Monday, 19 September 2016

Printer ink

The BBC has a piece about HP printers rejecting non-HP cartridges.

Large numbers of HP printer owners found their printers stopped recognising unofficial printer ink cartridges on 13 September.

Dutch printer ink vendor 123inkt said it had received more than 1,000 complaints in one day.

HP said that during its last firmware update, settings had been changed so HP printers would communicate with only HP-chipped cartridges.

It also said some devices already had the functionality built-in.

We have a Canon printer and stick to Canon ink cartridges after fatal problems with our previous Epson printer choking on unofficial cartridges. We do very little printing, but over the past year or so I'm sure the lifetime of cartridges has reduced. It is easy enough to check this because we buy them through Amazon which tells us when we last bought the same item. I keep no records, but from memory cartridge life seems to have dropped from about a year to about six months.

It's not a new issue of course. Back in 2013 the Guardian was telling us about printer manufacturers reducing the amount of ink per cartridge. It could be worth buying a cheap printer with the intention of throwing it away when a cartridge runs out, but no doubt they will have that sorted by making special short lifetime cartridges for new printers. Cartels eh? Don't we just love them?


Woodsy42 said...

Some laser printer manufacturers have been supplying 'sample' toner cartriges, with only a tiny quantity of toner, with new printers for years.

However I thought it had been established that it was illegal to block third party inks, even though the over-ride control can be hidden in a menu branch and undocumented in the instructions.

Sam Vega said...

"Cartels eh? Don't we just love them?"

We certainly do. Because once they've got us by the balls, our hearts and minds will follow.

My wife needs the printer because she is studying. I've always hated the blasted things because they always seemed to go wrong and churn out reams of ruined paper. It goes on Freecycle as soon as we can do without it.

Michael said...

On two occasions in the past, when we found how expensive the replacement cartridges were, we just chucked the old kit away, and bought a cheapo from somewhere like Tesco or Argos.

One printer (Canon), was so cheap it was derisory, and worked for a couple or more years with no problems - until I needed quite a lot of printing done, and the cost of replacement cartridges kicked the thing into touch...

Thanks for the tip on HP. I probably won't get their stuff again.

Demetrius said...

In the last couple of years I have found myself doing much less printing for various reasons, but for those who need to they are very But it maybe that the printer hoods could be creating a market for inexpensive, reliable, low cost ink competitors.

Demetrius said...

After "very" insert "costly".

A K Haart said...

Woodsy - I don't know about the legality but as you suggest, it is probably possible to hide the relevant controls in a maze of other options.

Sam - Canon printers are pretty good in that respect. Reliable and well thought out. The ink is a pain though.

Scrobs - I thought of treating cheap printers as disposable. If the Canon packs up I may do that.

Demetrius - there are low cost alternatives, but some are dodgy and we had a bad experience with non-standard Epson cartridges which put us off.

wiggiatlarge said...

I currently run two printers both Canon, both are Pixma models used mainly for photo printing, my old is seven years old and still going strong but I wanted an A3 printer so purchased one.

The new one can accomadate standard and XL cartridges, the so called XL version is actually smaller and more expensive than the cartridges in my old printer ?

As I use my old printer for text only now or other non photo duties it now has Jet Tec cartridges fitted and after nearly a year no problems and they last a bit longer than the Canon ones, for photouse I would not try the cheaper option, but who knows I could be wrong.

Going on a bit here but Cnon have in my latest camera fitted a battery with coding that restricts the use of a third party battery, you can use one but will get no info as to how charge is left, they are all trying it on.

wiggiatlarge said...

Excuse errors failed to check before sending.

A K Haart said...

Wiggia - thanks, I'll keep a note of Jet Tec although we sometimes use the printer for printing photos of the grandkids. My latest Nikon camera has the battery built in so I hope it lasts.

Angus Dei said...

Had Epson printers for ten years or so, bought my latest one three years ago-an sx240w, does what I want is wireless and accepts cheap cartridges (buy then off eBay for pennies) happy chap.

A K Haart said...

Angus - my Epson was ruined by cheap cartridges which has put me off buying them for the Canon.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

I have an HP printer which refuses to work at all if the ink is out of date - never mind whether it is empty or the wrong make!

So branded HP ink, only half-used - "Nope, sorry, ink out of date, no printee" and that's it. Nothing will happen until you put in a new (genuine HP) ink cartridge.

They are gouging bastards, all of them.

A K Haart said...

WY - I see HP has a printer subscription wheeze where you pay about £25 per year for 50 pages a month. The printer automatically orders new ink cartridges if the ink is low and they just pop through the door at no extra charge. I don't like the tie-in aspect but it would be cheaper than our Canon.