Steve asked: “I’m looking at these new EcoTank printers. It looked like a great idea. Still worried about the cost. Are they worth it? Does anyone else make a brand like this with refillable ink that’s very economical?”
For anyone who may not know, what Steve is talking about is a line of Epson printers that go by the name EcoTank, EcoTank itself refers to the way the ink is delivered: instead of changing the print cartridge you just refill a tank with more ink.
EcoTank printers are pretty cheap to run, Epson claims that about $50 in ink will get you through two years of printing, which as far as printer ink goes is pretty cheap.
The downside is the upfront cost, consumer models start at around $380 and go up from there, business models are considerably more expensive. Meanwhile an Epson WorkForce-2650 with a built in fax and scanner can be had for $65, a pure home model will easily cost you less than $50. Needless to say, each original replacement cartridge will cost you about the same as the whole printer each time you need a new one.
EcoTank printers do make sense if you print a lot, but we’re talking about thousands of pages, otherwise it probably won’t make much of a difference to you.
There are some alternatives that are worth considering though. EcoTank is just the name Epson is giving to it’s own CISS printers. CISS stands for Continuous Ink Supply System and it just means that there’s a tank you can refill.
You could look into third party CISS retrofits, you can usually find them online for about $30 and $50, but depending on your printer model, it may take a little bit of work to install them.
CISS systems, EcoTank or otherwise will save you money, but they will either take an upfront investment, or some work on your part.