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Mono and single-function printers: Should we just stop producing them?

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With colour laser printers getting cheaper and inkjets almost exclusively available in colour, there doesn’t seem to be any need for black and white printers any more. Even if you don’t use colour much, laser toner doesn’t dry out in the way that ink does, so there’s no harm in buying a colour laser printer and just not using the colour option until you really need it. And one day you will need it because colour documents just look so much more, well, colourful. And wouldn’t it be greener to make only colour printers and avoid the need for installing two different printers in the office?

Actually, if you only print in mono, you’re having a lower impact on the environment and your print costs will be way lower. Colour laser printers still cost considerably more than mono laser printers, sometimes twice as much. Thats because toner cartridges are around ten times the size of inkjet cartridges and if you have to cram in three more of them to achieve colour, your printer is going to be bigger, heavier and more expensive. And by installing three toner cartridges instead of one, you’re increasing the likelihood of having to stop for maintenance, or a toner top-up.

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