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Some printers might cost you more than you'd think

Some printers might cost you more than you’d think

When you’re shopping for a new printer, the sticker price matters, of course. But that may not be the end to what you’ll pay. In fact, some inexpensive models could rack up unexpected additional costs as you use them.

One way to discover such “hidden” costs is to consult our printer Ratings. A key calculation we use to determine a printer’s Rating is “monthly cost,” which calculates the estimated price for ink and paper use over the course of a month. The calculation is based on what our lab considers typical use; for inkjets, that’s 23 pages of text, 9 pages of graphics, and two to three large photos, three to four small photos, and three to four photos printed on plain paper.

As an example, the new Canon Pixma MX452 sells for just $100. But its monthly-cost estimate was high, at $11.

You can find some models that are considerably less expensive to run, such as the HP Officejet Pro 8600 Plus, $300, which has an estimated monthly cost of just $5.30. So although you may pay more upfront for the HP all-in-one, in a typical month, the Canon Pixma model will cost twice as much to use. Since this is an estimate, your results may vary—but the monthly-cost calculation is useful when you’re comparing models.


Find the best model for your needs and budget: Check out our Ratings and free buying guide.

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