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Best Ink Tank Printers of 2019

Best Ink Tank Printers of 2019

Get to know some of the top-rated refillable ink tank printers from Epson, Canon and Brother.

For years, consumers have griped about the high price of printer cartridges–specifically inkjet cartridges. To address this consumer pain point, OEM companies have introduced printers that make use of ink tanks which hold much more ink than standard ink cartridges. Ink tank printers have quickly become another affordable printing option, combining low operating costs with the same multifunction printer features you expect from the average inkjet machine.  Instead of relying on printer cartridges to produce a print, ink tank printers use a refillable tank system and ink bottles to handle printing duties.  Similar to filling up your gas tank, when your printer’s ink levels are running low, you need to fill the tank with the appropriate amount of ink from the bottle.  The printer’s continuous ink system delivers the ink via an airtight tube to the printhead, so ink won’t dry out over time.  Ink bottles are a far more economical printing solution than many original brand printer cartridges due to their high ink capacity, offering thousands of prints at an incredibly low cost per page.  Epson’s EcoTank series was first to market back in 2015.  Canon brought us the Megatank in 2017 and now Brother has entered the game with an ink tank version of their popular Inkvestment printer line.  Here, we compare a couple of popular models from each brand so you can determine if an ink tank printer is right for you.

If you are looking to save even more with an ink tank printer, LD Products offers a number of compatible ink bottles for a majority of the printers mentioned in this post, all available for a fraction of the cost of the original brand. You can check out the compatible ink savings directly underneath each associated printer series!


Epson® EcoTank® Printers

Now on its third generation, the Ecotank series has come a long way since it was first introduced in 2015.  The latest iteration of the series features six brand new printer models and a newly developed auto-stop ink bottle system that immediately stops filling when the tank reaches capacity. Older versions of the EcoTank series had the tank system attached to the side of printer.  Epson took a page from the Canon Megatank playbook and built the tank into the front of the machine with these newer models, making for a more compact, user-friendly design.  Other worthy additions to the series include improved print speeds, larger paper capacities, and borderless photo printing.  Their greatest selling point are of course the ink bottles, each printer includes enough ink to print thousands of color pages for pennies on the dollar.

Epson® Expression ET-2700Buy on Amazon*

Wireless and cloud printing services make it easy to print from your smartphone and a 100-sheet paper capacity accommodates pages up to 8.5”x14” in size.  Black text prints fast, clocking in at 10 ppm and color print speeds are decent at 5 ppm.  One downside at this price point is the lack of LCD touchscreen, which is standard for all of the higher-tier models.  The printer uses four 502 series ink bottles that are available in black, cyan, magenta and yellow.  The black ink bottle holds enough ink to print 7,500 pages and the color bottles print up to 6,000 pages each.


Epson® WorkForce EcoTank ET-3750Buy on Amazon

At a slightly higher price point, the Workforce EcoTank ET-3750 offers many of the same functions as the ET-2700, (same ink bottles and wireless options) mixed with a few nice-to-have upgrades like a 2.4” color LCD and 150-sheet paper tray.  Print speeds are upgraded too, with the black text coming in at 15 ppm and color prints offering 8 ppm.  Automatic dual-sided printing is another convenient plus; letting you easily print on both sides of the page in just one click.

 Ink Bottle Name Epson 502 Black Ink Bottle
Page Yield 7,000 Pages
Ink Bottle Name Epson 502 Cyan / Magenta / Yellow Ink Bottles
Page Yield 6,000 Pages
Price Comparison of Original Epson 502 Black vs Compatible Ink Bottles
Original Epson Price $19.99
Original Epson Cost Per Page .26 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $8.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page .12 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Epson 502 Cyan vs Compatible Ink Bottles
Original Epson Price $13.99
Original Epson Cost Per Page .95 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $7.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page .51 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Epson 502 Magenta vs Compatible Ink Bottles
Original Epson Price $13.99
Original Epson Cost Per Page .95 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $7.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page .51 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Epson 502 Yellow vs Compatible Ink Bottles
Original Epson Price $13.99
Original Epson Cost Per Page .95 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $7.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page .51 cents per page


Epson® Expression Premium ET-7750 Wide Format All-in-One

Buy on Amazon

The Epson Expression Premium ET-7750 is one of the more expensive printers on our list, but its quick print speeds and five-color ink system make it a smart choice for quality photo printing.  Featuring speeds of 13 ppm for text and 8 ppm for color prints, this machine is one of the fastest ink tanks available.  A pigment-based black ink bottle and four dye-based color ink bottles, including photo black, can handle a range of printing needs.  The printer accommodates 11″ x 17″ wide format pages via a rear paper feed. A built-in USB /memory card slots lets you upload pictures directly to the printer and a dedicated photo tray allows for easy photo printing.  The Epson 512 black ink bottle prints 8,000 pages and four color bottles print 5,000 pages apiece.

 Ink Bottle Name Epson 512 Black Ink Bottle
Page Yield 8,000 Pages
Ink Bottle Name Epson 512 Cyan / Magenta / Yellow Ink Bottles
Page Yield 5,000 Pages
Price Comparison of Original Epson 512 Black vs Compatible Ink Bottles
Original Epson Price $19.99
Original Epson Cost Per Page .25 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $8.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page .09 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Epson 512 Cyan vs Compatible Ink Bottles
Original Epson Price $13.99
Original Epson Cost Per Page 1.2 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $7.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page .48 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Epson 512 Magenta vs Compatible Ink Bottles
Original Epson Price $13.99
Original Epson Cost Per Page 1.2 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $7.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page .48 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Epson 512 Yellow vs Compatible Ink Bottles
Original Epson Price $13.99
Original Epson Cost Per Page 1.2 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $7.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page .48 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Epson 512 Photo Black vs Compatible Ink Bottles
Original Epson Price $13.99
Original Epson Cost Per Page 1.2 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $8.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page .09 cents per page

Canon® Megatank Printers

The Megatank series is Canon’s answer to the Ecotank and touts many of the same cost-saving features.  A refillable ink tank system is built into the front of the printer, providing incredibly low operating costs by way of four color ink bottles.   A window in front of the tank offers a convenient visual on your ink levels and best of all, the ink won’t dry out once it’s installed inside the tank.  Canon sells seven different printer models for this series.   Canon designed their ink bottles so the refill process is relatively spill proof.  Ink only comes out if you squeeze the bottle; if you accidentally tip it over, there is no mess!

Canon® PIXMA G1200 – Buy on Amazon

Canon’s G1200 is a single-function, print-only machine and the most basic model in the Megatank line.  Print speeds of up to 8.8 ppm for text and 5 ppm for color are a bit slow for everyday printing needs, but despite that, the printer still cranks out great looking prints and photos.  The G1200 uses the same cartridges as the higher end G4210 model, giving you an identical print volume at a much cheaper printer price.  It’s also cheaper than the least expensive EcoTank, making it a great value for an entry-level ink tank machine. Unfortunately, you cannot print  wirelessly with this machine, which is a missed opportunity and a bit surprising considering Wi-fi is pretty much a given with most printers these days.  However, if you are okay printing directly via USB cable (like all printers did just a few years ago!) this printer is a solid investment.



Canon® PIXMA G4210Buy on Amazon

The G4210 is the Megatank with all the extra bells and whistles.  Print, scan, copy, fax and wireless capabilities are all included and the perfect multifunction machine for the home office.    A 20-page automatic document feeder makes it easy to scan multiple documents with the push of a button.  Print speeds are on par with the G1200, coming in at 8.8 ppm for black and 5 ppm for color prints. Additionally, the printer is compatible with Airprint®, Google Cloud Print® and Canon Print app, allowing for a variety of instant printing options from any device.

 Ink Bottle Name Canon GI-290 Black Ink Bottle
Page Yield 6,000 Pages
Ink Bottle Name Canon GI-290 Cyan / Magenta / Yellow Ink Bottles
Page Yield 7,000 Pages
Price Comparison of Original Canon GI-290 Black vs Compatible Ink Bottles
Original Canon Price $17.99
Original Canon Cost Per Page .29 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $6.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page .11 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Canon GI-290 Cyan vs Compatible Ink Bottles
Original Canon Price $11.99
Original Canon Cost Per Page .17 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $5.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page .35 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Canon GI-290 Magenta vs Compatible Ink Bottles
Original Canon Price $11.99
Original Canon Cost Per Page .17 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $5.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page .35 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Canon GI-290 Yellow vs Compatible Ink Bottles
Original Canon Price $11.99
Original Canon Cost Per Page .17 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $5.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page .35 cents per page

Brother® Inkvestment Tank Printers

Brother’s Inkvestment printer line appeared a few years ago and has been widely accepted by consumers thanks to low operating costs and all-in-one printing capabilities.  The Inkvestment Ink Tank model is their latest addition to the series, combining the cost-saving features of an ink tank machine with the familiar functionality and cartridge handling of an everyday inkjet printer.  Rather than fill the tank with an ink bottle, the Brother Inkvestment Ink Tank uses cartridges to transfer ink to the tank.  Some consumers have understandably been apprehensive about the idea of filling up their printer with an ink bottle, and with the Inkvestment they no longer have to be.  Installing an ink tank cartridge is just like installing a regular Brother cartridge and clicks directly into the ink tank system.  Cartridges are clear so you can easily monitor ink levels and a page gauge monitor on the front of the printer automatically tracks those levels by estimating your remaining page use.

Brother® MFC-J995DWBuy on Amazon

Brother announced the InkVestment Ink Tank series last year and they now sell a few printers under this name.  The MFC-J995DW is a worthwhile addition to the expanding printer line, offering the usual print, copy, fax and scan options, all accessible via an easy to use 2.7” color touchscreen.  The ink tank cartridges are super economical, with the ultra-high yield LC3033 black cartridge printing approximately 6,000 pages and each color cartridge printing 5,000 pages.  Although their page yield is slightly lower compared to some of the other ink tank printers we mentioned, the printer has other advantages going for it, like automatic two-sided printing and near field technology capabilities.

 Ink Bottle Name Brother LC3033 Black Ink Tank Cartridges
Page Yield 6,000 Pages
Ink Bottle Name Brother LC3033 Cyan / Magenta / Yellow Ink Tank Cartridges
Page Yield 5,000 Pages
Price Comparison of Original Brother LC3035 Black vs Compatible Ink Tank Cartridges
Original Brother Price $55.99
Original Brother Cost Per Page .93 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $22.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page .38 cents
Price Comparison of Original Brother LC3035 Cyan vs Compatible Ink Tank Cartridges
Original Brother Price $62.49
Original Brother Cost Per Page 4.5 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $24.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 1.7 cents
Price Comparison of Original Brother LC3035 Magenta vs Compatible Ink Tank Cartridges
Original Brother Price $62.49
Original Brother Cost Per Page 4.5 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $24.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 1.7 cents
Price Comparison of Original Brother LC3035 Yellow vs Compatible Ink Tank Cartridges
Original Brother Price $62.49
Original Brother Cost Per Page 4.5 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $24.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 1.7 cents

*Savings based on price comparison between remanufactured/compatible cartridge prices on www.LDProducts.com and OEM cartridge and printer prices from the listed retailers: Amazon, Staples, Brother, Canon, HP and Epson.  All products are reviewed independently. As an Amazon associate, LD Products earns from qualifying purchases through links on this page.  All prices effective as of August 9, 2019.  OEM names are registered trademarks of their respective owners and are not affiliated with, and do not endorse LD Products.

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19 Comments

  • How long will it be for LD compatible cartridges to replace original LC3033?

    • Hi Gerard,

      Unfortunately we do not have an estimated date just yet for an LD compatible version of the LC3033 since it still such a new printer. Keep an eye on this article, I will update it once they are available.

  • Why is the Brother® MFC-J995DW in this test? With it’s price/per/page it’s way more expensive than the Epson ans Canon. Seems like Brother wants to step in, butt still wants to rip us off?

  • Do these three printers have scanners built in?

    • All of these printers have a scanner except for the Canon PIXMA G1200.

  • Awesome write up. Good stuff. I think I’m going to grab the Brothers. More band for my buck. Hopefully you guys will offer a very affordable ink soon… But seeing how I print maybe a 1000 pages a year… It will be a few years. Lol… Again… Good write up… Kudos.

  • Never mind anything else, freedom from empty-cartridge anxiety is IT.

  • I have been looking for a tank system printer that has the ability to print on CDs. Anyone know where I can find such one?

    • Epson ET-7700 and Epson ET-7750 both print on CD/DVD.

  • Thank you!!! I’ve been trying to figure out which one to purchase, and I think I’m going to go with the Brothers. It is economical, within my per year, maybe about 1500, and has auto duplexing. My kids print a LOT of school stuff and 2 sided is the way to go. Great write up! 🙂

  • GOOD PRODUCT BUT WHAT ABOUT DURABILITY FOR BUISSINESS

  • which of the three lines produces the higher-quality text print?

  • What is the best of the three for photo printing (just for personal use, but would like good quality)? I am looking for a photo grade ink tank printer which sheet fed scanning (copier) features and both network and wireless. Any suggestions would be appreciated. IF there are other models not in this review, that would be great too!

  • I’d like to know if anyone has been able to test the photo quality (text quality would be nice too) of these printers in a side-by-side comparison using the same photo. I am looking for the best refillable ink tank system that prints the best photos. This article has the best up-to-date, current info in comparing refillable ink printers. I still don’t have my answer as the quality of output is on the top of my list in requirements.

  • I Own the Epson ecotank ET-2750 & ET-3750 they are amazing I print all my photos on the 2750 and my documents on the 3750 and will get thousands of pages at least 3000 to 5000 and you canbuy all 4 inks at Sams now for $55 even less on eBay. That’s why I wondered why you claimed with ink bottles of $13 for 5 Thousand pages is 1.2 cents when it’s really more like .2 cents even with paper cost of 5000 sheets for $28 at Sams paper is .56 of a cent then paper and ink is still less than a penny per page . I just love this the biggest grip with printer were the cartridges and ink cost and not anymore now no more going to the photo lab I just print at home and never worry about ink cost.

  • I purchased the Epson ET 3750. Loved my older Epson. But th is one is a huge disappointment. It only holds one size paper at a time so you have to stop & reload every time you switch from a document to a photo. It refuses to pick up the 4×6 photo paper giving me a message that it is out of paper. It’s not. It even has an error message that if this window appears repeatedly you might need to have the machine serviced. It’s brand new! When we did finally get it to take the 4×6 paper (once!) the print quality is so poor it looks like a poorly scanned reprint. Color is off. Focus is blurry. Did I get a defective printer or is this typical?

  • I bought Epson L565 printer in 2017. It does everything well except that it is extremely slow when it comes to making copies and scanning.

    • Which ones have the best scanners?

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