9 July 2003
Ink: it's what's for wasting
The nonprofit association Consumentenbond, sort of the Dutch equivalent of Consumer Reports, has taken the unusual step of recommending that its users avoid Epson-branded ink jet printers. According to The Register, the group found that the "smart" chip inside the cartridge signals "empty" when there is enough ink remaining for about 50 pages of text. The chip is used by Epson and other manufacturers to prevent users from refilling the cartridges and reusing them.
Epson questions Consumentenbond's findings and denies any skullduggery, but given my experience with current Hewlett-Packard printers a since-discarded DeskJet 3800 would demand a new cartridge about three days (60 pages, say) before the ink actually gave out, and my current 5500 seems to be no more abstemious I'd say that ink-jet manufacturers are making a really strong case.