I have an odd set-up at home – a mono laser printer and with a high quality Epson scanner. Most people would have an “all-in-one” but I like the “pick and choose” nature of having them separate – particularly as home all-on-one’s with a laser printer aren’t very common. I’ve had my laser printer for years and have only changed the toner once. I don’t like the faffing and general quality of photos printed at home, so have them done via online printing companies such as Snapfish. Besides, it’s often more expensive to print at home. However, when I am in the market for a replacement printer I’ll probably plump for a colour lazer printer – they’re a lot cheaper these days and the option to print colour documents (e.g. maps) would be useful. Most people, though, will be more than happy with an inkjet “all-in-one” and may print a few photos at home. Today I came across a technology named CISS – Continuous Ink Supply System. This is a printer that allows the ink to be supplied externally, potentially limitless. It started, not surprisingly, in the professional trade but is now trickling down to the average home user. When it comes to the CISS consumer printer Epson were a fore-runner, but HP and Canon now provide their own equivalents. Many of these are retro-fitted options, where you buy a separate CISS unit with a compatible printer. Bear in mind, though, that some printer manufacturers explicitly state that use of third-party inks and/or after-market continuous ink systems will void their product warranty. Once you have a CISS system in place, you then simply top up the unit with ink as and when required, eliminating the need for cartridge replacement. If you get through quite a lot of ink then this is a sensible solution!
About David Artiss
David is the owner and main author of Artiss.co.uk. By day he's a developer for a well known UK retailer, by night he looks after this site and writes WordPress plugins.