cost far too much. I bought a box of eight non-Epson carts, two each black, cyan, magenta and yellow, for less than what Epson wanted for a pack with one cyan, magenta, and yellow, NO black. I’m about halfway through the pack. The Epson complains every time I install a cartridge. Non Epson ink, I will damage the device (in unspecified ways) and void my (now dead for many years) warranty. There’s a firmware update which might cause problems with non Epson ink, but is required for (unspecified) Security Reasons. I have never installed that update. I have turned wireless access off. The device complained about that, too.

    The Brother has been running since 2005. It Just Works. Brother cartridges are cheap, not that much more expensive than 3rd party cartridges, so I use Brother cartridges. (Don’t buy directly from Brother, they charge a lot compared to Amazon and others.) I have run nearly 30,000 pages through it, am on the second drum unit and the 10th cartridge. The drum unit prices have doubled over the years, so when this drum dies I’ll probably get a new printer instead, it’ll be cheaper.

    I will probably replace both printers with a Brother color laser.

    Bye, Epson.

  27. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Linux

    Follow the money

    I bought a colour laserjet about 5 years ago. I've used it for colour posters and flyers as well as ordinary letters. It still has the original cartridges.

  28. The Velveteen Hangnail

    Horseshit

    This has nothing to do with the environment and everything to do with profit.

    You can take my laser printer from my cold dead hands. I print very rarely, which means when I had an inkjet my cost per page was approximately $100 because by the time I needed to print again, all my cartridges had dried up. Meanwhile my laser's starter cartridges lasted 2 years, and would have lasted even longer if I didn't need to emergency print a large number of flyers for a community thing.

    Laser just isn't as profitable for them. Framing it as an environmental thing is a flat out disgusting lie.

    You know what helps the environment? Not redesigning your printers and ink cartridges every week.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Horseshit

      You know what helps the environment? Not redesigning your printers and ink cartridges every week.

      This ^^^

  29. BOFH in Training

    No more ink based printers, no thank you.

    I got myself a Canon MF645CX about 6 months ago, second hand. My only criteria was that it must be a laser MFD and able to scan / print in black. Colour/dual sided printing was a bonus. It had full toners for all the colours.

    Was in very good condition and cost me about 300USD (converted from my local currency so that people have a reference). Was just over half price from buying a brand new device.

    I think since I got it, I may have printed 15 pages of text. And maybe scanned about 20 pages.

    I fully expect to be using it for at least a few more years without having to worry about refills or dried up ink or other craziness.

    Let me know when I can get an Inkjet which can be as painless and easy to use as this device, for as many expected years without having to pay for consumables.

  30. trevorde Silver badge

    Alternate headline

    "Epson realises that inkjet printers are more profitable than laser printers"

    1. R Soul Silver badge

      Re: Alternate headline

      Epson realises that inkjet printer cartridges are more profitable than laser printers

      FTFY

  31. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

    Fall of Epson

    I would never trade my HP Laserjet for an ink-jet variant, no matter what the environmental cost.

    Epson is making the wrong assumptions and should concentrate building stuff their customers want, not forcing inferior stuff onto them to "save the Planet" (tm).

  32. TheSkeptechsGuide

    Absolute green washing faf

    I've run a small photo studio for years, and I do light small business IT Support, so I've had decades of experience across desktop, office and large format printing. I've used and supported dozens of printer models for their entire product lives. I despise Epson printers... all of them. Their build quality, support, features and ongoing costs are all way down on the list. Their ceramic inkjet technology is okay, but it burns significantly more ink than silicon based print heads, and their failure will total even a $10,000 large format printer, while vendors like Canon and HP use silicon print heads that are a consumable part (down side), but user replaceable (huge upside). I used to go through a waste ink tank every three months with my old 44" Epsons (7900, 9900...), Whereas my Canon Pro 4000 (same product segment) has used one in three years... Think about the ink savings... (And one new print head that costs about one large ink cartridge.. $600, in line with other ongoing costs in this business) Meanwhile for all my clients I never suggest inkjets. The smallest printer I suggest for anyone is a B&W Brother laser. No ink waste, no cleaning, long term mechanical reliability... And for things that are a bit more demanding I just get them an off-lease photocopier. For $1000 delivered you can get something that'll print and scan A3/tabloid and cost less than 1¢/page for a decade at 10000 pages a month (I like Xerox or Kyocera). Meanwhile I still have an HP LaserJet 4 Plus with Ethernet. It's 31 years old and still has Windows 11 support. The fan is a little wonky but it still works, and with a $10 part it'll be good for another 30 years. This Epson marketing ploy should be legally called out. They should be embarrassed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Absolute green washing faf

      Epson photo printers for years had to purge the black line every time you switched between photo black and matte black. Being someone who often switched between papers requiring one or the other ink, depending on the photo to be printed, I always found them quite crazy.

  33. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
    Pint

    Time Lord Tech Support

    While drinking with a certain Doctor, prior to a convention he was bemoaning that fact that every time he came back from a tour or filming, resuming his daily hobbit* of printing, then reading scripts & contracts, he would waste the morning trying to get his inkjet to work, before spending the afternoon going off to Staples to get fresh cartridges.

    At that point I said he'd be better off with a cheap mono laser, that could sit powered down for weeks/months & be ready to work with no issues.

    Giving the Doctor tech support\advice - Priceless.

    *Sorry Not Sorry

  34. Ace2 Silver badge

    When was the last time you reprinted something on a laser because it didn’t turn out right?

    But on an inkjet… basically every damn time I have to print twice. “Oops, started streaking 7/8s down the page, again!”

  35. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Greener printing

    Well, there goes the price of the green ink refills.

  36. atheist

    Unbeliver

    I don't see merit in their claim.

    The majority of inkjet printers are not built to last, so their claim doesn't pass the sniff test.

    And unreliable proprietary services like Epson Connect compares poorly to a normal network printer.

  37. heyrick Silver badge

    Not convinced

    I have an HP inkjet. It's cheap to run as I'm with Instant Ink (even at a fiver a month, it works out cheaper than the overpriced unicorn tears).

    I recently picked up an old Samsung MW2022, a basic small generic laser printer.

    The inkjet is useful for colour prints, and it does quite well despite being about the cheapest thing on offer. But what inkjet sucks at is speed and being in any way waterproof.

    The laser? Can't do pictures. The results are pretty awful. But text and diagrams no problem. Got a datasheet that would be easier if printed? Load up fifty sheets of paper in the printer, load up the PDF in Adobe Reader, hit Print, and the pages pour out in a way inkjet can never manage. Want to tell the postie to leave a parcel in the garage? Knock up a page in Google Docs, toss it to the printer, sellotape it to the letterbox. Can do that with my phone while waiting for the kettle to boil.

    As mentioned above, even though toner is awful stuff, it's just there waiting. It doesn't need to be thrown out after six months because it dried up. It doesn't need a dozen cleaning cycles before it manages something approximating proper printing, and it doesn't need the endless technological waste of tiny printing heads embedded into the thing. Just switch the thing on, even months later, and the page that comes out will look more or less the same as if it had only been off a day. Oh, and with a decent filled cartridge, the thing lasts for ages. Which is, I suspect, the real reason they're ditching laser. Can't milk the customer as much.

    Anyway, they're different technologies that do similar things in entirely different ways. Each has pros and cons. It's a bit like diesel versus petrol. Butane versus propane. Windows versus MacOS. Etc etc.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There was once a deal with a fruit based vendor of computers or one of their partners where if you turned down the free Epson printer, it cost you 5 pounds more.

    They were snapped up, I mean, who wouldn't want a printer on their desk rather than wrestle with the Kyocera printers that the workplace had.

    Except they weren't that good a deal. The tanks ran out faster than a previous PM. The costs were probably in sync with the cost of the previous PM in terms of the entire fleet wanting 2 or more complete replenishments as well as the multiple black cartridges.

    The TCO of callouts to get the cheap ass tat working on the desks meant that before the year, most of them were booted into touch via a recycler, who grumbled about them but had to take them due to one of few water tight contracts the beancounters and legal team had worked on.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      I remember when Morgan Computers used to sell "free" printers, inkjet and laser. Just buy three sets of ink/toner carts and they'd throw in the printer for free. IIRC they were mainly Dell branded printers. No idea if they were any good though. Probably crappy Windows-only GDI printers that needed clearing out of the OEMs warehouse.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        They still do, some decent kit although it changes regularly. Now owned by IJT direct.

        Be aware though, they will spam call you. Drives me nuts.

  39. Trigun

    Saving the planet virtue signalling?

    I tend to get just a tad sceptical of this "we're saving the planet!" type thing, because so much of it seems to be virtue signalling and a cover to charge more for less.

    Not saying that's going on here, of course....

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Saving the planet virtue signalling?

      The vast majority of businesses claiming they are "going green" are only doing it because they see money in it. Govt. grants, publicity, saving cost by reducing waste, whatever. Few, if any, are doing it because it's the right thing to do.

  40. rajivdx

    I call bullshit!

    Inkjet printers are very lucrative for printer manufacturers as you need to continuously replace the ink cartridges whether you use the printer or not. If you leave the printer plugged in then it will do a 'self clean' every day and squirt ink into the *surprise surprise* ink pad. And this results in 2 things:

    1. You run out of ink whether you use the printer of not - a regular income stream for the manufacturer.

    2. Your printer bricks itself due to a full ink pad requiring you to purchase a new printer - more money for the manufacturer.

    If you try to leave the printer unplugged for extended periods of time then the nozzles get blocked with dried ink requiring you to either purchase a new printer or new cartridges (if the nozzles are on the cartridge)

    I found myself replacing ink every 3 months on my inkjet printer even though I rarely used it.

    If you sparingly use your printer then a Laser is a lot more economical as:

    1. It consumes next to no power just sitting there - no periodic cleaning, nothing.

    2. You can turn it off for years and it won't get clogged.

    3. It consumes no toner if you don't print anything.

    I now replace the toner in my laser printer once in 2 years.

    And guess what, if you do a lot of printing the Laser printer is still economical as 1 toner cartridge will print around 5000 pages on Laser compared to around 500 on inkjet. Yes, Laser consumes more electricity printing - if that concerns you go on a 100% renewable energy plan.

    There is a reason why you can buy an inkjet printer for $20 - to suck you into the ecosystem where you continuously have to fork out money for cartridges assuring a regular income to the manufacturers.

  41. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Software by day, hardware by night

    Inkjets won't give me PCB etching masks. Yeah, I know you can get PCBs made for you, but ordering a PCB for your impulsive crazy idea would be like ordering a candy bar online when you're hungry.

  42. Tim99 Silver badge

    I nearly didn't buy a new printer

    My 9 year old AirPrint Canon ink jet died.I have access to a shared B/W laser in our retirement village, and a nice receptionist who can be asked (very occasionally) to print small documents on a colour laser - So I thought I didn't need to replace the Canon. Just as well, because of Covid, almost nobody had a printer to sell. Unfortunately I was in a local shop, when they had a pallet of HP Inspire 7200s delivered. I bought one straight off the pallet. Three months later the power supply died. HP support sent me a new one 5 days later, and that has been fine - For casual printing "Don't buy the Ink plan", it is" very expensive. So far it is working well, and a significant improvement on the Canon - The main thing that I don't like is almost being "forced to connect it to the internet - Yes I have turned firmware updates off...

  43. Zarno

    Utterly garbage.

    Are they seriously trying to tell me that reconditionable toner carts that last 1000+ sheets, or more when on toner saver, are worse than the "Used for 20 pages then dried out over a long weekend" ink carts?

    I have an HP laser older than one of my coworkers that's still printing, whereas the Designjet 755CM is currently yawning for belts, ink carts, and a new flex flyer.

    Sadly large format laser is still extremely rich for my blood, so I feed the inkjet beast I have sparingly.

  44. Blackjack Silver badge

    Honesty once I went laser printer I never went back to ink but I admit occasionally using a dot matrix printer on my old past century PC.

  45. cjcox

    Sniff, sniff... what's that I smell?

    Well, I'd love to say it's the smell of eco-ink in the name of the planet, but there's actually a stink to this.

    But rather than focus on the stench, let's focus on the sound, the sound of throwaway printers and oodles of cash thrown at very very very cost inefficient ink printers, and the exploitation of man done mainly by Epson.

    I'm sorry, but nothing about Epson's announcement has any shred of truth behind it. This is a horrible attempt at creating landfill and empty wallets to the benefit of Epson. Period.

  46. Just an old bloke

    And those Epson multi-function printers that refuse to scan if one of the cartridges is empty. How I miss dot matrix.

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Wait, what?

      That's asinine to the point of intentional stupidity, surely done on purpose to ensure the piece of crap is useless without good ink in it. Bastards.

  47. nolan

    Dot Matrix

    Nobody?

  48. toomanylogins

    Save some money and get a funnel

    Or get a funnel drill a hole in the laser cartridge and fill it up with toner. Dead easy, bit messy. Quality goes down a bit after 2 or 3 refills.

  49. sjaeym

    I bought an HP 1020 monochome laser printer in 2006, and it still works perfectly, and is supported in current Linux distributions. Its predecessor was an Epson C64, which died immediately after I installed a second set of cartridges - I didn't get a single page from them. I am on my fourth toner cartridge, and obviously very happy with the HP product.

  50. Mr. V. Meldrew
    Thumb Down

    Greenwashing....

    Bull Shit! Laser any day for me.

  51. Chris Roberts

    Green?

    I bought an Epson laser in the early 90's and it worked until I no longer had an XP machine about 20 years later, no Win7 drivers was the reason I had to replace it in the end. Show me an inkjet that can be left for a few months between prints and which will always work perfectly on startup.

  52. BGatez

    cost of ink cartridges?

    Printers that WON'T print black if a single other cartridge is empty. Cartidges that cost 60-80% of a new printer. No thanks. Love those Brotherlasers.

  53. Giles C Silver badge

    There is one thing - envelopes

    One thing I do use an inkjet for is envelope printing self seal envelopes and the fuser in a laser printer do not mix well….

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