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A common problem faced by the printer owners is facing empty ink cartridges often. The ink efficiency is a prime factor when adding to the printer costs. The high cost of ink replacements overrides the initial price of buying an inkjet printer.

There is no single way to calculate the ink efficiency of a printer. Each brand uses their own measurements to calculate it. But in general if the per-page costs is less while printing quality and fade-resistance handouts, with less replacement cycles then the printer can be considered as ink efficient.

Points to note when considering ink efficiency of printers:

Type of cartridges:
Always buy separate color cartridges. Single cartridge which holds all 3 basic colors - cyan, magenta and yellow doesn't work even if one color runs out. Buying them separately is much cheaper in the long run.

Print output:
If printing large volume of text is your deal, then opt for the monochrome laser printers. They are fast, economical, and the black toners cartridges are much cheaper to replace when empty.
Inkjet printers produce quality prints in color but the expensive cartridges put a hole in your pockets.

Refilling cartridges:
Better to refill the cartridges rather than buy the brand name ones which are expensive. But on the downside the cheap ink used may not provide the print quality you expect. Of late majority of the brands are offering XL capacity cartridges, but you can never be sure of the amount of ink in them.

Tips and points to improve the ink efficiency are:

1. For normal or light text printing, always use black or grayscale option in the printer settings.(Draft mode option). By default color is always selected.
2. Set a lower resolution of 300 dpi if print quality is not top priority in laser printers.
3. Buy the right capacity of cartridge depending on your needs. They vary from small, medium, large or XL.
4. Perform bulk printing to reduce the start/stop operation cycles. This in turn reduces the ink consumption to some extent and also your waiting time.

The best ink efficient printers of 2015 list below consists of only those models which have a per page cost of less than 3.5 cents (monochrome prints).

#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

HP Color LaserJet Enterprise M553x
HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M277dw
HP Color LaserJet Pro M252dw
Samsung Multifunction Xpress M2885FW
Brother HL-L2300D
HP Color LaserJet Enterprise M553dn
HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M277dw
HP Color LaserJet Pro M252dw
Samsung Multifunction Xpress M2885FW
Brother HL-L2300D
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Release Date
May 2015
Jun 2015
Oct 2015
Jul 2015
Apr 2015
Cost Per Page (Mono)
1.7 cents
3.2 cents
3.2 cents
2.7 cents
3.5 cents
Output Type
1-pass color
1-pass color
1-pass color
Monochrome
Monochrome
Platform
Linux, Mac OS, Windows
Linux, Mac OS, Windows
Linux, Mac OS, Windows
Linux, Mac OS, Windows
Printer Type
Laser, Printer Only, Standard All-Purpose
Laser, All-In-One
Laser, Printer Only
Laser, All-In-One
Laser, Printer Only
Cost Per Page (Color)
10.9 cents
16.3 cents
16.3 cents
Maximum Resolution(BW) - Horizontal
1200.0 dpi
600.0 dpi
600.0 dpi
600.0 dpi
Maximum Resolution(BW) - Vertical
1200.0 dpi
600.0 dpi
600.0 dpi
4800.0 dpi
Average Rating
 4.7 stars
 3.7 stars
 4.3 stars
 3.8 stars
 4.5 stars
Quality
100% Positive
75% Positive
25% Negative
100% Positive
75% Positive
25% Negative
100% Positive
Ease of Use
91% Positive
9% Negative
50% Positive
50% Negative
33% Positive
67% Negative
55% Positive
45% Negative
100% Positive
Economy
88% Positive
12% Negative
20% Positive
80% Negative
50% Positive
50% Negative
100% Positive
Connectivity
75% Positive
25% Negative
85% Positive
15% Negative
80% Positive
20% Negative
66% Positive
34% Negative
100% Negative
Performance
83% Positive
17% Negative
75% Positive
25% Negative
50% Positive
50% Negative
66% Positive
34% Negative
100% Positive