What is the Best Printer with the Cheapest Ink Cartridges | George Milton

What Is the Best Printer With the Cheapest Ink Cartridges?

Ian Mutuli
Updated on

Owning a printer you can use at your leisure is one of the best things in life. However, when it comes to replacing your ink cartridges, you can be in for a rude shock to find out that they cost an arm and a leg. This is why today we're helping you get the answer to the question "what is the best printer with the cheapest ink cartridges."

We want you to have a very seamless experience when replacing your ink cartridges. So, therefore, we'll be looking at the most affordable ink cartridges and the most cost-efficient ones as well.

This is because not only do we want you to be able to afford your ink, but we also want you to go for some time before you have to replace the ink cartridges.

Let's dive in.

What Is the Best Printer with the Cheapest Ink Cartridges?

1. Canon Pixma MG3620 Wireless All-In-One Color Inkjet Printer

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Canon Pixma MG3620 Wireless All-In-One Color Inkjet...
  • Mobile device printing: Easily print from your iPhone, iPad,...
  • Quick and easy wireless setup
  • Powerful printing options: Airprint, Google Cloud Print, NFC,...
  • Compact and space-saving design
  • Print on both sides of the page with auto 2-sided print

Starting us off is an inkjet printer that thousands of reviews for a reason. If you're looking for a reliable all-in-one printer that is affordable and reliable, this is it. This Canon Pixma MG3620 all-in-one printer gives you decent photo print quality and print speeds.

Its compact design and affordable nature make it perfect for home use. This means that it will have no problem fitting on your office desk. In addition to using cheap ink, this inkjet printer is also powerful.

The drawback with this Canon masterpiece is that the build is not extremely strong. However, there's no cause for alarm. In this case, you'll just notice that the thin plastic is not that durable. Another thing is that you don't get an automatic document feeder or the duplex scanning feature.

Nonetheless, this is a decent printer that will serve you well.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Uses cheap ink cartridges
  • ReliableCompact
  • Makes for a great home office printer
  • Produces decent quality prints

Cons:

  • Doesn't have an automatic document feeder

2. Epson EcoTank ET-4760 Wireless Supertank Printer

Epson EcoTank ET-4760 Wireless Color All-in-One...
  • Epson strongly recommends the use of Genuine Epson inks for a...
  • Epson EcoTank is the Selling Supertank Printer
  • You can save up to 90 percent with replacement ink bottles vs....
  • You get up to 2 years of ink — in the box and with each...
  • Less waste with Cartridge-Free Printing — one set of...

The Epson EcoTank ET-4760 uses the supertank system that provides you with high page yields. However, you'll have to do some serious printing before you have to replace the four refillable ink tanks that come with this wireless printing device.

Th cost-per-page of this inkjet printer is one of the lowest in the market. Therefore, if you're looking for cost efficiency, this is your baby. Also, unlike our previous option, this printer comes with an automatic document feeder.

Another surprise with this printer is that faxing is not dead. Therefore, stop scrolling here and get this printer if you feel like you might do some faxing.

Some other services you'll be able to enjoy in addition to wireless printing include the Mopria Print Service, Apple Airprint, and connecting with an Ethernet cable. With this purchase, you get 2 years' worth of ink.

The drawback with this printer is that it doesn't have automatic duplex scanning. This means that you'll have to turn over the pages to scan both sides manually.

Pros:

  • Comes with an auto document feeder
  • Amazingly cost-effective
  • Can fax
  • Has a very low cost per page

Cons:

  • Doesn't support duplex scanning
  • Doesn't have Bluetooth

3. Epson EcoTank ET-2760 Wireless Color All-in-One

Epson EcoTank ET-2760 Wireless Color All-in-One...
  • Your home needs a printer that’s fast, affordable, easy to use,...
  • Innovative Cartridge-Free Printing ― High-capacity ink tanks...
  • Dramatic Savings on Replacement Ink ― Save up to 90% with...
  • Stress-Free Printing — Up to 2 years of ink in the box (4) –...
  • Zero Cartridge Waste – By using an EcoTank printer, you can...

This option is similar to our previous one, given that they come from the same family. This Epson EcoTank ET-2760 is arguably the best black and white printer for your home office. If you're looking for a good wireless printer to use with cheap ink, this is a good option.

Just like our above option, this all-in-one printer has a very low cost per page. The high-resolution flatbed scanner allows you to digitize all your documents with ease. The connectivity is similar to the ET-4760, which means you have several options.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Low cost per page
  • Descent print speeds
  • Great for at-home black and white printing

Cons:

  • Doesn't have an automatic document feeder

4. Canon G7020 All-In-One Printer For Home Office 

Canon G7020 All-In-One Printer For Home Office |...
  • Conveniently view and refill ink using ink bottles with...
  • With a high page yield print up to 6,000 Black/ 7,700 color pages...
  • With a 350 sheet plain paper capacity The PIXMA G7020 is ready to...
  • With AirPrint it’s easy to print right from your iPhone iPad...
  • Print beautiful borderless photos from 3 5” x 3 5” square to...

This Canon printer uses ink bottles and integrated ink tanks. If you want a printer for heavy printing, this is the one for you. This Canon PIXMA G7020 Wireless MegaTank All-In-One Printer is cost-efficient and offers you great productivity.

You'll be able to fax, scan, print, and copy all you need in the comfort of your home. In addition, the vivid color and sharp black text mean that you can use these inkjet printers for official documents with the confidence that they'll make you look good.

The high page yields and wireless connectivity promises you a great value on your investment. If you have an iPhone or Mac 4, even better. You can use AirPrint to print your documents and photos with ease. You get productivity and cheap ink with this purchase. What more could you ask for?

Pros:

  • Wireless connectivity
  • High page yield
  • Great for large print jobs
  • Good for printing photos
  • Allows you to capture even the small details

Cons:

  • The set-up process can be complicated

5. Brother MFC-J995DW Color Inkjet All-in-One Printer

Brother MFC-J995DW INKvestmentTank Color Inkjet...
  • Up to 1 year of ink in box: Using the MFCJ995DW cartridges...
  • Inkvestment tank system: Reengineered ink cartridges hold more...
  • Eliminate ink replacement guesswork: Brother intelligent Page...
  • Mobile device printing: Desktop and mobile device wireless...
  • For use with brother genuine inks: LC3033: LC3033BK, LC3033C,...

Our fifth option is this printer from Brother that will not disappoint. After all, Brother has been known to be ahead of the curve when it comes to adopting new technologies. In addition, this inkjet printer supports automatic duplex printing, which is a major plus.

In addition to automatic duplex printing, this printer comes in a compact design that allows you to place it on your office desk. In addition, the 2.6-inch touchscreen LCD console allows for more effective working. Despite its small size, you will also get decent viewing angles with this screen.

The one drawback you may experience is the appearance of a thin banding when you print gray shades. Nonetheless, prepare yourself for an affordable printing experience. The automatic duplex printing, compact design, and reliability of this inkjet printer will be worth your money.

Pros:

  • Compact design
  • Descent photo printing quality
  • Very cost-effective in the long run
  • Comes with an intuitive mobile app

Cons:

  • Doesn't support duplex scanning
  • No Bluetooth support

6. HP Neverstop 1202w All-in-One Wireless Mono Laser Printer

HP Neverstop Laser MFP 1202w Wireless Monochrome...
  • Lowest cost per page on laser printing in-class: This reloadable...
  • Less than 1 cent per page: This wireless laser printer comes with...
  • Reload with more toner, for a lot less: With the Toner Reload Kit...
  • The best-in-class mobile print app, HP Smart: Simplify printer...
  • Print with or without a network: The Neverstop All-in-One Laser...

The printing speed on this printer is 21 pages per minute (ppm) for black and white printing. You also get a 150-sheet paper tray. So when it's time to refill, you'll get a mess-free and seamless toner refill experience.

This laser printer will cost you less than a cent to print a page. Although you'll need to buy the Toner Reload kit separately, you'll still find that it's worth your money. You'll be able to print documents at any time of the day without worrying that you're using too much ink.

With access to the HP Smart app, you'll be able to do mobile printing and connect your devices to your reliable printer. So whether you are connected to your home or office network or not, you'll still be able to print with this printer.

This environmentally-friendly printer is eco-label certified and has a smaller environmental footprint than other printers in the same class.

Pros:

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Easy to refill
  • Compact design
  • Produces decent print quality
  • Low per-page cost

Cons:

  • Doesn't have the auto-duplexing feature
  • Lower print speeds

7. Brother MFC-J805DW INKvestmentTank Printer

Brother MFC-J805DW INKvestmentTank Color Inkjet...
  • UP TO 1-YEAR OF INK IN-BOX: Experience truly uninterrupted...
  • REVOLUTIONARY INKVESTMENT TANK SYSTEM: Brother Investment Tank...
  • ELIMINATE INK REPLACEMENT GUESSWORK: You can print with...
  • ENJOY MOBILE DEVICE PRINTING: Print and scan wirelessly from your...
  • USE WITH BROTHER GENUINE INKS: Intelligently engineered to work...

The best thing about this Brother printer is that you get up to 1-year worth of ink in the box. This gives you an uninterrupted printing experience as soon as you get the printer. So you print approximately 150 pages per month for a year without worrying about running out.

If you want to do more printing, you'll have to refill the ink in this color inkjet printer sooner than a year. This is because these printers' reengineered ink cartridges can hold more ink than other typical cartridges. They are also connected to an internal storage tank that delivers seamless and uninterrupted printing.

The Brother Page Gauge removes the guesswork out of ink replacement. This system allows you to know when you need to replace the ink. In addition, it shows you how much ink you've used so far and how much is remaining.

Thanks to the mobile device printing feature, you'll also be able to scan and print wirelessly from your smartphone, tablet, desktop, and laptop. In addition, you can use Google Cloud Print, Air Print, Brother and WiFi Direct printing.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Allows you to know how much ink is remaining
  • Good build quality
  • Fast print speeds
  • Allows for convenient wireless printing
  • Lower printing costs

Cons:

  • Doesn't come with an ethernet port
  • Color accuracy could be improved

8. Epson EcoTank ET-3760 Wireless Cartridge-Free Supertank Printer

Epson EcoTank ET-3760 Wireless Color All-in-One...
  • Your busy office needs a printer that’s fast, affordable, easy...
  • Innovative Cartridge-Free Printing ― High-capacity ink tanks...
  • Dramatic Savings on Replacement Ink ― Save up to 90% with...
  • Stress-Free Printing — Up to 2 years of ink in the box (4) –...
  • Zero Cartridge Waste – By using an EcoTank printer, you can...

Here's a superb color printer that you can use with cheap ink. The cartridge-free feature means that all you have to do is refill the ink tanks. You won't have to worry about running out of ink because you won't have cartridges to replace.

The automatic document feeder is another feature you'll love. This automatic document feeder allows you to do some fast and affordable printing. The print quality of this printer is also profound. You can either get this printer for your home office or your office office.

So, how is this printer cost-effective? Well, the high-capacity ink tanks allow you to save up to 90% on ink because you'll be using replacement ink bottles as opposed to tiny and expensive ink cartridges. Another great thing about this cool printer is that you get up to 2-years' worth of ink with this purchase.

If you're environmentally conscious, you'll love that you'll have zero-cartridge waste. This means that fewer cartridges will find their way into the landfills on your account. In addition, the sweet tray can handle 250 sheets which helps increase your productivity.

Pros:

  • Amazing print quality
  • Descent print speeds
  • Great to use with cheap ink
  • Has numerous connectivity options
  • Great for home use

Cons:

  • The color accuracy could be improved

9. Brother MFC-J4335DW INKvestment Tank Printer

Brother MFC-J4335DW INKvestment Tank All-in-One Printer...
  • INKvest in a printer you won’t want to replace with up to...
  • Revolutionary INKvestment Tank Technology. The INKvestment...
  • Brother INKvestment Tank front-loading ink cartridges. The...
  • Put the power of printing at your fingertips. The simple to use...
  • Large page yields means less frequent ink replacement. When you...

This Brother printer comes with up to 1-year's worth of ink in the box. This offers you uninterrupted printing from the moment you unbox. This also saves you the hassle or trouble of having to purchase ink separately.

This free ink comes in the form of 4 cartridges. The good thing about this INKvestment technology is that you won't have to refill the ink cartridges manually. The compact nature of this printer also comes from the fact that it uses front-loading cartridges.

You'll be able to plug out the used ink cartridge and replace it without creating a mess or stopping the printing process. The Brother app allows you to navigate the printing options from your mobile device. The large page yield also means that you will print more for less and without replacing your ink every now and then.

Pros:

  • Comes with free ink for one year
  • Compact design
  • Large page yields
  • Convenient Brother app

Cons:

  • Doesn't support cardstock printing

10. Brother MFC-J1205W Wireless Color Inkjet Printer

Brother MFC-J1205W INKvestment Tank Wireless...
  • NO INK REPLACEMENT FOR UP TO 1-YEAR(1): Experience truly...
  • PUT THE POWER OF PRINTING AT YOUR FINGERTIPS: The simple to use...
  • USE BROTHER GENUINE INK: Engineered to work with INKvestment Tank...
  • BROTHER REVOLUTIONARY INKVESTMENT TANK SYSTEM: Brother...
  • ELIMINATE INK REPLACEMENT GUESSWORK: Print with confidence using...

This Brother printer is a lot like our previous option in that you get free ink, can use the Brother app, high page yields, and more.

In addition, you get the Brother Page Guage that allows you to know how much ink you've used and how much is remaining.

This means that you can remove the guesswork from knowing how much ink you've used.

Pros:

  • Convenient Brother app
  • Comes with free ink for one year
  • Compact design
  • Has a page gauge to show you how much ink is remaining

Cons:

  • Not the best for photo printing

What Are Some Qualities of An Affordable Printer?

Now that we've looked at some of the best printers in the market that will help you conserve your ink and save your money let's look at the qualities to look out for.

The reason we're looking into this is that the low price of a printer can trick you into believing that the ink will be cheap as well. It's not uncommon to find yourself paying thousands of dollars for a printer you bought for $50.

Why? Because some printer manufacturers sell their printers at cheap prices, knowing that they'll get their money back in cartridges sales.

Therefore, to avoid getting duped, let's look at the qualities of good cheap ink printers.

1. Uses Large Ink Cartridges

You can either get cartridges that come in the standard size or the high-yield (XL) sizes. As modern times progress, you can also find printers that have extra high yield (XXL) sizes. The word we're looking for here is efficiency.

Therefore, you want cheap ink printers that can handle larger cartridges. This is because although they cost slightly more than the standard-size ones, you won't have to keep refilling or replacing and you'll get to print a lot more pages.

When you're looking for cheap ink printers, you want to get a low cost per page when printing. Therefore, isn't it better to get high-yield cartridges that print twice the number of pages that standard ones do at a slightly higher price?

Mind you, this is not double the price. It's just slightly higher. So, you get to save money and the hassle of replacing your ink every other day. Therefore, the larger the cartridges you can get, the better.

2. Low Cost-Per-Page

We mentioned this above, but let's look at it in a bit more detail. Ink efficiency is a must-have when you want cheap ink printers. This means looking at the long-term. Today we'll look at two important terms: page yield and cost per page.

Page yield is a fancy printing term that means the number of pages your ink cartridge can print before it runs out. Therefore, naturally, you want cartridges that have a higher page yield.

The cost per page is the price of the cartridge / (divide by) the page yield.

Therefore, an efficient all-in-one printer will have a small cost per page. A question you could be asking yourself is, "are inkjet printers more effective than laser ones?"

Well, when it comes to cost efficiency, laser options win the race. This is because although the price of laser toner cartridges is higher than for ink cartridges, the cost per page is significantly lower. Therefore, although the initial cost of laser options is much higher than that of the inkjet printer, it's actually more cost-effective down the line.

If you do lots of printing, especially black and white printing, consider a good laser printer. Otherwise, you're good to go with these inkjet printers above.

3. Compatible with Aftermarket Ink

As you shop for a good inkjet printer, ensure that you check whether you'll get low-cost compatible ink cartridge replacements. Several third-party companies provide remanufactured cartridges at affordable prices.

Therefore, if your inkjet printer is compatible with these options, you'll be good to go.

4. Handles Your Monthly Load

What is the Best Printer with the Cheapest Ink Cartridges | George Milton

You don't want to ruin your new printer. Therefore, ensure that you check the pages-per-month that your printer of choice can print before settling on it.

This is because going over the stated monthly print load can cause your all-in-one printer to break down faster. In addition, you'll then have to use your money to repair and replace some parts. Definitely not cost-efficient, is it?

What Are Some Printer Terms You Should Know?

Now that you know what is the best printer with the cheapest ink, let's look at some terms we've mentioned above, and you should know the meaning of.

1. Page Yield

We mentioned the page yield above, but we'd like to reiterate it here. Why? Because this is a crucial aspect when choosing a good printer to use with cheap ink.

The page yield is the estimated number of pages you can print with a cartridge and is based on the manufacturer's insights. Again, you can check for this information as you are buying your printer or cartridges.

The page yields are often based on ISO standards and vary depending on the type of printer. You may have two different printers at the same price, but the cartridges and page yields vary.

2. Total Cost of Ink

This term is somehow self-explanatory, but we'll look at it a bit more. This term simply means to the total cost of ink that your printer will be using regularly. Why is this important? Because the total cost of ink is where many printer manufacturers make most of their money from.

We mentioned above that you can buy a printer at a low price and end up buying ink that costs way more than the printer.

This is why. You can even find that you're printing at 10 cents per page. Might as well just go to the store and have your work printed there.

If you want to know the total cost of ink for your printer, divide the page yield by the cost of each ink cartridge. For example, if the cost of your black ink cartridge is $30 and the page yield is 300, you'll know that the cost per page is 10 cents.

The total cost of ink is probably why you will find yourself considering aftermarket cartridges as a better option because they are significantly cheaper.

3. Print Speed

What is the Best Printer with the Cheapest Ink Cartridges | Bank Phrom

This is a term we've mentioned severally as we were looking at the best options for you. The print speed is often written as PPM, which means pages per minute.

One thing to note with the print speed is that it can affect the quality of your prints. This is whether you're using wireless printing or not. For example, you may notice that the prints in draft mode are not as good as the prints in optimal mode, even if they are faster.

If your business requires speed, we recommend getting a laser printer. This will balance the speed and quality of your prints. You can use with cheap ink and still get the results you require.

4. Duty Cycle

What is the duty cycle? Duty cycle refers to the total number of pages that your printer can print monthly with ease. Knowing this will allow you to stay within these limits to avoid wearing out your parts and needing to replace them sooner than expected.

Some of the parts that may be affected include the fuser and the drum. These parts are especially expensive to maintain. Therefore, check for the duty cycle before purchasing a printer to know how much printing you can do with your purchase.

Even if you want to use with cheap ink, you still need to ensure that you're not overworking your printer. Read the product descriptions to ensure that you're getting the right printer for you.

Now that we've looked at the terms and the qualities of an affordable printer, let's look at some other factors you should look out for when choosing a printer.

What Printer Features Should You Consider?

These are some other considerations you should pay attention to in addition to the qualities of an affordable printer we've looked at above.

1. Automatic Document Feeder

This factor is for you if you want efficiency. Gone are the days that you had to feed your printer the sheets manually. Nowadays, you can choose a printer with this option, and you can sit back and relax as the printer does everything for you.

Our second option is a great example of such a printer. Unfortunately, although our first pick is our best choice, it doesn't come with this feature. Therefore, consider our second pick above if you want to save time and effort while printing.

2. High-Quality Text

Even though you can use your machine to print art prints and photos, you might find that you're mostly printing documents. Therefore, you want a printer that will produce high-quality text documents that you can proudly share with others.

If you print out a lot of documents, ensure that you don't compromise on the print speed as you are checking for the quality. Ensure that the print speed is decent and there's no smudging or bleeding.

Even though you'll be using cheap ink, you still want your documents to look clear and crisp. Therefore, we've selected only the best printers for you. However, you can still go through the pros and cons sections to see which ones stand out in terms of quality text documents.

3. Great Photo Printing Quality

What is the Best Printer with the Cheapest Ink Cartridges | Erik Mclean

Just like the text documents, you want your photos to look just as great even though you're using cheap ink. Whether you're printing photos for professional or personal use, you want the best. Therefore, check the product details and reviews to see if your printer of choice delivers on this front.

You don't want to experience any bleeding or similar issues when printing images. After all, a good image is worth a thousand words, and you want your photos to reflect your message clearly.

The printer's color accuracy and color reproduction are some features to look out for. Again, check the pros and cons sections to see which ones are the best in this regard.

This is the case if you know that you'll be doing a lot of photo printing.

4. Duplex Printing and Duplex Scanning

Scanning has become an important aspect of today's times, especially when it comes to preserving old memories and moments. However, we understand that not all printers are great for scanning photos. Therefore, if scanning old photos is a priority for you, you can get a good photo scanner.

Otherwise, consider a printer that has duplex scanning and printing. What does this mean? It means getting a printer that does two-sided printing and scanning. This feature allows you to save ink and paper without compromising on quality.

It is also an efficient way of printing and scanning, especially when you do this often. It can either be automatic or manual. If you want a hands-free experience, you can choose a wireless color photo printer with duplex printing and scanning.

This feature, along with an auto document feeder, will make the process a lot more seamless.

5. Fast Printing Speeds

Fast print speeds are a great feature to have, along with duplex printing, mobile printing, and other cool features.

We've talked a bit about the print speeds above and how to balance this with quality. Nonetheless, we thought that it required another mention. So our third pick is a good example of a printer that offers you decent print speeds.

Frequently Asked Questions About Printers With Cheap Ink Cartridges

1. Do cheap printers use more ink than expensive ones?

Depending on the manufacturer, the price of the cartridges may vary. However, it's common to find cheap printers using very expensive cartridges, as we mentioned above.

This is how the manufacturers make money. This is why today, we focused on the printers that use cheap ink. Therefore, although you may have to invest a bit more initially, the options we've picked above use cheap ink and will be cost-effective in the long run.

Nonetheless, we also have some affordable printers for you if you are on a budget.

2. Are laser printers more economical?

Compared to inkjet printers, laser ones use toner cartridges with a high page yield. This means that laser printers are more economical.

Although these toner cartridges are more expensive than the ink ones, they are more cost-effective in the long run. This means that you won't have to replace these cartridges every now and then.


Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.