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At last a printer with refillable cartridges

  1. #1
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    Default At last a printer with refillable cartridges

    Those of us who have a (colour) printer at home know the pains of ink cost. Most of us know the printer manufacturer's razors and blades story. To the uninitiated, it works like this:

    • The manufacturers like HP, Canon, Epson, Lexmark, etc. sell printers very cheap
    • Printers used to cost a lot in the past but today even laser printers (at entry level) can be had at Rs. 10k or so.can be
    • So how has this turnaround happened? Quite simple. The manufacturers are selling the hardware (printers) cheap at a loss or at cost or minimal profit. They are making money out of sale of ink cartridges.


    This is very similar to Gillette's razors and blades. The Gillette razor is nearly free. The blades are sold at a very high cost. Printer manufacturers adapted the same method. But then the "refill" market and the non-branded ink sellers got into the fray. To counter this, all the majors started selling the cartridges with a built-in chip. The function of the chip was to keep track whether the cartridge is original, how much ink is left in the reservoir and the expiry date. This was a big blow to consumers as now they could not use refills or after-market cartridges. So once the ink cartridge was exhausted after use, or dried out due to non-use or even expired (again due to non-use), the user had no option but to buy an original cartridge. It was near impossible to breakdown the chip mechanism.

    Then came "Chip reseters" and after-market chips. The chip reserter could reset the chip. Then one could buy refill ink bottles and fill them by themselves. But the process is/was messy. After market chips replacements meant that the original chip must be pried off by pincers and new chip glued on. Again this was a messy affair. But manufacturers started litigation against such people.

    There was/is another solution - the Continuous Ink Supply System or CISS. This is a kind of retrofit that is an ensemble of large ink tanks that fits to the printer and feeds the cartridge with ink via tubes. See the pic below:

    The CISS meant that only inks tanks need to be filled when empty and at a fraction of the cost.

    And a great many users have gone for the CISS. But sometimes, the CISS delivery tubes get entangled with the printer head's moving mechanism. The manufacturers are trying to bring litigation against the CISS makers also.

    But at last one manufacturer has got its head in the right place - EPSON is now marketing two printers - the L100 and L200 with the original ink tank reservoir system. They still want you to buy the original ink from them. So when the tank goes empty, the printer knows that. When you refill, the printer asks the serial number of the ink bottle and accepts only valid serial numbers (well hackers will soon crack that as well).

    But at last there is a decent solution for printer and inks.
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    Last edited by just4kix; 21st June 2012 at 11:00 PM.
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    Here are some pictures of Epson L100/L200 ...


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    any word on pricing and availability ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rajan1311 View Post
    any word on pricing and availability ?
    The printer L200 is priced at rs. 9100 or thereabout in flipkart. I tried to check the prices of inks. Though not confirmed, it appears that the entire set of 4 inks plus 2 extra bottles of black, each of 70 ml costs rs. 1700. Individual inks bottles (70ml) should be for rs. 350.

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    Default Re: At last a printer with refillable cartridges

    Two months ago I purchased the L210. I shall part review later.

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