Ink Tank Printer Buying Guide

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While shopping for an ink tank printer, there are a few factors that you should consider. These factors will help you buy the best ink tank printer for your work.


1. Print Speed:

If you are planning to buy an ink tank printer for either your shop or office use, you must know that the print speed is one of the most important pointers that you should consider.

The print speed is mentioned in PPM i.e. pages per minute. Most of the printers offer a PPM rating for both black and colored documents. You can find the print speed measurement in the technical specifications of the printer.

Some of the advanced and modern models of printer can print around 33 black and white pages per minute and about 15 color pages per minute. Thus, once you are clear with the intention of buying the printer and how are you going to use it, you should choose the printer and the specifications accordingly.

2. Page Yield:

Page yield defines the total number of pages that a full ink tank can print. This measurement helps in giving you a clear understanding of how often you will have to refill the ink. You should select a printer that offers higher page yield as it will require fewer replacements. This will help in saving both – your efforts and time.

Generally, an ink printer can print around 6,000 – 7,000 pages per tank filling. There are a few models that offer even higher yields. So, you can select one as per your requirements.

3. Multi-Functional (Print, Scan, Fax, & Copy):

If your job requires a frequent need where documents need to be scanned and faxed, a normal printer would not be sufficient in this situation. You will have to look for a multifunctional printer so that all the work can be done at a place.

The All-in-One printers can do much more than just printing. They can copy, scan, and fax the documents as well. Even though they are a bit expensive than normal printers, they offer multiple useful functions. Thus, it is worth spending extra bucks on these types of multifunctional printers.

4. Wireless Connectivity:

Almost all the models of printers provide a wired connectivity option using USB ports. There are a few models that even allow wireless connectivity where you can connect your device to the printer using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, and some other printing apps.

This option helps you in printing the document from your smartphone or tablet apart from only PC. It also gives you the flexibility of installing the printer wherever you wish to, without worrying about the restriction due to the wired connection.

In addition to the Wi-Fi connectivity, some printers even offer USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 options. These can be useful options too, especially for those who have shops that offer printing services. One thing that you must keep in mind is that wireless printers are more expensive than wired printers but they are useful at the same time.

5. Print Resolution:

The print resolution factor is exceptionally important for those users who print color images or photos (like Photographers and Digital Artists). You should look for a model that provides optimal resolution prints that can avoid pixelated and unclear images.

Most of the ink tank printers provide good print qualities. They are far better than the quality that you get from a printer with a cartridge. So, if you work more with the color images, don’t forget to check the product description.

The best ink tank printer models are those that provide a print quality of around 5,760 x 1,440 DPI. This is sufficient enough to print crystal clear images.

6. Automatic Document Feeder (ADF):

ADF is a useful feature where the printer takes several pages at once and then feeds the papers – one page at a time to the copier or scanner. This allows the users to scan and then copy, fax, or print multiple-page documents without you having to replace the pages manually. Most of the copiers even allow scanning on the flatbed or platen (the “glass”) or via a document feeder.

The automatic document feeder generally has a maximum capacity of about 20 to 30 pages. This helps in minimizing your workload to a large extent.

There are 2 types of ADFs that allow duplex scanning. They are:

Reverse automatic document feeders (RADF): They scan one side of the page and then flip over the page allowing the other side to be scanned.

Duplexing automatic document feeders (DADF): They scan both sides of the page at one go.

7. Automatic Duplexing:

If you frequently face a need to print both sides of a page, you must opt for an auto-duplexing feature. With the help of the Auto-Duplex feature, the printer prints on both the sides of the pages automatically without your involvement to turn the pages. It not only helps you save your time but is also helpful in saving cost as you are going to utilize both sides of the paper.

8. Cost per Print:

CPP or cost per print determines the cost of printing one page with your choice of printer’s ink. The CPP also helps in determining the recurring cost of the printer.

Calculating the cost per print is quite simple. All you have to do is divide the printer ink price with the page yield for the individual colors and then add up the results. The higher the CPP of your printer will be, the more printing bill you will end up paying every month.

9. Duty Cycle:

The duty cycle means the absolute number of pages that can be printed every month at the rated print quality of the printer. You can also define the duty cycle as the measurement that shows how many prints a printer can produce over a period of one month without any jams or errors. For hassle-free operation, buy a printer that offers a monthly duty cycle that is beyond your needs.

10. Paper Tray:

The size of the paper tray is one of those features that most people tend to ignore. However, it is an equally important feature that helps in determining the efficiency of the printer. If you are buying an ink tank printer with a smaller paper tray, you will have to keep loading fresh pages frequently. If you print a large volume of copies every day, it might look like a repetitive and redundant task after a while to load the pages.

To solve this, some models of printers even come with a second paper tray. It prevents you from the manual workload of refilling the paper tray every few hours. Instead, the secondary paper tray provides an adequate supply of paper whenever you need any extra paper/papers.

11. Paper Type Support:

While most people work with only the standard A4 size papers, others don’t. If you fall under the second category where you don’t use only the A4 size papers, you must check the types of papers that a printer supports beforehand.

There are many types of papers that are available for printing like legal-sized papers, envelopes, glossy papers, and many more.

The size of the feeding tray of the printer should be accurate so that it can support different types of sheets without any difficulty. If the printer that you bought supports non-standard papers, you can continue the printing process by mentioning the paper size in the print screen option.

12. Operating System Support:

Another significant factor that you should check before buying the printer is whether it supports the operating system of the device that you own or not. Generally, the printers offer support to all the OS versions that are one year older than the current version released in the market. To know more about it, you can even check the brand’s website and check what all versions of the operating systems are supported by that particular model of the printer.

Almost all the printers in India support MS Windows as a default OS. However, if you use other operating systems as well like Linux or macOS, you must check with the manufacturer before only.

13. App Support:

It becomes quite easy to print the documents using either your smartphone or tablet. You can do so by using the mobile printing apps that are supported by both Android software and iOS. Using these apps, you can transfer the documents to the printer, provided that both the devices (phone and printed) share the same Wi-Fi connectivity.

Even though the wireless printers are quite expensive, it becomes very easy to connect the printer to the Android and Apple devices and get the printing done easily, unlike the older and traditional way of printing.

14. Display:

The display feature of the printers has improved drastically over the users. They come with an LCD screen control panel and blinking lights that notify you whenever the job is done. It also allows you to select different menu options easily.

The high-end models of printers come with even advanced LCD displays along with touch-screen functionality.

15. Ease of Use:

Most of the modern printers come in compact sizes that are very helpful in saving space. These types of printers are even easy to install and set up.

Since the ink tank is clearly visible, it becomes easy to keep a track of the ink levels. You can refill the tank whenever there is a need. Refilling the tanks is also a less complicated job when compared to replacing the cartridges.

Different models come with different control panel options. The best printer model will be the one that you are most comfortable with – either regular buttons or touchscreen.

16. Price:

Even though the ink tank printers are a bit expensive, they are cost-effective in the long run. The frequency of refilling the tank is quite lower than that required by the cartridge printers. It also helps in lowering the cost per page. However, it might take you a while to notice how cost-effective the printer is.

You must buy an ink tank printer only when you require a decent amount of printing on a regular basis. Then only you will able to see how economic the entire process is.

The ink bottle sets for the tank come in different capacities. Hence, check the optimum yield sets before buying the ink refills.

17. Warranty:

Most of the manufacturers of ink tank printers offer a warranty of 1 year from the date of purchase. Some other manufacturers even provide a warranty of either 1 year or 30,000 pages – depending on which option do you achieve first from the date of purchase.

Note: Use only original brand ink to refill the tank. Using fake/counterfeit ink can harm the printer. In such cases, you won’t be able to claim the warranty as well.

How Do Ink Tank Printers Work?

Ink tank printers have gained popularity quite sooner and are considered as the affordable printing option.  These multi-function printers offer low operating costs which work way better than an average inkjet machine.

Printer working

Rather than relying on the printer cartridges to get printed copies, the ink tank printers make use of a refillable tank system along with ink bottles to get the job done. Whenever the ink level in the printer is running low, you need to refill the tank in the correct quantity.

This continuous ink system of the printer helps in delivering the ink using an airtight tube to the printhead so that the ink doesn’t dry out while transferring. Ink bottles are way more economical than many original printer cartridges as they offer high ink capacity. This way, you can get thousands of print copies at a very low cost per page.

Advantages of Printer

Advantages of Ink Tank Printer:

  • The printing cost of the ink tank printers is very low. With the help of in-built continuous ink supply, the cost of printing drops significantly, especially while taking high color pictures and prints.
  • The page yield is also very high. With a single refill, you can get around 6000 to 7000 pages.
  • Refilling the ink tank is very easy. You can refill the ink tank system whenever required and start the printing process. Usually, ink tank printers are capable of holding large quantities of ink. So, you will not have to worry about the refilling process frequently.
  • The printers don’t compromise with the quality of printing and produce high-quality prints. With the help of an integrated bulk ink system as a standard feature, you will not have to face the disadvantage of third-party manufacturing. The printer lets you enjoy reliable color printing along with the best print quality.

Disadvantages of Ink Tank Printers:

  • As the ink tank printers work on the same mechanism as the inkjet printers, you might face similar difficulties such as the nozzles or the printhead can get clogged due to the dried ink.
  • To maintain the printer in a good shape, you will have to run the cleaning cycle once in a while (not very often though as it can lead to ink wastage). You might have to print a page in between if the printer is not in constant use to prevent the ink from drying up and getting stuck in the nozzles.
  • It is advised to finish using the bottled ink within 6 months from the date you have opened the bottle. Here, since the volume of ink is high, the chances of ink coagulation are high when compared to the ink cartridges. Thus, it is not a great idea to leave so much ink untouched for a long period of time.
  • Another issue that you might face frequently is the bubbles getting stuck inside the tubing. Whenever there is a bubble formation, it prevents the ink from flowing. This causes a hindrance to the printing process.

How to Get Rid of an Air Bubble?

You can use a syringe to get rid of the air bubbles. Here’s how you can do it by yourself:

For example: if you notice an air bubble in the tube that is connecting the blue ink tank to the blue cartridge that is connected to the printhead. You can follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Firstly, take the cartridge out from the printhead. Take the whole thing out, in some cases; you will have to even take out the entire container that holds the cartridges.
  • Now, remove the cap of the blue ink tank.
  • Fit the tip of the syringe into the nozzle of the blue cartridge.
  • Pull the plunger of the syringe in the upward direction so that the air is sucked out of the blue tube.
  • Keep pulling the plunger up until you see that all the bubbles are gone. You might notice the ink moving from the tank to the tube and to the cartridge, sometimes even to the syringe.
  • When the ink starts getting inside the syringe, it is an indication that all the bubbles are gone.
  • You can put back the excess amount of ink from the syringe to the ink tank.

 Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are Ink Tank Printers and Inkjet Printers the same?

The ink tank printers are typically the inkjet printers that use the same base technology as the inkjet printers. However, in terms of their usage of ink, they function differently. While inkjet printers provide ink for printing using standalone cartridges, the ink tank printers provide ink supply from the large ink reservoirs. These cartridge-free printers are capable of holding more ink when compared to the large ink reservoirs. Hence, ink tank printers are most cost-effective when compared to inkjet printers.

2. Which one is a better option: Ink Tank Printer or Laser Printer?

While choosing between an ink tank printer and a laser printer, one factor that you must check for is what are you going to print.
While laser printers do an amazing job for printing documents and medium-quality color prints, the ink tank printers provide better color depth and variance comparatively.
Print Quality: If you are going to print more number of documents like articles or recipes, you should buy a laser printer. But, if you are going to print photos or the documents that require impressive colors, you should opt for an inktank printer.
Print Economy: Both the laser printers and ink tank printers offer low operation cost. The only disadvantage of owning an ink tank printer is if you are not using the printer regularly, the ink that is present in the tubes, cartridge, and reservoir might dry out, causing clogging issues. If you are not going to print quite frequently, it will be better for you to buy a laser printer.

3. Are ink tankers good if I want to use it at home?

You can buy an ink tank printer for your home, provided you print regularly. One thing that you should remember is the ink tank printers use ink that can dry up when not in use. This can lead to clogging issues. If you plan to print only once a week or even less than that, you should instead buy a color laser printer.

4. Is spending a huge amount on an ink tank printer worth it?

The cost of ink tank printers is higher than the regular inkjet printers. However, if you print a lot, it will eventually pay off.
An ink tank printer is the best option for those users who print a lot of photos or documents on an everyday basis. They offer good quality prints by maintaining a low cost per page.
The ink tank printers even come with large ink reservoirs than regular cartridges. Thus, it helps in saving money on replacements too.

5. What happens to the ink present in the ink tank printers? Does the ink dry out?

The drying out of the ink in the printer cartridge is a common issue. It happens only when the printer is not in use for a long time. The ink present in the reservoirs can also dry up if you are not using the printer for extended periods. However, the rate at which the ink dries out in the ink tank printer is not as high as that in the inkjet printer.

6. How will I get to know that it’s time to refill the ink tank?

Most models of the ink tank printers come with dedicated notification lights that inform you whenever the ink levels are low. Once you get the notification, you can refill the reservoir and continue printing the documents. You can even check the ink capacity of the printer and figure out when it needs a refill.

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