HP turns 20 and New Cartridges

HP announced this week that the Deskjet printer that we have all grown and love is turning 20 years old.  This actually makes me feel old, I am older than the Deskjet printer (26).  So how do they celebrate this?  The come out with two new series of printer cartridges and new printers, surprise.

It seems that everytime we turn around the printer companies are coming out with new printer cartridges.  While it has slowed down in the past couple years, most companies are coming out with at least 2 different cartridges series.  HP just announced the HP 60 series and the HP 901 series.  So I ask, what changes from cartridge to cartridge?

Most of the time it is very small things, mostly the printheads or the electrical componets.  But why come out with new cartridges all the time?  One reason only, money.  This is how companies like HP, Canon, and Lexmark make their money, and lots of it.  As anyone in manufacturing knows the longer a product is out, the cheaper it gets to make.  The process gets slimlined. While the cost of the goods may go up, the cost to put those goods together typically goes down.

The longer a cartridges is out, more money the companies make.  However, we have been stuck in the mentality that we need to get bigger and better.  While we may not need a new printer, we want a new printer, which means new cartridges.

Will this process ever stop?  Possibly some day, but not anytime soon.  So what is a person supposed to do, before you buy a printer, think, do you need one?  If so, look at the cartridges that go into the printer, or talk to someone like me that deals with printer cartridges and knows the good and bad ones.

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