I have been feeding a monster for the past ten years. This monster is an HP Photosmart 8150 inkjet printer that consumes ink cartridges with the appetite of a velociraptor. The printer still works and I am generally reluctant to replace a working product; however, in this case the reasons are compelling:
- Speed – The HP Photosmart 8150 has the speed of a slow-moving snail.
- Bleed- HP Photosmart 8150 inks have the water resistance of low quality construction paper when wet.
- Economics – Newer printers offer double-sided printing at a lower cost per page.
- Usage – The HP Photosmart 8150 is optimized for photos, and I rarely print photos at home.
I selected the HP Office Jet Pro 8100, which sells for $99.99 on sale, since it has the features I am looking for. The printer contains starter cartridges with about half the amount of ink in a typical cartridge. When these cartridges are taken into account, the cost of the printer is actually $58.00.
For an economic analysis, let’s look at the black ink cartridge. Most pages that I print contain mostly black text, although a similar argument would also apply for color cartridges. A black cartridge for my old printer sells for $28.99 and prints 480 pages for a per page cost of $0.06 cents, while a cartridge for my new printer sells for$26.99 and prints 1000 pages for a per page cost of $0.03. The savings are a little over $0.03 per page and I can cover the $58.00 printer cost in under 2000 pages and even faster if the pages are double-sided or include color. For me, 2000 pages is six months to a year of printing. Purchase justified. Case closed.
Note: This analysis is based on HP cartridges. Low-cost aftermarket refill cartridges are available, but I choose not to use them due to concerns about poor performance (see Use third-party ink at your own risk and WIR Testing Finds Aftermarket Inks Inferior to OEM).
Note added July 23, 2015: Does anyone want to buy a used HP Photosmart 8150?