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Less Expensive Printers To Run, And Password-Protecting Apps

HP Envy 5660

Jerry in Minnesota listens on KNSI 103.3 FM asked:

I need a printer/scanner/copier. What is the best one out there that won’t cost an arm and a leg for print cartridges?


All of the printer/scanner/copier devices aimed at the home and small business consumer cost about the same. There is a price point for these devices, and you can get some excellent models for $100 and under.

The HP Envy 5600-series printers all sell for right around $100, offer excellent print quality with fast output, and good scanning capabilities also. These models can be signed up for HP’s Instant Ink service, which might be the answer to your concern about printing cartridge costs. Here’s how it works.

You sign up for the service by estimating how many pages you print each month. At its lowest amount, 50 pages per month, it costs just $2.99 per month. When the printer gets low on ink, it contacts HP over the Internet and ink cartridges magically show up at your door. You just swap them out. You can roll-over up to one month of unused pages, so if you don’t print very much you will shortly have a buffer of 100 pages you can print. If you exceed that amount, additional 15 page blocks are $1 each.

If you’re a high volume printing sort of person, you can get the 300 page plan

If you’re a high volume printing sort of person, you can get the 300 page plan (with 300 pages of roll-over) for $9.99 per month. If you print literally reams of paper in any given month, then this sort of a plan isn’t for you, but it does work very well for many light-duty home users, spreading the cost of ink cartridges out over the year and sparing you from having to run to the store and buy new ones.

If the convenience of the prepaid ink plan isn’t a big draw for you, we’d recommend something like the Canon Pixma MX922 printer. Again, the printer itself will sell for around $100 most places, and it offers excellent print quality, fast output, and a nice scanner (this time with a document feeder built in for easily copying or scanning multi-page documents).

The reason you might choose this model is that it has a separate tank for each ink color, so you only have to buy the colors that you’ve run out of, which keeps the cost lower overall. Print a lot of blue? You don’t need to replace the red cartridge also.

Both of these printers support AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, network access including Wi-Fi, and work with Windows or Mac. There are lots of other printer models in this same price range, but we thought these two worthy of mention because you asked about ink cartridge costs. HP’s Instant Ink is an interesting option for lower volume printing, and Canon’s separate ink tanks don’t force you to throw away unused ink just because one color has run out before the others.

Joshua in Fairbanks, Alaska listens on KFBX 970 AM and asked:

Can you password-protect opening an app on iOS and Android?


Under Android you can use third party apps, AppLock is a popular one, to password-protect applications, it’s a little hit and miss and there are ways to bypass it if a person is really determined, but it will stop most people.

Both Android and iOS also allow you to password-protect the installation of new apps, and though it’s not the same thing, it may help you block some apps from being used on your phone.

If you want this kind of functionality under iOS you will have to jailbreak your phone and look at options there, but it’s not something that is directly covered by Apple’s parental controls.

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Written by Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline is the founder, Host & Executive Producer of "Into Tomorrow" in addition to being President of the Advanced Media Network".

Dave is also a trusted and familiar voice on many national commercials & narrations in addition to being an authority in consumer tech since 1994. He is also a former Police Officer and an FBI Certified Instructor.

Dave thrives on audience participation!

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