Optimised productivity with printing

Optimised productivity with printing

Time is money. That’s a phrase that you hear throughout your life and sadly, it’s true.

Here at INKredible we know that time is precious. There are several things you can do both at home and in the office to optimise your time but we are going to tell you about a printer-related time-saving trick.

Online printing. You have probably heard of it even if you have never used it.

The majority of printers have access to the internet these days, and we’re not just talking wireless printing. Yes, it’s great not having to deal with hooking your PC up to a printer, but there are even more uses for the fact your printer has internet access.

If you have bought a decent all-in-one in the last three years, the chances are that your printer has its own email address. This is going to save you a bunch of time.

Instead of receiving a document to your email, opening it and printing it, cut out the middle man – you. Just forward the email straight to your printer’s email address in order to save yourself some time and therefore money!

The best part is, you can do this from anywhere and your printing will be waiting for you when you get there!

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Minding your money and pocketing those pennies

Minding your money and pocketing those pennies


The BBC recently reported ten things that we Brits not only hate paying for but are confused by.

Some things on the list made a lot of sense and were, annoyingly, unavoidable – 0800 numbers being free from landlines but costing from mobiles, booking charges or 'admin fees' on low-cost airlines and cash machines charging obscene amounts of money all made it onto the list.

We have good news for you though! Although we can't do anything about any of the above (apart form the 0800 number thing, We publish our 01325 number for exactly that reason!), we can eradicate one of the money issues from the list.

Which? carried out a survey a while back and discovered that printer ink, measure for measure cost seven times more than a vintage bottle of Dom Perignon champagne!

This is a crazy statistic and there is no reason that your ink-buying should set you back more than bubbly! Our compatible inks or remanufactured cartridges will leave you with enough change in your pocket that you can afford both ink and champagne!

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OEM cartridge prices 'rising quickly'

OEM cartridge prices 'rising quickly'

Have you noticed that buying ink cartridges from brand-name manufacturers has got rather expensive recently?

The price of ink cartridges from OEMs (that's original equipment manufacturers to you and me) is rising at a steady pace, according to a new study by tech website PCWorld, with Lexmark and Kodak identified as the main offenders.

According to PC World's Melissa Riofrio, between 2009 and today, the cost-per-page of some manufacturers' inks has risen by as much as 30 per cent.

 "About eight months ago, I began noticing that ink cartridge prices for some models were going up – sometimes sharply," she wrote.

"When I dug deeper, I also saw that the price increases seemed to be selective: Some inks went up; others stayed the same; and one even dipped slightly."

 

Biggest hikes

The study found that Lexmark and Kodak were responsible for the biggest rise in price hikes, with Epson also pushing up the cost of its colour inks.

"Meanwhile, HP seems to be nudging ink costs upward in its newer models," Ms Riofrio said.

PCWorld based its findings on its reviews of printers, when it also prices-in the cost of the cartridges.

Emerging in a positive light out of the review was Kodak, whose inks remain among the least expensive on the market.

However, Ms Riofrio found that within the last year the company has raised prices on all of its supplies with big jumps in the cost of black ink.

 

Of the two other big vendors, Brother and Dell, the study couldn’t find sufficient data.

"Brother's inks are sold by third parties, and their prices can vary widely. Dell's prices seem to be stable for the few printers we've reviewed; however, their inks tend to be among the priciest in cost per page," Ms Diofrio said.

So is there any end to this apparent spot of inkflation (sorry...)? In the current climate, it would seem not.

Printer makers know they make their money on consumables, so it may be some time before they start to come down.


One alternative is to think about refilled, recycled and remanufactured inks. Browse our store to see what we sell and take a look at our feature that discusses their differences.

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Broken printer – fix it, or get a new one?

Broken printer – fix it, or get a new one?

If your printer breaks down, is it really worth repairing it, or should you just stump up the cash for a brand new machine? We take a look at your options.

Sometimes printers just break. While for the most part these problems can be easily remedied – it might be a paper jam, for example – there are some problems that will need to be properly fixed if your machine is to get up and running again.

 

A common problem – and one that often that requires proper repair – is when the printhead fails.

Your printer's head is crucial to its smooth running – it is, after all, the part of the printer that controls the amount of ink that is deposited onto the paper.

 

While you can expect a printhead to last for a couple of years, depending on how much you've paid for your printer, it's often the case that they break down. This can be for a number of reasons – blocked up by dried ink or overheating due to excessive printing, for instance.

This can have a significant effect on the quality of your prints – but should you invest in a new printhead, or just buy a new printer?

One big change in printing recently is that while the cost of OEM consumables has shot up, the price of printers has dropped. And not just a little, as you no doubt will have noticed – it's now perfectly possible to buy a decent printer for about £30.

We know why – it's because the printer makers make their money out of ink and toner cartridges, because these need to be replaced much more often.

If your printhead problem can't be easily solved, you might need to take it to a repair station to get it sorted by an expert. Depending on the scale of the job, this could cost you £50.

 

Is it really worth it, when you can pick up a whole new printer for less? Well, we reckon it depends on what you're looking for.

It might be the case that your printer does exactly what you want - in which case, why buy a new machine? It might not be fancy and sophisticated, but it does the job.

 

On the other hand, buying a more modern printer could be considered a sound investment, especially if you're serous about printing, a step up to a superior machine – on the cheap, too.

What do you think?



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Why it's all about the font

 

Why it's all about the font

What's your favourite font? Here at INKredible we favour Times New Roman – simple, straight-laced, open and honest – a lot like our good selves!

Sans Serif? Comic Sans? Wingdings? You're having a laugh, aren't you?

Seriously though – we felt a blog about fonts was high time, given – and you'd be forgiven for not knowing this –  that the font you choose can vary the amount of ink that you use when printing.

In fact, it's one of several ways you can make your ink and toner last that little bit longer.

We're well into our green practices here at INKredible – and rightly recognise the good it can do for the environment – as well as your back pocket, of course.

On top of that, reducing the amount of waste cartridges, thinking of ways you can save on ink benefits you in the long run.

According to Which?, the consumer rights organisation, there are a range of steps you can take to bring down the cost of home printing.

"Printing in draft when you don't need best quality will save on ink," a spokesperson said. 

"Even changing the font you use or the font size can vary the amount of ink that hits the page - therefore affecting ink running costs." 

When it comes to getting a good price on ink and toner, people were advised to shop around, particularly if you're buying ink from the same brand as your printer. 

"Which? found you can end up paying up to twice as much for the same cartridge, depending on where you shop," the spokesperson added.

"Using ink from a brand that's different from your printer - non-OEM (original equipment manufacturer) or third party - is an option, as these can sometimes work out cheaper."

 

What are your tips for cutting down the cost of printing? Share them here. And tell us your favourite font, too.

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Storing ink cartridges – some best practice tips

 

Looking after your ink - Some 'Best Practice' tips

If you are a regular user of ink it's likely you'll have a stock of bulk products tucked away under the desk or under the stairs.

Well, perhaps. However, by giving your ink cartridges a spot of TLC you can make them last longer and ensure you get the best possible print results too.

 

One really important thing to note is that while you can expect your cartridges to last a long time, up to two years in most cases, you can prolong their longevity and keep them in tip-top condition by storing them at room temperature.

In most home or office environments, this won't be a problem at all. But if you keep your cartridges in the cellar or the garage (OK – unlikely we know, but you never know!), it might be an idea to make sure they're not exposed to damp, cold, or extreme heat (heat in the UK? Granted – not gonna happen).


What's more, store your cartridges in an upright position. Really all you need to do it make sure they aren't thrown higgledy piggledy about the place -  you could keep them upright in a cardboard box or store them in plastic totes. Also, keep them boxed up with all the packaging intact until you come to actually use them.

 

When it comes to actually using the ink cartridges, just stick them in the printer and they'll do the job, right? Well, to some extent, yes.

But there are a few things to be aware of. One thing is, simply, to treat your ink cartridge with care. If you get a paper jam and need to take out the cartridge – just do so carefully, don't rag the thing out. it's simple things like this that help to prolong the life of your cartridges.

If you're not going to be printing for a while, it's also a good idea to print something out every now and again – just to keep your cartridges ticking over in good working order.

 

Another thing: Don't interfere with the print head it could permanently damage the cartridge.

 

Do you have any best practice tips for storing ink cartridges? Let us know in the comments below.

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How can you make printer ink last longer?

The one problem with printer ink? Eventually the stuff runs out.

Annoying isn't it? There you are ready to print the last job of the day when there's a whirr and a funny plop and your printer says 'sorry, no can do'. While it's always advisable to have some back-up ink cartridges stored under the desk, some of us just aren't that seasoned, are we?

Thankfully there are ways to conserve printer ink – and it needn't cost a fortune. In fact, it needn't cost anything. 

Easiest way to save money on ink? Use less

The Basics

The first thing to ask yourself is: Do I really need to print it? It might sound a bit obvious but think about it.

Let's say you've a 40-page research document to print off for work. Do you really need all of it? How about having a quick look through, selecting the bits you actually will find useful? It's easy to highlight certain bits of text and specific page numbers when you come to print.

Similarly, when printing emails, do you really need the whole email? If it's just a small amount of text you need why not paste it into a Word document. Sounds stingy? Perhaps - but it could mean you print one page instead of two or two pages instead of four. Tot that up over the course of a year and that's a lot of ink.


Only print what you need.

Also, by using less bold text and smaller fonts you can save ink. Do you really need to use a garish, extravagant font, and does it have to be that big? Using a traditional font in small size will help you conserve ink over the long term.


Get to grips with your printer

There's a lot more to your printer than simply pressing send and letting it do its work. In fact, you'd  be surprised how advanced today's printers are and how much they can help you. 

Having a play around with your machine's settings is a really good idea. For example, you can put your printer on low quality for non-essential print jobs, switching it up to a better quality for the jobs that need it. 

Why opt for the default print setting? Delving a little deeper into the workings of your printer set-up can pay dividends.


Ignore those 'warning' messages
 

When your printer suddenly goes into panic mode and tells you you need to replace your ink cartridges, don't worry just yet. While your printer seems to be telling you that the end of the world is nigh, it's likely you'll be able to keep your ink cartridges going for some time yet.

However, that's not to say forever. It's a good idea to use a low ink warning message as a sign you need to get some new ink ordered. However, as soon as you notice any change in print quality be sure to stop printing until the cartridge has been changed to avoid damage to your printer.

 

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Is third-party ink and toner a false economy?

Now hold the front page folks. 

We've just come across something by Brother that claims customers should "beware of the hidden costs" of compatible ink and toner supplies. Now, as suppliers of such products, you won't be surprised to hear that our ears more than pricked up a little.

 

The firm has released a report that claims switching to third-party inkjets could be a false economy. Well they would say that – after all, they want you to buy their original products!

 

In all seriousness though – and we're not really having a dig – we'd just like to defend our corner. Brother says buying third-party products throws up a whole host of problems. 

These include leakages – it claims some compatible cartridges deliver a low percentage of ink – compatibility issues, and problems with yield variation. It also suggested that using compatibles can cause damage to printers, as the ink often dries out, damaging the print head.

 

Now, it's always important to have an open mind – which is why we reckon compatible cartridges are more than capable of being up to the job. A quick look at our customer testimonials confirms this. "The service is Inkredible," reckons Mr David Alfred Smith (thanks David) and while Laura Page admits to having problems with non-original cartridges in the past she writes: "But this is A1 so far. Will definitely be buying from you again, and oh, the price, how could I not mention, is FANTASTIC."

 

If you've questions about compatibility issues or how compatible or remanufactured ink and toner might affect your printers, we're completely open – you can check out our FAQs or contact us

And we've also put together a handy little guide that talks about the difference between remanufactured, compatible and refilled cartridges. You can read it here

What do you think about the debate? We'd love to hear from you.

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