I *Heart* My OfficeJet G85

The inkjet printer market cracks me up. So many advances in print quality and technology, and yet most major manufacturers seem to design their printers to drive the sale of ink cartridges. Why do you think they are so eager to give many printers away these days? I mean… really… have you seen the size of some of the ink cartridges on many new inkjet printers? Do they have a shrink-ray on the assembly line, or did they leave them in the dryer too long? It seems like each year, they get smaller. As Gnomies, this is probably not much of a revelation.

Which brings me to why I love my HP OfficeJet G85 all-in-one. It’s been my printing, scanning, copying, and faxing workhorse for over four years now. It won’t win any prizes for print quality, although it holds its own on text and basic graphics. Plus it’s built like a Sherman tank. And speaking of tanks, its ink cartridges are massive compared to the carts I’ve seen in most comparable AIOs on the market today. To give you an idea, I ran a little experiment on ink cartridge life. It wasn’t a scientific experiment by any stretch, but it did reinforce what I already knew.

Almost a year ago, I purchased some replacement carts (it takes one black + one tri-color cartridge). For yuks, I thought I’d try an OfficeMax brand cart, just to see how long it would last over time. When I put the carts in, I printed out a self-test page that contained a page count. I marked the date on it, then taped it to the side of the printer. I actually had forgotten I did that, when I noticed the print quality was fading. So I popped out the old ones and put in some new HP brand replacement carts. As I said, it was almost a year ago when I started the experiment, and when I looked at the new self-test page, the old carts had lasted nearly 800 pages. Perhaps a testament to the OfficeMax brand carts, but more likely an indicator of the volume of ink they contained. I’ll let you know how long the HP carts last me, but it may be a while.

Ink carts are a major cash cow for printer makers. Everybody knows it. Roughly a year ago, HP just stopped short of filing a lawsuit against CartridgeWorld, citing patent infringement. Personally, my theory is that it felt a threat against that cash cow, and patent infringement is just a convenient cover. Once in a while, I’ll see some sexy new all-in-one gracing the aisles of my nearest big box store. It slices, dices, has built-in Wi-Fi, and a color LCD. But it has tiny ink tanks. Small tanks = no, thanks.

[tags]InkJet, printer cartridge, toner, ink, printer, print, OfficeJet, G85, all in one[/tags]