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You shouldn't buy a cheap printer, and here's why

© Pexels George Milton

Like 90% of French people using a printer, from time to time you want to print a shipping or return label for your packages, limiting yourself to one or two sheets per month.

To print them, you have (or plan to) buy the cheapest printer possible, because you clearly don't need all the features of high-end printers. A reasoning which seems entirely logical, and which nevertheless risks costing you dearly in the long term.

Printers and their cartridges, a well-established scam

It's not for lack of repeating it to you regularly, but printers are one of the biggest scams in the tech world. All the techniques implemented by manufacturers are good to extract as much money as possible from the pockets of uninformed consumers. Thus, most manufacturers sell entry-level printers at a loss, only to then make up for it on the absolutely exorbitant cost of cartridges.

As we explained previously, the cartridges have a chip which tells the printer when it is empty. However, the chip is in no way connected to the ink chamber of the cartridge, and we have all already had the bitter experience of finding that a cartridge had become unusable while it was still full. ink.

Do not be fooled by warning messages such as “empty cartridge or risk of dry ink”, this is not the case, it is only a strategy to make you buy again the precious consumables that bring so much to their sellers. Just last month, HP was singled out for this unfair practice towards its consumers, which consists of blocking cartridges that do not come from the manufacturer itself.

Proof of this is how high the stakes regarding consumables are, the Stop Planned Obsolescence association estimated the price of ink included in the cartridges at 2000 euros per liter. At this price, it's even more frustrating to no longer be able to use the cartridges when they are obviously still full.

What alternative solutions ?

If you think as well as spending hundreds of euros per year for printing twenty sheets of black and white is not worth it, here are the alternative solutions that we were able to test personally.

Firstly, many posts offer a delivery service. document printing through a terminal. For 30 cents per sheet, it will be possible to insert a USB key with your document in order to print your documents.

If the basic idea is not bad, my personal experience has already made me experience great moments of frustration with this terminal which never recognizes my USB keys, regardless of the format in which they are formatted. .

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Obviously, the Post Office website does not provide more information on this subject, and it is generally pointless to ask employees who have no idea how the terminal works. In addition, if by some miracle you manage to get the terminal working, you will of course be dependent on the limited opening hours of the Post Office.

One of the solutions that I personally use is to go to a small computer repair shop. Generally, they will be happy to print your documents at a price similar to that of the Post Office, except that this time, any USB key format will do, see sending your document to a mailbox .

If this solution is the best in our opinion, it still makes us dependent on the opening hours of the store, which can sometimes be complicated in the event of emergency.

The printer without cartridges, what is it?

If you still want to have a printer at home so you don't have to depend on other services, you still have a solution that is better than low-end printers.

Ink tank printers, as their name suggests, do not have a cartridge slot, but rather ink tanks. So, you will have to refill them from time to time directly with ink bottles.