New Consumer Calculator: Save on Printer Ink

In several ConsumerGrams, we reported that consumers were overpaying on computer printer ink by a total of $6 billion a year, because manufacturers were not disclosing their printer or cartridge costs per page.  Furthermore, we showed that, over the useful life of a printer, the actually cost of the printer may be a little as a tenth of the cost of the ink!  Therefore, ink price per page is the most important information for consumers to know when buying a printer. 

To help consumers make better decisions, we created a new consumer calculator.  The calculator lets consumers pick an ink jet printer that is most cost-effective for them.  The information used in our consumer calculator comes from the testing lab QualityLogic and uses strict industry-accepted ISO standards.

To try the consumer calculator, visit:

Best Regards,



13 thoughts on “New Consumer Calculator: Save on Printer Ink

  1. Can anyone comment to the idea of refilling cartridges like at Walgreens? and how that would effect the per copy cost?

  2. It cuts the ink cost by as much as half, though often less than that.

    Some do it yourself refill kits significantly reduce ink costs, but are messy, etc…

    However, one study claims that refill print quality is not as good.

    Also, some cartridges cannot be refilled because of the manufacturer’s design.

  3. The Epson CX printers in the calculator comes in around 9 cents per B&W page, 17 to 19 cents per color page and 39 cents per photo. It would be easier if these companies just printed the cost per page, instead of hiding it from consumers.

  4. Type your comment here.Has anyone information about the HP Photosmart C5380???
    will be pleased to hear comments.

  5. I’d tried your calculator and I didn’t find it useful, probably you may work a little more on that calculator, to include more models and printer marks, probably you can try with more epson and at least a pair of HP. Don’t you?

  6. Pepe,
    The ink calculator includes about 80 printers, many are HPs, Epson and so on. The ink calculator only shows the 10 best (lowest cost) printers. We did that in order to keep the results onto one screen for easy viewing. If you want to see higher cost printers, try entering “zero” pages, which will show you the printers that are inexpensive to buy, but costly to operate.

  7. I LOVE this idea, but I would really find this calculator more useful if you just went ahead and included all results ascending by cost. The problem with just showing the “best” ten is that we consumers may be considering a number of other features and capabilities in our printers, even in cheap printers–scanning, print quality, software and warranties, for example. If I am considering a handful of printers, I have no way of knowing from those results if you have included any or all of the printers I am considering in your comparisons, especially if they are on the edge of your $150 range. I’m not sure what you think is too complicated about a table of eighty printers showing only a couple parameters for each. My guess is that shoppers willing to obsess like I am over a relatively small printer purchase are a little more savvy than you are giving them credit for.

  8. I agree and plan to update the calculator to show many more printers, once we pay a programmer to make these changes.

  9. Steve, I tried the “0” suggestion for seeing higher cost ink printers, that does not work! The result showed only the cost of the printers and ranked them that way.

    I agree with Caitlin. I did not find this chart very useful. I do wish I had known about this chart before my latest printer/scanner purchase.

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