On lots of occasions, people ask what is the best/cheapest printer to run and there are millions (slight exag :) ) of differing answers but little in the way of explanation of these answers :)
So, I'd like to start an official thread where we say WHY we think certain printers are better/cheaper :)
I'd like to start off by saying that I believe Color Office Photcopiers are the cheapest to use.
Schools buy them to do photcopying - they pay a standing charge that is paid anyway regardless of use.
In one of my schools, the quoted price/page (from supplier) is 0.5p for black , 1.5p for colour.
(And the bonus is someone ese maintains them :) )
As far as inkjets are concerned - I believe HP's business Inkjets beat any low capital cost Color Laser - this is just a belief with no proof :) but I would be pleasantly suprised to find I was wrong :)
The cheapest printer to run is one that's never used. Either due to a draconian printer credits system or the fact that it's broken. :)
But in all seriousness. We've been putting in contract colour photocopiers where possible. For offices/rooms we've been using mono lasers. If teachers have requested a colour printer we've generally told them to get their department to pay for and run it. At which point they don't.
This is only half the solution though. We've also switched to monitoring usage on a per printer basis (via GPLI) and on a per user basis with pykota. We have not yet moved to charging/credits on a per user basis. However we will have to soon, as the printer toner budget has hardly anything left in it and we're running out of spare toner...
If you're going to have this as a thread then you also need to set some limits on when they're cheapest or more expensive otherwise it's going to be misleading.
For example... a Canon iP4500 printer using OEM cartridges is cheaper to run than an iP4600 using OEM consumables but if you start comparing that to a 3rd party ink manufacturer then it gets even cheaper...
Likewise the K5400 is even cheaper but lacks the same functionality (CD/DVD printing, photo quality, etc...)... Then you get the whole OEM vs' 3rd party vs' CIS , etc... and it gets more complex...
I think to sum it up, we'd probably be better putting together wiki based reviews on certain printer models which could then be added to, providing intel on driver issues, updates, Cost PP examples and more.
If that wasn't enough you then have the fact that there's now a new ISO for page output yields rather than the old bog standard 5% coverage that used to be used..
Yes, it's a ruddy minefield I tell you :)