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Old Aug 30, 2004, 11:55 PM   #1
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I've heard many comments about HP having a more expensive total cost of ownership. So I thought I'd price cartridges at Costco.com to see if there is some truth to this. I'm comparing what it takes to operate HP 7960 vs Epson R300.

To get the 56, 57, and 58 HP carts at Costco you pay about $70. To get the 6 separate Epson carts (for an R300 let's say) you pay about $77. So is the supposed higher-cost of ownership on the HP really due to it being less efficient with ink? Or is Epson cheaper over time because the 6 separate carts really don't deplete equally so the waste really is indeed reduced?

Or is the HP really not more expensive per print?

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Old Aug 31, 2004, 12:10 AM   #2
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Ink wise I do believe over time HP is no more expensive than any other printer. For 6 colors of photo ink (57 + 58 ) you pay less than $60 retail price no matter where you get it. Places like Costco will reduce your cost of ownership quite a bit. For the R300 and i960 you pay 72 - $80 retail price for the same 6 colors that are rated at roughly the same yeild (125-150 4x6 prints). Having a i960 and a Photosmart I get the best of both worlds - speed of the Canon and longevity of the HP. On my i960 rarely do inks go out at far different times...generally they are just one right after another with a bias towards the PM, PC and BLK (which are the same 3 colors in the HP 58 ).

Paper wise, Canon's selection sucks. That is their biggest weakness. With HP, they equal Epson in different paper selection however that is where HP is more expensive. Easy fix though - buy online or look for deals like buy 1 get 1 free which are pretty common here in Oregon.

In the end I prefer my HP for the paper types (Prem Plus Matte is amazing paper - 73 year life too!) and I will definitely be buying their 8450 when it comes out for the even longer print life, even higher yeild ink carts and speeds rivaling the i960.

Hopefully that helps...
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Old Aug 31, 2004, 11:39 AM   #3
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The EPSON, and Canon printers that have individual ink cartridges, will have a lower total cost of ownership. The 6 ink cartridges have something to do with it, because you only have to replace the photo inks when they run out. Also, the ink cartridges hold more ink than HP's. I'm happy with my Canon i960, evn though they don't have a paper selection as big as Epson's, or HP's.
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Old Sep 1, 2004, 1:16 PM   #4
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Doesn't a canon print well on hp/epson paper then ?

Does it extend longevity ?

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Old Sep 1, 2004, 3:14 PM   #5
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I use Epson Glossy Photo Paper on my i960. I don't know about thelongevity though.
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Old Sep 1, 2004, 8:28 PM   #6
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I am surprised no one has mentioned it's not just the factor of adding up the costs of the ink cartrdiges, but actually HOW MUCH INK is in each cartridge! Do a comparision (the newest HP inks are a total joke) in terms of how many ml's are in each cartridge, then price, then individual vs tri-tanks.

Someone also mentioned that Canon's paper selection is poor. I hardly find this the case. They have massively improved from three years ago. I rarely have to leave the Canon branded papers forsomething I am looking for. Worst case, you can use Epson papers.
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Old Sep 2, 2004, 5:45 PM   #7
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I believe pdxbrian did address this issue. He said the yield was the same on HP as Epson. Yield is really what matters, not the fill-level of the cartidges, right?
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Old Sep 5, 2004, 1:31 AM   #8
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Correct. If you are buying printer ink based on milliliters you really have no clue what you are looking for.

There are several factors going on here. 1 is ink waste. New HP cartridges have a <1% ink waste. That is a huge benefit to having heads on the cartridges but overall the print cartridges were completely changed so they need far less ink to cover the same amount of space. Second is the type of ink. Canon and Epson use the alcohol dye inks which are very thin and watery and need to use more ink to absorb and cover the same amount of space than HP's thick glycol based inks.

Buying ink based on ML's is really quite dumb. Buy ink based on yields.

Here's a run-down:
HP 56 and 94 Black: ~450 full text pages
HP 57 and 95 Color: ~125 4x6 Photos or 291 pages of color
HP 96 Black: 850+ pages of text
HP 97 Color: 240 4x6 photos or 550+ pages of color
HP 58 and 99 Photo: ~125 4x6 photos
HP 59 and 100 Gray: ~125 4x6 photos

Canon BCI-6: 13ml x 6 = 78ml to print the same roughly 125 4x6 photos as it does for the HP 95 and 99 6 colors that cost $22 less and have less than 35ml of ink.

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Old Sep 5, 2004, 1:39 AM   #9
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Having worked for Canon in the past, I can tell Mayhem sounds like he does now, has a close friend that does...Or just spends all weekend hanging out with the Canon rep at his local CompUSA. Canon folk talk up mililiters like there's no tomorrow with absolutely no regard to print yeilds.

And as far as Canon's paper selection, I don't care if it is better than it was 3 years ago. I care how it compares to what HP and Epson have to offer RIGHT NOW. I have an i960 and it bugs the crap out of me having to get Red River paper (BTW Excellent) and worry about profiling and longevity when HP and Epson customers rarely do.

Here's Canon's run-down:
1) Glossy Photo Paper (cheapest, thinnest, lowest longevity)
2) Photo Paper Plus Glossy (most like lab photos, still less than 10 year longevity as I am sure many in here as I have experienced
3) Photo Paper Pro (best quality, up 27 year longevity which is still questionable as we have experienced)
4) Matte Photo Paper (nothing more than coated cardstock, no texture and terrible ink absorbtion with dark colors - very oversaturated with ink very easily)

While 4 different paper types is nothing to frown upon,
lets take a small look at HP and Epson:
HP:
Everyday glossy and semigloss
25 year yeild: Glossy, Matte and soft
73 year yeild: Glossy, Matte and soft
4x8 Panorama
8x12 Panorama
Quilting fabric, tshirt transfers, scrapbooking paper...list goes on

Epson:
Premium Glossy, Luster, Soft gloss, Colorlast, Matte, various roll sizes etc... along with all the specialty papers HP also has.

It is a shame Canon customers should have to look to 3rd party papers for a broader selection. In so many cases 3rd party papers need profiling and longevity just is not there.
HP and Epson can give you longevity and a huge array of media all from the company that makes your printer and rarely if ever needing color profiles. Seems easy to me...

Don't get me wrong, Canon is a great company that makes excellent products but when it comes to printers they are a couple steps behind in some very important areas.
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