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Why We Will Soon Throw Out Our Personal Printers

Apart from moving into a paperless economy, the issues of owning a printer from the occasional paper jam to running out of ink, to more hardware related problems, printers are a big nuisance. And they cost a lot to maintain. It would be a lot easier for one to just go to a nearby shop and have your documents printed there. It won't cost you money, time, or stress.

In these modern times, printers have become so shitty that it’s easier to just not own one and deal with whatever small inconveniences might result. I haven’t had one for about a decade, and have rarely missed it.
Specifically, a “good” printer costs about $180. In 2018, I went to the copy shop only once, and spent a total of $2.40. At this rate, it would take me about 75 years to spend the equivalent cost, without factoring in expensive ink refills.

-via Digg

(Image credit: Joe Veix/The Outline)


I have two laser printers. One is an HP Laserjet 5MP made in 1995 or 1996 (!) that I bought used for $75 in the early (middle?) 2000s. It prints maybe 200-300 5-to-10%-cover pages a month (wall-to-wall 10-or-11-point Helvetica text) so total refill-toner-cartridge and on-sale paper cost is around $50 a year. (I figured it out before and got a different number; but this is right.) It's a brick, it works great, zero maintenance.
The other is a relatively new Brother I got, also used, for $25 a couple of years ago. Its rollers are fresh; I use it to print on the blank side of stacks of used paper, so paper's free for that one. It jammed once, I remember. I had to walk to it, open it and take the paper out.
I suppose I could just use a monitor and never need paper at all, but I do about eight hours of reading aloud into a microphone per week, and I like printed paper spread out all around me for that.

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The key is to get a laser printer, not inkjet.Laser printers can last for years on a single cartridge if you're not doing much printing.Inkjets tend to clog up if you don't use them regularly. Then you lose all the ink, so you're out the money AND you have to go buy more at the store.
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Never owned a printer. If I needed to print something, i just did it at the office. Now that I don't work in an office, I use the local library which costs $0.25/page. Printed 8 pages last year. Could get one. It would definitely be for convenience vs. need. Can't justify the cost of even a cheapo inkjet though. One more piece of tech to break.
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I don't have a printer, because long ago, I knew my kids would go through reams of paper and jam the machine up. I haven't needed one much, and the library is only two blocks away.
Years ago, Mental Floss extolled the virtues of a paperless office, but long after that, my boss there expressed surprise that I am able to go paperless while no one else there can even imagine it.
I must admit that even I was surprised at how my kids applied for so many college admissions and scholarships completely online, including submitting an art portfolio.
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Being an old fart (60+)may have a bearing on this, but I prefer paper to pixels for print. The way I absorb information seems to be better when it's on paper.
I have multiple monitor setups at work and at home. But there are times when the ability to physically sort pages is more efficient and meaningful than trying to do it virtually.
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