Kodak - The Exception to Expensive Color Inkjet Printers By Josh Blagden | JB - Mac Help | JBlagden

Kodak - The Exception to Expensive Color Inkjet Printers  By Josh Blagden

 It seems like no matter what you do, it costs a lot to print in color. In some cases, you end up paying $300 for an inkjet which will last a few years. In other cases, you pay around $100 for an inkjet that only lasts a year and then fails. Then there’s the issue of the ink cost. With some, you might be paying $15 for a low capacity cartridge of one brand or as much as $100 for a high capacity cartridge of another. And then there’s laser. You’re generally looking at $350-$400 for a good color laser printer, and then each cartridge costs around $55-85 and you need four of them, which makes a full round of replacements cost around $300-$400. The only way to print cheaply is often a black-and-white laser, but there are times when you want to be able to print in color, and if you have a color printer, you’re going to want to print in color all the time instead of just when you actually need color. You could have a black-and-white laser jet for most of your printing and an inkjet for those rare occasions when you need color, but you’d run into one of two problems: 1. You would always use the inkjet because you frequently want to print in color OR 2. The inkjet would be used so infrequently that the ink nozzles would clog.


Another issue with color printers is that it’s nearly impossible to get a low price-per-page and pay less than $300 for a printer. If you get a cheap inkjet, you’ll likely end up spending a lot on ink. If you want to lower your ink costs, you’ll probably end up buying an expensive inkjet. Or if you want to go with a color laser jet, you’ll end up spending $300-$400 on the printer, and you’ll experience “sticker shock” whenever you need to replace more than a single cartridge as most toner cartridges cost between $50 and $80. Either way, printing can be and often is, a very expensive thing.


Kodak is the only exception to this rule (that I’m aware of), specifically in the case of inkjets. For starters, you can get a good Kodak printer which will last for years for $70. The ink costs $30 for a full set of refills. You might be asking “How is it so cheap?”. The answer is that Kodak’s printers only use two cartridges - black and a tricolor cartridge. As Wikipedia puts it: “Kodak's ink strategy rejected the razor and blades business model used by the dominant market leader Hewlett-Packard in that Kodak's printers were expensive but the ink was cheaper.”. With a Kodak Printer, you can have a similar price-per-page to a laser jet, without the high start-up cost of a color laserjet. A Kodak Verite costs around $70 and a pack containing both the black and tricolor cartridges costs $30. Kodak’s cost-per-page is around $0.03, which makes it very close to a laser printer in terms of cost efficiency. The print quality isn’t as good as an expensive inkjet or a laser jet, but it’ll certainly keep you from spending a fortune on a printer.

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