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”Paperworld
”Paperworld
”Paperworld

Printers bemoaned for wasting ink “for non-print functions”

July 5, 2013

HP Officejet Pro 8600Article highlights issue of some printers using ink when not printing documents, misleading consumers.

Mark Huffman writes for Consumer Affairs regarding the discovery of a recent investigation by Consumer Reports magazine, which found that “some printers use up to 50 percent of their ink for non-print functions”, for example when cleaning print heads; thus customers find that ink needs replacing more often than anticipated.

The report found that the HP Officejet Pro 8600 and Lexmark OfficeEdge Pro 4000 wasted the most ink; with the article noting that the most effective way to tell if a printer is wasting ink is “to print a document and listen to the noises the machine makes before printing”, adding that “if it goes through a series of motions before it starts to print, it is performing maintenance chores. The more sounds it makes, the more ink it is using”.

While nothing can be done about the ink wasted on maintenance activities, the article lists ways in which ink usage can be reduced when printing; including using a smaller font, avoiding bold text, proofing a draft document on the computer rather than printing a draft copy, and only printing what you need by copy and pasting relevant paragraphs into a document rather than printing the whole text and images.

GreenPrint, a free app that analyses print jobs and highlights waste, is also mentioned; and managing printer settings effectively such as adjusting the quality level to “low” when not printing photographs is another tip for reducing ink.

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