The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

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.

For lasers.

Posted at 11:29 AM to PEBKAC


Is this your way of telling us you're fluent in Dutch?

Posted by: Vickie at 12:03 PM on 9 July 2003

Are you kidding? I'm fortunate if I'm able to go anywhere Dutch treat.

Posted by: CGHill at 12:14 PM on 9 July 2003

That's why my last Epson ink-jet was the 1200 (pre-chip days). An awesome printer and you can get high quality, low cost third party carts for it too. If it ever dies, I'll get another one off Ebay before I buy a "chipped" cart printer.

Posted by: Marc at 7:22 PM on 9 July 2003