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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!

  • Prynt is a Printer with a Difference

    Start-up Prynt has created a case for a smartphone that can print images all by itself. The device comes with an in-built printer that can publish photos in hard copy form from your phone directly.

    The app also comes with an augmented reality feature that also records video when you take a photo. The device takes a photo with the Prynt app and then prints off the photo using the Prynt case – this takes around half a minute. When this is completed you can point the phone with the app still open at the photo and the phone screen shows the 30 seconds around when the original photo was printed.

    It’s a pretty cool use for augmented reality, albeit a gimmick. The case is expected to be available on Kickstarter next year and will cost around £65 when it lands on there. It will also work with Android and IOS devices.

    The device can hold around 10 sheets of photo paper and each of these costs around 30 cents each. The battery in the device will allow for around 30 prints to be developed and more paper can be order via the Prynt app.

  • Epson Ecotank - A Closer Look

    Yesterday we discussed the price of ink and inkjets and how we’re often sold ink at extortionate prices. Today we look at a different prospect, the Epson Ecotank printers.

    The ideas of these models is quite radical as they move away from the typical high cost inkjet and towards a high cost printer with lower priced ink. These devices by Epson come with large tanks that can hold enough ink for thousands of prints.

    Epson is currently selling two items like this in its range, one which costs £220 and the other which is a little more expensive. The devices perform all the usual printing duties and come with a 30 page document feeder, albeit no Ethernet connection. This along with the 100 page sheet tray was a bit of a disappointment.

    The big difference comes in the ink. Unlike traditional cartridges, this printer has a row of two sets of ink tanks. These are unhooked and then filled from large bottles of ink you purchase from Epson – a departure from the usual inkjet.

    The devices print at around 8 for mono prints in minute and 4 pages of colour per minute, which is quite fast. The colours are decent and the products glossy and attractive. It’s mightn;t be brochure quality but it’s still very good.

    Cost savings are the big boost here and the Epson L555 can produce a lot of pages for the money. In fact, according to calculations, the device can print mono for 2p a page and colour for 4p a page, which is a lot lower than most other inkjets and a testament to the process. Over a lifetime and 4000 mono and 6500 colour prints the average user would save around £500.

    So, as you can see the Epson has plenty going for it and we’ll have to wait and see whether this refillable tank model becomes the norm rather than the exception.

    E

  • Extorionate price of Printers Revealed Again

    Paying for inkjet cartridges can place a hefty hole in your pocket and you’d be amazed that the cost of some of the best champagne in the world is less costly than your printer ink.

    A £650 bottle of Krug Clos du Mesnil 2000 seems pretty extortionate given the price, however when compared to a HP 300 Tri colour ink cartridge it’s low in cost and even seems like a bargain. At around 90p a millilitre, the champagne greatly undercuts the £2.30 per millilitre ink cartridge. In fact, if the champagne bottle was filled up with ink at this price, the cost would leap to £1,725 for the same amount.

    That’s a pretty amazing claim and showcases the sheer amazingly expensive cost of ink that printer companies charge. However, as we all need to remember, printer companies sell printers at a loss and then make up the sale price in the cost of the ink jet cartridges that they sell afterwards.

    There are all sorts of tricks played to use as much ink as possible or to encourage people with printers to change cartridges as often as is possible. From ink wasting cleaning cycles, to notifications to change cartridges with ink still in them, printers tend to cause more problems than paper blocks.

    Remanufactured ink cartridges that offer a guarantee are a good alternative and will ensure that you’re getting quality. You do pay for what you get so be aware of the eBay alternatives which often don’t cut it in quality terms. And while syringes might seem like a good idea, many printer companies have come up with ways of rejecting them when placed back in the printer.

    Anyhow it’s worth keeping this in mind when you’re opening your fine vintage champagne at Christmas

  • Pep Up Office Productivity

     

    Pep-up-your-productivity

    Office productivity can do with a boost now and again and this great infographic helps with that by offering some great suggestions in this regard.

  • 3 Great Apps that Save Paper and Ink

    Printing is an expensive luxury for a lot of us and the thought of producing hundreds if not thousands of printed pages a month is not one our wallets would like to have to bear. Fortunately, the world of tablets and apps in particular makes it a lot easier to cut costs and save some money, whether for business or home use. So, let’s take a look at five of the best to save on printing.

    Quality PDF Reader

    There are a number of great PDF readers out there now and if you’re going to save on printing costs you need to download one. Adobe is always going to be a strong option when it comes to PDF readers and Adobe Reader comes installed in a lot of devices. QuickOffice is also a good option and allows opening of Microsoft Office products as well as editing depending on the version – something a lot of us will find useful.

    Of course, the higher the quality of the resolution of the tablet screen the better too. Fortunately, most tablets nowadays have a retina display, which makes reading from them a lot easier than lower res alternatives.

    Cloud Storage

    A cloud storage option is also well worth getting and there is an abundant range of options at the moment. The likes of DropBox and Box offer a limited, but generous amount of space and Google Drive is also a great choice and well worth a try too. They make it easy to store your documents, as well as sharing and work in tandem with email, browsers and other apps.

    Read Offline

    There are a number of fantastic apps that also allows us to save a paper or piece from the web for reading later – ideal for those that travel in areas where there is no network to connect to the web. Apps such as Paper.li and others allow us to save chunks of the web offline for later reading and by doing so save paper and also reduce the level of boredom we experience when traveling on the tube or some other sort of Wi-Fi free transport.

    These are just three sorts of apps that help reduce the need for paper and by doing so help save money and ink.

     

  • How to Maintain an Inkjet Printer

    Maintaining an inkjet printer is not rocket science by any means and a little bit of care here and there can really prolong a printers life and also ensure it is working in top condition at all times. This high quality production is something of a necessity for a printer.

    • Make sure to replace your ink cartridges when they are low and always have one spare set on hand for when they run out. Wait until your computer tells you to replace them before replacing them.
    • Every now and then run a self test to ensure your nozzles are working at their best. Instructions for this can be found in the manual or can be done by (i) going to the control panel in windows > choosing printers and the clicking on properties. Here you can select the maintenance tab and choose nozzle test.  (ii) On an Apple machine go to File > Page Setup and then click on Utilities and Test Print. Working printers should not show unevenness in lines or miss out on colours.
    • To clean the printer heads, follow these instructions and choose the Cleaning option.
    • You should also now and then align the print heads
    • Of course traditional means of cleaning are also to be advised. Unplug the printer and use a dry lint free cloth to wipe away excess dust. Do this on the inside and the outside as it will ensure no lying dust enters where it shouldn't and cause problems for the printer.
    • Keeping drivers updated on your printer is also a way to prohibit any problems. These drivers provide updates and can be found on manufacturer's sites. They also are often automatic or pop up on screen as reminders.
    • Paper jams are an obvious problem for a printer and it is not possible to work your printer if it's jammed. Consult your manual in the case of a jam to find the recommended way of clearing a printer. Usually you have to open up the cover and remove a panel at the back to take out the piece of paper.
    • Make sure the rollers and feed mechanism are working well. This can be aided by cleaning the roller mechanism with a cotton swab with alcohol on it. Place the swab in between the rubber wheels at the end of the mechanism. This removes dirt, making for smooth printing.

    Following these steps will prolong the life of your printer and improve the quality of your prints.

     

  • Bring your Own Device - How to Secure your Network

    Once upon a time businesses had to supply computers for work, however in many offices this is becoming less so the case as bring your own device policies are increasingly implemented. However, though it makes a lot more sense on a number of levels and is also a lot cheaper for businesses, there are potential negatives - especially with networks and printers in particular.

    Bring your own device schemes aren’t a problem in themselves; however there can be all sorts of issues when employees overwork or compromise security of data. So, here are some to be aware of if utilising such a policy.

    Data Protection

    Bring your own device creates significant security problems for firms with large amounts of data and mobile device management is a necessity. Mobile devices that aren’t handled properly cause all sorts of stresses on systems and also there is the chance for compromising of data if things aren’t handled properly.

    We commonly talk about security issues relating to printers and either poor security software of BYOD issues related to printers. From the stress of getting setup on a network to data protection issues, there are all sorts of worries for a big business when using this model.

    However, there are numerous pieces of software that can be installed that connect to the office environment and ensure that the device is safe and secure. This allows the person to use their device as normal; buy assures the business that all of their data is safe.

    Device Loss

    The loss of a device often results in the losing of data and this can cause all sorts of problems and stresses. There are numerous apps that can be installed on devices that aid tracking of a phone or laptop.

    In addition, it’s also a good idea to put safeholds in place to ensure that work is easily recovered and not lost. Devices that don’t have an automatic cloud backup should find other ways of backing up data to keep it safe – you could be very thankful at a later date.

    Overwork

    One of the biggest problems people face when companies implement BYOD schemes is that they feel like they’re being overworked. This is often down to the fact that they can now work at home, as well as at work and many feel this constant connectivity causes problems for them.

    The opportunity to check emails when at home often leads to people being side tracked and spending more time at work that they should. This can lead to excess time spent working outside of the office and relationship problems between employee and employer.

    BYOD is a great concept, though there can be issues with implementation and security and if companies are aware of this they are in a stronger position to avert them.

     

  • Ink Cartridges Used in Drug Smuggling

    We regularly cite studies that suggest printer ink is as expensive as liquid gold and it seems that one person had an idea to raise their worth even more.

    Australian Customs and Border Protection Services intercepted printer cartridges filled with drugs at Sydney Airport. It turned out the cartridges had been filled with around 7KG of methamphetamine instead of ink – not something that happened at the ink factory we’d imagine.

    Thee officers became suspicious when they spotted a white powder on the edge of the machine and realised that something suspicious may be going on. White ink doesn’t have a lot of use in a world of white paper.

    As it turned out the officers had come across a major drug smuggling operation of four boxes all of which were being sent to the same recipient. This led to the arrest of the 27 year old woman in Melbourne. Most likely someone not in the running for white ink and more likely in the drugs trade.

    However, you’d have to wonder where did all the ink go and if the price of the ink would have outweighed the price of the drugs?

  • The Future of Printing is Mobile

    The future is mobile and the future of printing is also mobile and this infographic is a great explainer in our opinion and well worth a look. So, take some time out and enjoy it.

    mobile print infographic

  • Epson Offer Tablet with Printer

    Epson has created a pan European promotion, whereby they offer a free tablet to anyone who purchases the Epson Stylus Pro 3880. It’s a quite nice addition for anyone in the market for such a device.

    The printer comes with a Wacom Intuos Pen and Touch tablet, which can be used to help edit images and works very well with the printer’s photo printing abilities. Using this and the right software can helps people create some pretty amazing photos and really complement the technology in the printer.

    This move is a first for businesses working in this space to offer a free tablet  with their printer and one that’s caught a lot of people’s attention. The effort is the brainchild of ATOM marketing. MD of the company Andy Duff said, “In a market saturated by cash back offers, the Wacom graphics tablet promotion differentiates Epson from their competitors by communicating a unique offering. Customers purchasing this printer tend to be photo enthusiasts, and as the Wacom graphics tablet is perfect for photo editing, this will be a very desirable promotional marketing campaign.”

    So, the promo is currently on the go and runs until the end of 2014, so if you’re looking for a printer of this ilk, this device could be worth considering.

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