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Most Ink Efficient Inkjet Printers

Most Ink Efficient Inkjet Printers

Updated on March 30, 2018 to reflect the current cost-efficient / ink-efficient printers.

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Shopping for an ink-efficient printer is the best way to save on printer ink.

An ink-efficient printer is a cost-efficient printer and looking for the most cost-efficient printer isn’t hard if you know what features you really need and what specifications to look out for.  It has been proven that some inkjet printers are more ink-efficient compared to other models and knowing what those models are can make a big difference on your monthly expenses over time. Though there are some ways to extend the life of an ink cartridge, it’s always better to have an efficient printer with cost-efficient cartridges from the get-go. As the adage goes: prevention is better than cure.

Cost-Efficient Printers vs Ink-Efficient Printers

We use these terms interchangeably in this article because the cost-efficiency of a printer depends on how proficiently it uses ink. The more efficiently your printer manages its ink resources, the less often you need to pull out your wallet to buy a replacement. And ink cartridges aren’t cheap. (You’ll agree to this after you’ve purchased 4-6 replacements in the course of one year.)

How to Look for an Ink-Efficient Printer?

Printer efficiency is determined by looking at the printer’s cost per page. Here’s how to determine cost per page:

  1. Find out what ink cartridge the printer uses.
  2. Determine the ink cartridge’s page yield. Page yield is the number of pages a cartridge can print before going empty. Ink cartridges with higher page yields are considered more cost-efficient. Some printers accept extra high yield cartridges and others don’t. This could be another factor to look out for when shopping for a cost-efficient printer.
  3. Take the price of the ink cartridge and divide it by its page yield. The resulting number is the cost per page.

Here’s an example: let’s compare the HP 63 and the HP 952 ink cartridges. A standard HP 63 cartridge prints up to 190 pages while a standard HP 952 prints up to 1,000 pages. Granted the HP 63 may seem cheaper initially but to print 1,000 pages with the HP 63 you need at least 5 HP 63 standard cartridges. Taking the current price of a standard HP 63 ($17.99) times 5, that’s $89.95! To summarize:

  • To print 1,000 pages with the HP 63 will cost you $89.95 for 5 cartridges.
  • To print 1,000 pages with the HP 952 will cost you $29.99 for 1 cartridge.

Just by looking at the numbers, you can already tell that printers that use the HP 952 ink cartridge are undeniably more ink-efficient (aka more economical) than printers that use the HP 63.

Coincidentally, printers that use the HP 952 are pricier than printers that use the HP 63. So your next question might be —

What’s more important: initial printer cost OR cost per page?

If you print quite regularly, we recommend you base your decision on cost per page. If you only print a few pages a month, you’re probably better off with a low-cost laser printer. Yes, laser. If you only print a few pages a month, chances are the ink inside your cartridges will constantly dry up and you’ll need to run to the store to get a fresh set of cartridges every time. Before you know it, you’ve already spent more than the price of a laser printer. Laser printers use toner which do not dry up.

The Bottom Line: Stay away from cheap inkjet printers with inefficient ink cartridges–they will eventually cost you a fortune.


In the hopes of making your printer search easier, we did some research to see which printer models have a low cost per page and are a solid option when it comes to ink efficiency. And we’ve also indicated how compatible cartridges cost for each printer so you can see how much more you can save.

Without further ado, let’s explore six ink-saving printer models that will keep your printing budget in check.

HP® OfficeJet® Pro 8710 All-in-One Printer

hp8710

A great ink efficient inkjet below $150 is the OfficeJet Pro 8710.  This model uses four different HP 952 ink cartridges: black, cyan, magenta and yellow. HP offers the cartridges in a standard yield and high yield size.  High yield, or XL cartridges are a better buy for customers that print frequently.  Original HP brand high yield 952XL black cartridges are sold for $34.99 a piece and each individual color cartridge is sold for $31.99.  To keep costs down, consider buying compatible HP 952 cartridges from LD Products just $13.99 for the XL black cartridge and $12.99 for each compatible color HP 952 cartridge!  Amazon offers this printer for $199.89.

Monthly Duty Cycle 25,000 Pages
Print Speed Up to 22 ppm (pages per minute)
Connectivity Ethernet, Hi-Speed USB 2.0
Paper Size Letter and Legal Sizes
Warranty Limited warranty offered by HP
Cartridge Name HP 952XL High Yield Black Ink (F6U19AN#140)
Page Yield 2,000 Pages
Cartridge Name HP 952XL High Yield Cyan (L0S61AN#140) / Magenta (L0S64AN#140) / Yellow (L0S67AN#140)
Page Yield 1,600 Pages
Price Comparison of Original HP 952XL Black vs Compatible Cartridges
Original HP Price $43.99
Original HP Cost Per Page 2.1 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $13.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page .69 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original HP 952XL Cyan vs Compatible Cartridges
Original HP Price $33.99
Original HP Cost Per Page 8.4 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $13.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 3.0 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original HP 952XL Magenta vs Compatible Cartridges
Original HP Price $33.99
Original HP Cost Per Page 8.4 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $13.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 3.0 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original HP 952XL Yellow vs Compatible Cartridges
Original HP Price $33.99
Original HP Cost Per Page 8.4 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $13.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 3.0 cents per page

Brother® MFC-J985DW All-in-One Inkjet

brotherj985dw

Another great choice, the ultra-efficient MFC-J985DW, is an inexpensive Brother printer that uses INKvestment cartridges and produces monochrome prints for less than 1 cent per page. The Brother INKvestment series of printers is a family of multi-function printers that uses Brother’s super high yield cartridge system to deliver more prints for less.

Ink Cost: Replacements for MFC-J985DW ink cartridges are priced at less than $25 each for a black cartridge (which prints up to 2400 pages) and less than $15.59 for  color cartridges (which print up to 1200 pages) if you buy original Brother cartridges. Compatible replacements for Brother MFC-J985DW ink, on the other hand, cost only a third (60% savings!) of the original cartridge price with black cartridge replacements (LC20EBK) at $8.49 each and color cartridges at $7.49 each (LC20EMLC20ECLC20EY). If you can sacrifice some money for quality, this model is among the most cost-effective units on the market. Plus, it’s not even that expensive coming in at around $169.98 on Amazon.

Monthly Duty Cycle 2,500 Pages
Print Speed Up to 12 ppm (pages per minute)
Connectivity Ethernet, Hi-Speed USB 2.0
Paper Size Letter and Legal Sizes
Warranty Two- year limited warranty offered by Brother
Cartridge Name Brother LC20E XXL Extra High Yield Black Ink (F6U19AN#140)
Page Yield 2,400 Pages
Cartridge Name Brother LC20E XXL Extra High Yield Cyan (L0S61AN#140) / Magenta (L0S64AN#140) / Yellow (L0S67AN#140)
Page Yield 1,200 Pages
Price Comparison of Original Brother LC20E XXL Black vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Brother Price $23.59
Original Brother Cost Per Page .98 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $8.49 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page .35 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Brother LC20E XXL Cyan vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Brother Price $15.59
Original Brother Cost Per Page 4.58 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $7.49 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 2.2 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Brother LC20E XXL Magenta vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Brother Price $15.59
Original Brother Cost Per Page 4.58 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $7.49 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 2.2 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Brother LC20E XXL Yellow vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Brother Price $15.59
Original Brother Cost Per Page 4.58 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $7.49 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 2.2 cents per page

HP OfficeJet Pro 6968 All-in-One

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The HP OfficeJet Pro 6968 is an ink efficient printer that offers print speeds of up to 18 pages per minute. It uses the HP 902 black, cyan, magenta and yellow ink cartridges.  Offered in both a standard and high yield size, the HP 902XL ink cartridges produce around 825 pages before requiring replacement.

Ink Cost:  Original high yield HP cartridges can run as much as $38.99 for the black and $21.99 for each color*.  But you can get compatible high yield HP 902XL for just $15.99 per black cartridge and $8.99 apiece for each color.

Monthly Duty Cycle 20,000 Pages
Print Speed Up to 18 ppm (pages per minute)
Connectivity Ethernet, Hi-Speed USB 2.0
Paper Size Letter and Legal Sizes
Warranty Limited warranty offered by HP
Cartridge Name HP 902XL High Yield Black Ink (T6M14AN#140)
Page Yield825  Pages
Cartridge Name HP 902XL High Yield Cyan (T6M02AN#140) / Magenta (T6M06AN#140) / Yellow (T6M10AN#140)
Page Yield 825 Pages
Price Comparison of Original HP 902XL Black vs Compatible Cartridges
Original HP Price $38.99
Original HP Cost Per Page 4.7 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $15.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 1.9 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original HP 902XL Cyan vs Compatible Cartridges
Original HP Price $21.99
Original HP Cost Per Page 2.7 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $8.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 1.0 cent per page
Price Comparison of Original HP 902XL Magenta vs Compatible Cartridges
Original HP Price $21.99
Original HP Cost Per Page 2.7 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $8.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 1.0 cent per page
Price Comparison of Original HP 902XL Yellow vs Compatible Cartridges
Original HP Price $21.99
Original HP Cost Per Page 2.7 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $8.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 1.0 cent per page

Epson® Expression® ET-2750 EcoTank® All-in-One Printer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The EcoTank series from Epson is a relatively new approach to fueling printers, which uses a proprietary inkwell design that directly connects to the printhead.  The Expression  ET-2750 is an all-in-one printer that uses 4 high volume ink tanks to produce a print.  Instead of buying new cartridges, you buy ink bottles to refill the ink inside the printer.

Ink Cost: Epson ink bottles for this model go for $19.99 (black ink) and $13.99 per color which means it’ll cost you $62 to get bottles for all 4 colors (black, magenta, yellow, cyan). Fortunately, you don’t have to spend that much if you buy compatible Epson ET-2750 ink which will run you only $8.99 for each black ink bottle and colors bottles that will cost you $7.99 each.   LD compatible ink bottles for this printer will be available soon!  If you already own this printer, sign up to be notified about their availability here!  If you print a lot for your small business and you’re looking to get the most out of your ink, the EcoTank may be the best approach. But if your print volume isn’t that high, the EcoTank may be a bit expensive—this model is $299.99  on Amazon.

Monthly Duty Cycle 3,000 Pages
Print Speed Up to 10.5 ppm (pages per minute)
Connectivity Ethernet, Hi-Speed USB 2.0
Paper Size Letter and Legal Sizes
Warranty 2-Year Limited warranty offered by Epson
Cartridge Name Epson 502 Ecotank Black Ink (T502120-S)
Page Yield 7,500 Pages
Cartridge Name Epson 502 Ecotank Cyan (T502220-S) / Magenta (T502320-S) / Yellow (T502420-S)
Page Yield 6,000 Pages
Price Comparison of Original Epson 502 Black vs Compatible Cartridges
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 .11 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Epson 502 Cyan vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Epson Price $13.99
Original Epson Cost Per Page .23 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $7.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page .13 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Epson 502 Magenta vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Epson Price $13.99
Original Epson Cost Per Page .23 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $7.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page .13 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Epson 502 Yellow vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Epson Price $13.99
Original Epson Cost Per Page .23 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $7.99 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page .13 cents per page

Canon® Maxify® MB5320 Wireless Small Office All-in-One

canonmb5320

It’s hard to beat the Maxify MB5320’s features, and most of all its cost-per-page metrics. If you want a printer that does it all AND uses ink efficiently, the Maxify MB5320 is for you.

Ink Cost: According to Canon’s metrics, each monochrome page costs around 1.4 cents, and full-color pages total to around 6.9 cents each. The Canon MB5320 printer uses PGI-2200 cartridges.  Original Canon brand high yield PGI-2200 cartridges (PGI-2200XL) cost between $30.79 to $40.69, depending on the color you need. If you purchase compatible MB5320 printer cartridges, however, you get to save a bundle AND get more prints. Compatible LD brand high yield Canon MB5320 ink replacements (compatible Canon PGI-2200 cartridges) will only cost you $10.49 to $11.49 each cartridge. This Maxify MB5320 is designed for a mid-level monthly output. Available on Amazon, it’s a bit on the expensive  side, but with a low cost per page, the total cost of operation makes it a compelling option.

Monthly Duty Cycle 30,000 Pages
Print Speed Up to 23 ppm (pages per minute)
Connectivity Ethernet, Hi-Speed USB 2.0
Paper Size Letter and Legal Sizes
Warranty Limited warranty offered by Canon
Cartridge Name Canon PGI-2200 XL High Yield Black Ink (9255B001)
Page Yield 2,500 Pages
Cartridge Name Canon PGI-2200 XL High Yield Cyan (9268B001) / Magenta (9269B001) / Yellow (9270B001)
Page Yield 1,500 Pages
Price Comparison of Original Canon PGI-2200 XL Black vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Canon Price $40.69
Original Canon Cost Per Page 1.6 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $11.49 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page .45 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Canon PGI-2200 XL Cyan vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Canon Price $30.79
Original Canon Cost Per Page 7.6 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $10.49 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 2.6 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Canon PGI-2200 XL Magenta vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Canon Price $30.79
Original Canon Cost Per Page 7.6 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $10.49 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 2.6 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Canon PGI-2200 XL Yellow vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Canon Price $30.79
Original Canon Cost Per Page 7.6 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $10.49 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 2.6 cents per page

Canon Maxify MB2720 Wireless Home Office All-in-One Printer

canonmb2720

Another popular model–the Canon Maxify MB2720–gets similar results for a smaller sticker price. The MB2720 is one of PC Mag’s Best All-in-One inkjet printers for 2016 for both its high-quality print and low per-page cost and at a $99.99, it’s a decent price too.

Ink Cost: Canon MB2720 ink cartridges are slightly cheaper than the MB5320’s as well and compatible cartridges are significantly more affordable. For the price of an original Canon Black PGI-1200 cartridge ($36.99), you can get almost 3 compatible PGI-1200 cartridges high yield black (PGI-1200XL) which cost only $11.49 each.  Compatible color cartridges are just as competitively priced at just $10.49 a piece.

Monthly Duty Cycle 20,000 Pages
Print Speed Up to 24 ppm (pages per minute)
Connectivity Ethernet, Hi-Speed USB 2.0
Paper Size Letter and Legal Sizes
Warranty Limited warranty offered by Canon
Cartridge Name Canon PGI-1200 XL High Yield Black Ink (9183B001)
Page Yield 1,200 Pages
Cartridge Name Canon PGI-1200 XL High Yield Cyan (9196B001) / Magenta (9197B001) / Yellow (9198B001)
Page Yield 900 Pages
Price Comparison of Original Canon PGI-1200 XL Black vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Canon Price $40.69
Original Canon Cost Per Page 3.3 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $11.49 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page .96 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Canon PGI-1200 XL Cyan vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Canon Price $19.99
Original Canon Cost Per Page 9.9 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $10.49 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 4.5 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Canon PGI-1200 XL Magenta vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Canon Price $19.99
Original Canon Cost Per Page 9.9 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $10.49 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 4.5 cents per page
Price Comparison of Original Canon PGI-1200 XL Yellow vs Compatible Cartridges
Original Canon Price $19.99
Original Canon Cost Per Page 9.9 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible Price $10.49 – Find out more!
LD Brand Compatible Cost Per Page 4.5 cents per page

Keep in mind, many of these page-per-cartridge and cost-per-page metrics are estimates. The kinds of media you print, along with the settings you select on your print options screen, will also dictate how much you actually get out of each cartridge. For the most part, these are also numbers provided by the manufacturer, so consider them careful estimates and not strict doctrine.

Finding the right printer for your needs is easy when you know where to start. Printing needs vary so be sure to check online reviews to ensure that your model can provide the results you’re expecting. If you print regularly, take note of the monthly print capacity each model is designed to handle. Printer efficiency means little when your unit keeps breaking down from overwork. Also knowing where to buy ink cartridge replacements that are more affordable than original manufacturer cartridges may save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.

*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 prices effective as of April 11, 2017.  OEM names are registered trademarks of their respective owners and are not affiliated with, and do not endorse LD Products.

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6 Comments

  • I just found out the hard way that Epson’s estimates for their WF4730 All-In-One were lies, ~900/~2600 black (Regular/XL), Color ~650/~900 (Regular/XL). We got ~75/~150 for black and ~65/NA for color. They don’t have compatible for this printer yet.

  • what percentage cover of the page is the estimate for color? 1/4 page illustration with text, or full page color illustration or what???

    • The page yield of a cartridge is based upon the ISO standard for measuring ink cartridge yields by printing out pages with 5% page coverage until the cartridge runs empty. This applies for both black and color cartridges.

      Check out our article for more info: https://www.ldproducts.com/blog/what-is-page-yield/

  • Do you have current advice for 2018 printers with low ink cost?

    • The printers on the list are all current and available. We update the article regularly to include new noteworthy models.

  • Do all printers listed in here can print on vinyl stickers and ordinary (glossy, matte, satin) sticker papers? I intend to place stickers on my beauty products so I need it to be waterproof or water resistant.

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