Toner drain

posted by Jeff | Wednesday, May 10, 2006, 3:56 PM | comments: 0

All four of the "low toner" lights on my printer are currently lit. While I love having a color laser printer (it's more than a year old now), today I learned the true expense of ownership.

I bought a backup black cartridge ages ago. Don't remember how much it costs. Today I bought the other three... for a total cost of $250. Ouch. The printer says each one has about 150 pages to go before they crap out on me. With color stuff to print out soon (like the BeastBuzz name tags), I had to just bite the bullet and buy.

For as much as I want to bitch about it, I've been able to do lots of cool color stuff, including marketing materials for ad sales, color name tags for events, really nice looking letters, etc. Several thousand pages have passed through the printer, so it's not all bad.

HP was clever in the way they built the thing too. Instead of each color having its own imaging drum, there's just one, and it has a life span of something like 10,000+ pages. I don't know what a drum costs, but I think it has something like 6,000 pages to go in its lifespan. I assume the real margin for HP is in the toner, not the printer itself (it has been that way for inkjets for years). Having a networked printer that does like 20 ppm for under $500 is still pretty sweet.


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