Toner cartridges can be cheaper to operate than some ink cartridges in the long run, but it all depends on the cost effectiveness of the cartridge series and your printing habits. Many everyday printer users end up buying an inkjet printer over a laser printer because inkjets often have a much cheaper sticker price. However, when you compare the overall operating costs of an inkjet printer and a laser printer, a number of laser printers (and their toner cartridges) can actually end up saving you more money in the long term thanks to a lower cost per page. Cost per page is determined by the printer cartridge’s page yield and the cost of a particular printer cartridge. Since toner cartridges are commonly used by busy businesses that print regularly, they have a much higher page yield, which gives you more prints per cartridge. Inkjets on the other hand have a lower page yield because of their smaller size and limited capacity, which leads to more frequent cartridge replacements throughout the life of your printer.
Let’s demonstrate by comparing operating costs of a popular inkjet printer and laser printer. The HP Deskjet 2655 All-in-One inkjet printer is just $49.99* and uses the HP 65 black and tri-color ink cartridge series. The black cartridge prints 100 pages for $14.99 and the HP 65 tri-color cartridge prints up to 120 pages for $15.99. To calculate the cost per page of the black cartridge, just divide the page yield by the cartridge price:
$14.99 / 100 = 14.9 cents
To get the cost per page of the color cartridge, you’ll need to add the black and color cost per page together.
14.9 cents + (15.99 / 120) = 28.9 cents
The HP LaserJet Pro M180nw All-in-One laser printer we are comparing costs five times as much as the HP Deskjet at $299.99. Cartridge costs are pricier too but the operating cost is low. This printer uses the HP 204A black, cyan, magenta and yellow toner cartridges. The black cartridge costs $50.99 and prints 1,100 pages while each color cartridge costs $56.99 and prints 900 pages apiece. Let’s do the same math for these cartridges to examine the printer’s cost per page:
Again, we will divide the page yield by the cartridge price for the black cartridge:
$50.99 / 1,100 = 4.6 cents per page
And we will add the black and color cost per page together to calculate the operating costs of the color cartridges:
($50.99 / 1,100) + (($56.99 / 900) x 3) = 23.5 cents per page
As you can see, the toner cartridges are actually more efficient to operate when you break down the overall cost per page. Not only do you get more prints per cartridge but you get a better printing value too! That $50.00 price tag for a toner cartridge may look a little unnerving at first, but if you wanted to print the same number of pages with the inkjet, you’d be spending around $165 on 11 HP 65 black ink cartridges, so there is a big savings there as well! Bottom line, compare the cost per page across printer models to figure out if the laser printer you are considering is more cost effective than an inkjet printer. If you print a lot, it may make sense to pay more upfront the laser printer because your printing costs are far more efficient long term. Keep in mind, cartridge costs and cartridge page yields vary greatly from printer to printer! Now that you know how to calculate cost per page you can make an educated decision the next time you are shopping for a new machine.
You can save even more printing with LD brand compatible cartridges too. Available at a fraction of the price of the original, you get the same number of prints and the same great print quality at an unbelievable value!
*Savings based on price comparison between remanufactured/compatible cartridge prices on www.LDProducts.com and OEM cartridge and printer prices from Amazon and Staples. All prices effective as of December 28, 2018. OEM names are registered trademarks of their respective owners and are not affiliated with, and do not endorse LD Products.