• Metawatch

  • Categories

  • Customer Feedback

    I must say that your service is absolutely exceptional and I have recommended your company and products to several friends today; all are serious "printer" people.I retired last year and my friends are all into, or are still working in the photo industry. Sincerely,Gerhard

    _______________________________________________

    Dear, just to let you know than i realy appreciate your costumer service.
    Thank you
    Denis

    _______________________________________________

    Just a Thank you and all the best
    Grigore

    _______________________________________________

    Ce message est simplement pour vous dire que j'ai bien reçu la commande XXXXXX et que je suis très satisfait de la rapidité de la livraison et aussi de la qualité de l'encre. C'est la première fois que j'utilise de l'encre "autre que l'originale" et pour le moment je suis très satisfait. Soyez certain que je vais vous référez à mes amis et collègues de travail et c'est certain que je vais commander à nouveau de chez vous. Merci beaucoup.
    Stéphane

    _______________________________________________

    Je veux seulement vous dire un gros merci pour la rapidité avec lequel vous avez traité ma demande et aussi pour le petit extra en papier photos,c'est très apprécié.

    Céline

    _______________________________________________

    I received my order, thank you for your great customer service..
    Judy

    _______________________________________________

    Hello:

    It is not often people write emails or letters of praise but consider this one of the rare ones!
    I must say, ordering your product was about the easiest imaginable. Coupled with the fact that it arrived here basically “next day” I am thoroughly happy. To tell you the truth, I was expecting to have to go pay full retail for one black cartridge thinking that your’s would take at least a week to arrive but I was wrong, the order arrived before I could even go out to get one!
    Congrats people, I WILL tell all my friends and neighbours about you!

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 1 other follower

Epson WorkForce 520: Fast and Cheap, but Text Quality Is Disappointing

The Epson WorkForce 520 color inkjet multifunction printer (with print, scan, copy, and fax functions) deserves credit for breaking two inkjet stereotypes. It is not slow–in fact, it’s blazing fast. Its inks are not expensive, either–they’re impressively cheap, as is the machine’s purchase price ($130 as of July 30, 2010). Unfortunately, it was unable to kick one habit, producing mediocre text quality on plain paper. Compared with the similarly priced HP Officejet 4500 Wireless All-In-One (which costs about the same), however, the WorkForce 520 is the better deal.

We found the WorkForce 520 generally easy to set up and work with. Driver setup went quickly, and the unit’s standard Wi-Fi is convenient (USB and ethernet also come standard). The two-line monochrome LCD and its interface are straightforward but feel primitive. The other controls and buttons are nicely arranged.

The WorkForce 520’s features are geared to low-volume use. It offers merely a single, 100-sheet vertical rear feeder. It has no automatic duplexing (the function is manual on the PC and nonexistent on the Mac). For scanning, it provides a 30-sheet automatic document feeder and a letter-size flatbed scanner that telescopes for thicker objects.

On the PC, the WorkForce 520 broke records, printing plain-text pages at 12.6 pages per minute and copies at 7.3 ppm. On the Mac, its 10.3-ppm text speed outpaced recent competitors nearly twofold; scanning speeds were also impressive. On both platforms, photo and graphics print speeds were average.

Small businesses live on plain paper, however, and that’s where the WorkForce 520 falls short. On plain-paper tests at the default settings, text showed fuzzy or wavy edges and random droplet splatter–typical inkjet shortcomings. When we set the driver to ‘Fine’ quality (and slower speed), the text still exhibited artefacts, but you wouldn’t be embarrassed to show it to a client. Photos also suffered on plain paper, but on Epson’s own photo paper they smoothed out considerably and had a cheery palette. Color scanning was similarly hobbled, with the results coming out foggy and slightly faded.

Other than speed, the WorkForce 520’s best attribute is its cheap ink The standard-size black costs $15.19 and lasts 550 pages–a modest 2.8 cents per page. Each color costs $11.38 and lasts 335 pages, or 3.4 cents per color, per page. The high-yield cartridges drop costs minimally to 2.4 cents for black (the 740-page cartridge costs $18.04) and 3.2 cents per color, per page (each 480-page cartridge costs $15.19). Their primary advantage is postponing the day when you must change them.

Inkjet multifunction printers that cost as little as the Epson WorkForce 520 always have trade-offs. In this model’s case, you get fast output and cheap consumables–but you lose some print quality.

Back to School Buyer’s Guide: Saving on Supplies

OK, now that it is time to get you children all set up for school and supplies making sure your inkjet printer is working, and that you have a cost effective solution is important.

First and foremost if you are still buying OEM supplies for your inkjet printer you are loosing money, and it is time to rethink how to go about saving money.

Here are three questions that every owner should consider BEFORE purchasing additional supplies:

1.  How much does it cost to purchase an entire set of replacement ink or toner? 

2. What kind of printing will I be doing and what type of paper will I need to accomplish it? 

3. Does the brand offer a low cost alternative if I purchase a certain model?  Does the manufacturer offer high capacity cartridges and what are the potential savings?

Once you’ve answered these three questions, you can start considering your options whether it is choosing a different manufacturer, an alternative form of ink, using off brand paper or perhaps using a rewards program.

We have found the most cost effective suppliers of inkjet (Third Party Products) are the Canon and Epson lines of inkjet printers that HAVE the HEADS built into the printer, and not attached as part of the inkjet cartridge. The reason being is that the replacement cartridges only contain ink and no sophisticated electronics and are therefore cheaper to manufacture and purchase. You can typically purchase their cartridges for under $5.00 e.a.  versus up to $60 for some OEM cartridges.

If your printer has the head as part of the cartridge then chances are there are no third party products available (except refurbished), and they are not nearly as reliable based on their increased complexity, and limited lifespan design.They are a lot more expensive to boot.

Once you have decided if you are going to take the plunge and purchase a new printer (Epson or Canon) then you must make sure that their are 3rd party cartridges available for the printer your are looking at purchasing.(What they are not available for all printers !) Nope, due to the competition in this marketplace the manufacturers many years back started to add electronic chips to their cartridges, to track ink usage, as well as imbed some proprietary identification code, that needs to be re-engineered by the Third parties before products become available on the market. This normally takes about 6-9 months (we have seen up to 2 years) before you’ll see products being available.

So this is one instance where buying the latest and greatest will not only cost you more, but you will not be able to tkae advantage of 3rd party cartridge products for at least 6-9 months after purchase. (There are no guarantees)

SO look for those clearance sales at the big box stores (Future Electronics, Best Buy, Costco) and take the plunge.

 

Don’t be tempted by the low price of the HP, Lexmark, Kodak or Dell inkjet, as you will pay the price for cartridges later. Look for the Canon or Epson… albeit harder to find, you’ll be happy in the end.

Don’t printer with Empty Cartridges

Printing With an Empty Color Cartridge Can Damage Your Printer

If you think your color inkjet printer should print in black when a color cartridge is empty, you’re not alone. It’s reasonable to think your color printer can act like a monochrome printer when a color cartridge is empty, but you still have plenty of black ink. After all, your car still runs when you’re out of windshield fluid.

When your printer stops printing and cries for a color cartridge, open the printer properties page and look for the black-ink-only option. You will find that there is no such option. You can choose the next best thing, grayscale printing, but the printer still cries for a color cartridge and does not allow you to print. What gives?

Inks Play Multiple Roles

Printers use some color ink when you print black text and black ink is used when you print color images. Also ink cools and lubricates print heads. If you could print with an empty cartridge, you might destroy a print head from the friction of printing without ink to cool and lubricate the head. Also, if your printer indicates a color is empty, there is still residual ink left at the bottom of the cartridge. The residual ink can easily clog the print head and blot ink onto pages and even permanently block the print head.

You may be able to trick a printer into thinking a cartridge has ink when it does not. This trick may enable you to print in the short term, but it may also reduce the useful life of your printer in the long term.

Ink Blots

Printing Tip:

Ink Is Designed to Dry on Paper, But That’s Not Always What Happens

 

 

Ink in ballpoint pens and inkjet printer cartridges share a common trait — they’re designed to dry quickly. Fast-drying ink works well when the ink dries on paper, but not so well if the ink dries on the printhead that dispenses it. When ink dries on a ball point of a pen, the ball no longer rolls smoothly on paper to evenly distribute ink, which creates blots of ink on a page. The same is true for inkjet printers when ink dries on the printhead — blots of ink appear on a printed page.

To prevent your inkjet printer cartridges from this blockage, follow these tips.

Always Turn Off the Printer With the Power Button

When you turn off the printer using the power on-off switch, the shutdown process places the printhead in an off position and seals it. When the printer is turned off by simply unplugging it or from another power failure, the printhead may remain in the on position without a proper seal, resulting in ink drying on the printhead, which can create blots of ink that smudge and tarnish output.

Use the Printer Regularly

You should use the printer regularly to keep ink flowing so it does not dry and crust on the printhead. At the least, print a test page every week. If you do not use a printer regularly, then an inkjet printer may not be the right fit for you. Unlike an inkjet printer, a laser printer will not suffer from long periods of inactivity.

Print a Diagnostic Test

Print a diagnostic test using the printer software or from the printer’s console display. If you see any thin white lines across any of the printed blocks, clean the printheads.

A thin white line may indicate that the printhead has a blockage. Check the operator’s manual on how to clean the printheads with the printer software or from the printer console. You can also try turning the printer off and then on. It may initiate diagnostics and automatically clean the printhead when it boots up. After cleaning, if another diagnostic test still indicates a thin white line across the printed blocks, clean the printheads manually.

Inkjet Photo Printing (As Easy as 123)

A few quick tips.

It is important to make sure your printer is properly set up for the type of printing you will be performing.

This means matching 2 printer variables.

a) Quality

b) Paper Type

When you set the printer to high (Photo) quality it uses finer ink droplets for a higher resolution and prints in 2 passes.

Paper type

Paper types vary wildly, and this is the most important characteristic in ensuring your highest quality.

Paper types come in

a) Standard

b) Inkjet Quality

c) Matte

d) Photo

a) Standard is what is used by photocopy print machines… Although good for Laser Printers it doesn’t have a sealed(waxed) coating and so when used with a inkjet printer the ink, when it hits the surface, it spreads like a drop of water on a blotter…Making the image unclear…

b) Inkjet Quality the paper is treated to minimize the spreading of the ink by the application of a wax like coating there-bye allowing the ink to dry without spreading significantly

c) Matte has a rough finished like matte pictures and due to these lines requires a little more ink, to fill in the gaps, but is effectively photo quality paper.

d) Photo paper is completely coated, and the ink dries entirely on its coated surface.

a. Photo paper does have varying quality

i. Dollar Store (Coated but the ink is not absorbed into the surface allowing it to run… DO Not use Dollar Store Photo Paper

ii. Manufacturers grade (High quality specifically designed for their printers/inks)

If using a Epson printer I highly recommend using Epson Photo Paper (Get it at Costco Cheap)

Inks

OEM Inks are always best for archival photo’s but the third party (Compatible) inks have come along way with their retentivity…

I have been actually

a) scanning old faded  photo’s

b) retouching them and enhancing the colors

c) reprinting them (TO Replace old worn pictures)

for 5 years and haven’t seen any fading what so ever even when leaving these new photos exposed to light….

So

If you want outstanding pictures to print on your Epson printer….

All these setting can be found under printer properties

(Devices/printers, Select Printer, Right click & select Preferences/and or Maintenance)

a) Make sure the heads are clean before you start by performing a Nozzle Check before you start…

b) Set up the printer for the correct paper type  (Photo)

c) Set up the printer for Photo Quality

Enjoy…….

Ace Hardware stores offering free inkjet refills

Four Ace Hardware stores in the Chicago area will offer free refills on inkjet cartridges during different weeks in June.

The participating stores and their "Free Ink Week" schedules are:

Four Ace Hardware stores in the Chicago area will offer free refills on inkjet cartridges during different weeks in June.

•June 1-7 at Ace Hardware & Rental, 2660 Sheridan Road, Zion.

• June 3-10 at Mutual Ace Hardware, 1393 Half Day Road, Highland Park.

• June 12-19 at Edgebrook Ace Hardware, 5423 W. Devon, Chicago.

• June 23-29 at Whitmore Ace Hardware, 210 S. State St., Manhattan.

Ace is partnering with INK-O-DEM, an inkjet refilling and testing technology firm, to meet shoppers’ increasing demand for refills and the environmentally friendly purpose they serve, the companies said.

Why wait,you can still get compatible cartridges @ Metawatch Inkjet Supplies , if you are Canadian,

Ink Amnesty Program

Well I thought I had seen all the marketing, and glitz for inkjet cartridges that anyone could come up with but here is one that could actually save you a dollar or 2 in the long run..

In a bid to win back  lost customers HP has created a HP Amnesty program.

Sort of comical…They will offer you 20% off your next purchase of NEW HP Cartridges, if you are willing to tell them about the woes of using competitors products.

Their TAG line is “SHARE your LETDOWN and WE’LL GIVE YOU 20% OFF ORIGINAL HP INKS”

Here is how it works..From the HP Site

“So you’ve tried bargain ink.

We want to hear
your story.

Did it ruin a pitch or smudge your child’s
birthday invitations?

Whether your letdown was monumental or just annoying, you don’t deserve disappointment!

In return for sharing your story, we’ll give you amnesty in the form of 20% off Original HP Ink.
So you can say goodbye to letdowns. “

Step 1

Register and tell us your experience of using bargain ink.

Step 2

To add to your story you can also scan or take a photo of your bargain ink letdown. It could be featured in our bargain ink letdown gallery.

Step 3

Check your email for your 20% off coupon to use on Original HP Ink online at the HP Home and Home Office Store. Your coupon will be sent straight to your email so you can start saving.

Of course if you are still looking at purchasing truly affordable HP compatible remanufactured cartridges, go no further than stopping by at Metawatch for your supplies.