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Colour Laser Printing – Reducing the costs

Over the last few years Inkjet and Laser printers have plummeted in cost. I saw advertised the other day a Samsung Full Colour Laser Printer for £69.99 + VAT, and Mono for £29.99 + VAT. That’s entering the market of the disposable inkjet and even in my books that seems too good to be true.

One thing to analyse is the true cost of printing.  The printer may be cheap, but over a year, you can easily spend 3 to 4 times its value in ink or toner.

Each print cartridge has an estimated “yield” or coverage based on a percentage of ink or toner used when printing.

So by illustration let’s use a HP Colour LaserJet CP2025. This printer is Full Colour, 20 pages per minute print speed and would be suitable for small office use. Your investment to buy the printer would be £250 + VAT approx.

Each colour cartridge has a capacity of 2,800 pages based on 5% coverage and will set you back about £90 + VAT each. Generally when one runs out, it’s not long before your change the rest – that the bit that becomes hard to swallow.

So basing the printing costs across all toners being used and a single side of A4 being printed, your cost would be as follows:

A letter with a bit of colour (5% coverage) = 3.05p

A Google style map (15% coverage) = 9.14p

A basic colour newsletter (20% coverage) = 12.19p

A colour flyer (40% coverage) = 24.37p

Full Colour Advert or Photo (90% coverage) = 54.84p

So if you are printing mainly black and white letters, then buying a mono LaserJet P2055 at £150 + VAT may be better. For letters (5% coverage) it is only 1.69p per page. Basically halving your running costs. A cheap Inkjet may then suffice for the occasional colour work.

There is some very simple ways to reduce your printing costs. The obvious thing may be to ask yourself, do I need to print the document in the first place? Do you print in a draft or eco setting by default? If you use a colour laser printer, have you set the default to print mono only? Selecting only colour when you need it. These tips in practice can make significant savings.

But the greatest saving can be made before you buy that bargain! Check out its true running costs, and analyse what you will be printing. Make an informed choice, do a bit of research, and then your pocket will be happy long after the purchase was made.

Written by: Julian Flux – connect with Julian on LinkedIn

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