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Choice Stationery Supplies Blog - for all the chat on printer inks and cartridges

When it comes to inkjets and toners Choice Stationery Supplies has lots to say - don't get ripped off!

  • Why a Windows Surface Tablet makes Sense

    Purchasing a Windows tablet may seem like a little bit of a left field measure in 2014, however it’s not as much so as you’d image. The new Windows Surface machines are now in their third generation and in a lot of ways they surpass Apple and Android’s efforts. So, here are 5 reasons to invest in a Windows tablet.

    MS Office

    A lot of the Microsoft tablets come with MS Office – which on other devices will cost you a lot more or isn’t often available. With Microsoft’s Surface Tablets the whole Office Suite is available, as well as a range of other great software making them a great option.


    The Surface devices could be considered to be the most laptop like tablets yet available, which says a lot. Created by Windows manufacturer that’s quite understandable – however it’s something a lot of people will enjoy.

    Windows 8.1

    Though the first Windows 8 got a lot of flak, the newer version is a vast improvement on the previous incarnation. The Startup button is back and a number of new improvements make this version of Windows even better than ever.


    The level of support that Windows 8.1 in tablet form has is similar to the same OS in PC and laptop form. So, anyone who purchases a surface tablet won’t have any of the feted issues with printer drivers or other software that users of other tablets and devices often have.


    Even though these devices are expensive, the level of quality in the finish, keyboard and other areas is very impressive and showcases the quality and care gone into these tablets. Though there are other less expensive versions of the tablet now Microsoft has made licenses for screens undress a certain size free, the Surface tablet is by far the most superior.

    The Surface 3 may not suit everyone, but it’s certainly a great device on a number of levels.

  • How to Print from a Google Chromebook

    Chromebooks always get a bit of a short shaft from people and there are plenty misconceptions about the Google based computers. However, they can be fantastic machines depending on the context and the needs.

    In the world of printing, the Chromebook has received a lot of flack and is often deemed as a tough one to print from. However, it’s not the truth to be honest. Though the OS would try and suggest otherwise, Chromebooks can be printed from and it’s actually possible to print from them to any Google Cloud Print connected device.

    To begin printing from a Chromebook you need Cloud Print access and ensure this is enabled on your printer. The best way to connect is to follow the set-up instructions on Google’s Cloud Print site – this is easy and fills on the gaps.

    Once this is done, you can now print from the device. Simply s select File > Print in the menu bar, or use the keyboard shortcut of Ctrl + P. A print dialogue like the one above will present itself. Then choose the ‘Print with Google Cloud Print’ option. Ctrl+Shift+P also works too and opens up the print dialogue.

    Finally, select the printer you wish to print from or want to use and then click the ‘Print’ option when it appears. The print should begin and you can be Smeg in the knowhow you have printed from a device many would consider  to be highly impossible to print from.

  • HP Officejet Enterprise Color Flow X585z Multifunction Printer Review

    A good printer needs to be impressive in a number of areas and if you can find one that’s fast, cheap and easy to operate then you’ve found the Holy Grail.

    Well, with an output of 26 pages a minute and a low cost per print, the HP Officejet Enterprise Color Flow X585z Multifunction Printer’s a device that meets these high standards. The printer, for an inkjet is rare because of this and though it can’t just match laser printer text quality it beats it in the graphics stakes.

    The printer can manage around 23 pages a minute via PC and around 16ppm from a Mac – this is down to drivers. Colour photos can be created at the rate of 4 per minute, while a A4 print of a photo takes a full minute almost. There’s also duplexing which speeds things up intensely.

    The PageWide Print mechanism helps this speed thanks to the 10 print heads it includes. This also helps with alignment issues too as the inkjet doesn’t have to move back and forth as much per head and so can stay aligned easier.

    The printer comes with a 500 sheet bottom tray and a 300 sheet output tray. There’s also a 50 sheet multi-purpose tray and the chance to purchase a larger 500 sheet one if required. Output is good and the text is sharp and clear for inkjet.

    Pricing is also quite low and expect to see it cost under 0.7p a page for black and white and around 1.1p a page for colour. There’s also an 8in capacitive touch screen with keyboard and 320gb hard drive, as well as NFC and a range of other extras.

    The device comes with up to 5 years warranty if you wish to pay more, though this includes onsite service if anything goes wrong. It’s a food spec device that offers good text, is quick and also low in price and unlike many others in this field is an inkjet rather than a laser.

  • Easy Tips for Eco-Friendly Printing

    We're all in the know about  the need for a green effort in the office and printing is one area in particular a lot of us need some information on.

    Printing is a high energy usage business in the terms of electricity, paper and also the ink it uses and this infographic by Xerox provides some great tips on how to cut the costs of printing - take a look.


  • How to choose a Printer for Students

    With so many students beginning university again many will be looking to invest in a printer for their essays, assessments and what not. So, what do students need to look for in a printer?


    The cost of not just the consumables, but also the printer needs to be considered. Printers are often quite low in price in terms of hardware, however the price of inkjets is often the problems. So, for students looking to invest in a printer, it’s certainly worthwhile taking a closer look at how much it is going to cost to replace the inkjets or toners in your printer. This can be done online quickly.

    The alternative to paying for more expensive consumables is to use remanufactured ink from our good selves. We stock a wide selection for a variety of printers and should be able to help you out.


    Depending on what you want your printer for, portability may be a factor in the whole process. There are all sorts of sizes of printers available nowadays and choosing one based on how portable it is can be important. With mini-pocket photo printers available, as well as a whole lot of other aesthetic options, this should be a consideration.


    Depending on what you wish to print, quality may be a big factor and one that needs to be considered. If you require printing for photos then you may need a better printer than the basic. However, if not there are plenty of low cost options that produce good quality text that will more than suffice for assessments.

    Printers for students are often a necessity and fortunately there are plenty of great quality options out there for a quite reasonable price.

  • Sharp Printer Takes Extra Security Measures

    We’ve recently mentioned results of a printer security study, which trialled printers and their security levels over a four year period only to find that they had become easier to hack than ever before.

    With that in mind Sharp has showcased its latest offering a 17 inch wide and 18inch tall multifunction printer. One of the major selling points of the printer is its security and the ability to allow users to erase all files on its hard drive at the end of use or lease.

    The MX-C301W desktop color MFP offers all the traditional features you’d expect from a printer, as well as a 7inch touch screen and a capability to print 30 pages a minute at 600dpi. This is all controllable via the Shardesk mobile app.

    Needless to say the ability to delete all the information from the device, as well as the Cloud Portal Office service, which enables clients to store all details of printing in a secure cloud location is a big aid in security terms.

    The device also comes with a 250GB hard drive and Sharp ImageSEND functionality which allows users to scan documents and send them via email or share through network folders and USB devices. The Sharp printer is available for purchase or lease and solves one of the biggest problems many large businesses face at present.

  • Caring for an Office Printer

    As anyone who works in an office knows, a broken printer is a real pain in the head. Inkjets have their issues, however they are never helped in an office environment because of the abuse they often get. Careless use often causes problems and so care has to be taken to prevent problems with them – here are some tips.

    Office printers seldom run into this issue, however you should ideally use the device once a day. This reduces the chances of the ink drying and causing problems for the printer.

    Use good quality ink from either the manufacturer, or a good remanufactured version like ours at Choice Stationery. This will prevent problems in the long term and though it may cost a little more will be worth it.

    Never shake an ink cartridge when it nears the end as it will cause problems in the cartridge. Air often gets into the ink and this will be very problematic for the inkjet and may even cause problems with the line that feeds the ink to the printer.

    If you try and clean the device’s print head with the specific program five times to no avail then you will need to purchase a cleaning kit. Never proceed to use the head cleaning program after this point as it’s a waste of ink and time.

    Print in colour once or twice a week to ensure that all the inkjet heads are in use and that nothing dries in the colour parts of the printer.

    Don’t place the printer near a radiator as this will cause fluctuations in temperature and so dries ink and causes problems with consistency.

    An air spray or a small vacuum is ideal for a printer and removes dust – one of the biggest problems for a printer in an office.

    Remember that the quality of the paper matters a lot – so try ensure that you use high quality.

  • Epson Ramp-up PrecisionCore Technology

    Epson’s PrecisionCore technology has been extremely feted and acclaimed since it arrived last year thanks to its ability to create high quality prints in super-fast time. The company sees a bright future for the technology and so news has come that it has invested a large sum of money into increasing production of it.

    Plans are firing ahead for going ahead for big investment in this cutting edge printing, which is based around a thin film printing technology known as piezo head print with advanced microelectromechanicla systems. Epson believe that the PrecisionCore technology is a transformer in the world of printing.

    The technology uses super powerful inkjet printer products, which are created from individually controlled nozzles, each of which is capable of firing 50,000 ink droplets per second with amazing accuracy. This allows higher levels of precision and also allows for super-fast printing. It results in the ink on the page being accurate to one – one thousandth of a millimetre.

    Epson is hoping that increasing production of the technology will give it a big advantage in the next generation of home printing as it will have the production sites to benefit. This will strengthen Epson’s position in the print market and aid it in succeeding.

    Epson will increase the incidence of the PrecisionCore technology in its printers in the coming years especially as prices fall. This should enhance its competitiveness and aid its growth.

  • Laser Printer Beliefs and Misconceptions

    We often discuss the differences between inkjets and laser printers on our blog and the fact a lot of people can't really tell the difference

    .Lexmark recently did a study in the area and found out some of the most popular misconceptions and it makes interesting reading we assure you - take a look.


  • Do inkjet printers use colour ink when printing black and white documents?

    Most printers in existence today use both colour and black ink in cartridges for every print job they do, including just for printing text.

    The reason for this is because it improves the quality of the black ink and make it look a lot more vibrant and sharp. These printer cartridges are also mixed together to improve on efficiency and reliability in some cases.

    HP claim their printers mix both cartridges to 'improve the quality and permanence of the plain paper black text and graphics by adding small amounts of colour ink to certain black areas'.

    The addition of both coloured and black ink is known as 'composite black' and is used to achieve better grey tones, as well as black inks.

    Some printers do allow for settings to use black cartridges alone in printing. Though, this creates lower quality black images it can be done. Many printers also operate in reserve mode, which allows the printer to be used when the colour cartridge is removed, or not installed.

    Some also work in the opposite manner, allowing a combination of coloured inks to create a black ink. This allows your printer to type black, while even without a black cartridge in the printer.

    It is also deemed efficient to allow the colour cartridges to print black, as if the cartridges are not used for a long time they may become clogged. This will mean that a new set of ink cartridges must be bought and will see the coloured ones going to waste if not used. By using the coloured ink cartridge, alongside the black ink cartridge, you also extend the life of your black ink cartridge, which makes this method more recommended.

    Though it may seem that through using the coloured ink cartridge with the black cartridge for black text it is more inefficient, the opposite is true.

    Using both cartridge types together is more efficient and allows for your printer to be more resourceful and less costly than if it was used the other way around. This is why printer manufacturer generally follow this manner of printer setup and why it has become increasingly popular.

    So, yes  inkjet printers use colour ink when printing black and white documents, but merely for efficiency and usefulness during the printing process.


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