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Old Aug 30, 2006, 8:13 AM   #1
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Using your average HP photo inkjet printer and HP 5 star photo paper what would the cost per print be for a 8 x 10?

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Old Aug 31, 2006, 6:56 PM   #2
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Old Aug 31, 2006, 9:46 PM   #3
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I'm not sure that there is such a thing as "an average HP photo inkjet printer" anymore. ;-)

HP has a variety of printers, using a variety of different inks.

I like HP printers (even though they've got a reputation for being more expensive to operate). With a lot of HP models, you replace the print heads each time you replace the cartridges, and I've *never* had a clogged head with one (which also reduces wasted ink from cleaning cycles).

HP is pretty good about cross platform support, too. I run both Linux and Windows, and HP has nice printer drivers for Linux now, including a Printer Toolbox application to check ink levels, align heads, etc.

I couldn't even find a Linux printer driver for the last Canon I bought (a Pixma IP4000). You can find one now for it (but, that printer broke on me after 5 months anyway, and I decided to replace it with an HP versus going through the hassle of getting it fixed). Canon doesn't try to support other platforms like HP does.

I've also had bad luck with Epson printers due to clogged heads, needing frequent cleaning cycles, etc. Canon is better in this area (but, I've still had clogged heads with a Canon before). At least Canon has replaceable heads on some of their models.

If you dig around the net, you can find some relatively scientific tests on cost per page (sometimes the manufacturers tend to be a bit optimistic on those types of things due to page coverage, etc.).

Here is one example:

Cost per Page of some printer models at Tom's Hardware

Here is another one (testing some multi-function printers):

Cost Per Page of some Multi-Function Printers at Tom's Hardware

Judging by these tests, you're probably looking at around a buck per page for an 8x10" photo, including ink and paper costs with most modern inkjet printers. But, I buy my supplies on sale whenever possible, too. ;-)

If you print in a slightly lower quality mode (the highest quality mode tends to use a lot of ink), you might be surprised at the results, and reduce your ink costs, too. My last HP printer seemed to produce better prints in Normal versus Best Quality modes on most photo paper stock anyway.

I sometimes thought that the drivers were designed to throw as much ink as possible on the page to increase profit margins. lol

Now, if you select a printer that can take third party inks (and the last Canon I bought could), then your cost will be lower.

But, it's getting more and more difficult to use other inks now (thanks to sophisticated chips in the cartridges you'll find in newer printers). You'll find lots of discussion on this subject in this forum if cost per page is a big issue with you (printers that you can or cannot get to work with other inks, thanks to manufacturers taking more steps to throw roadblocks in front of other ink suppliers)

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