Hands-On Test Report: Epson’s B-510DN Business Color Ink-Jet Printer Gives Color Lasers A Run For Their Money

Environmental Issues – The B-510DN’s supply items are wrapped in a plastic bag and the cartridge themselves are simple plastic boxes.  The consumables for a color laser printer come in extensive packaging to prevent damage; the packaging’s also designed to be reused for shipping the components back to the vendor for recycling.  A color laser printer’s maintenance components also contain significant quantities of plastic, metal, electronics, and chemical compounds.  Aside from the physical content of these components, think about how much energy it takes to package, ship and store this comparatively huge bulk of supply items,  Plus, you must pay somebody to take the time (added costs) to repackage the depleted units and prepare them for shipping back to the vendor (more time and energy expended) unless you have absolutely no conscience and (illegally?) toss them in the dumpster.  Vendors don’t want you throwing away these units or allow them to fall into the hands of remanufacturers, so they jump through hoops in order to get you to return them.  In fact, Lexmark’s “Return Program” (it used to be called “Prebate Program”) gives users the incentive to return the cartridges by promising to sell users new cartridges at a lower cost (with a pledge to return them too).

Energy Consumption – The B-510DN consumes 30W of energy when printing and 6W in standby mode.  Most laser printers consume in excess of 280W when printing and 50W in standby mode.  That’s nearly 10X more electrical energy required by a laser printer in order to produce a single page.

Cost Per Page/Total Cost of Ownership – The B-510DN’s cost per page of 1¢/4¢ for B&W/color is significantly lower than most laser printers.  We’ll use the table below, created using our Printer/MFP TCO Worksheet to show total costs versus a color laser printer:

Do you believe us now?  Wouldn’t you say that a device that outperforms virtually any other when printing at its suggested monthly volume AND saves $3,166 annually is indeed “groundbreaking”?

It’s worth keeping in mind that Epson has a particular advantage when it comes to marketing a product such as the B-510DN–unlike other companies, it doesn’t market laser printers and MFPs, and thus doesn’t have to compete with a division within its own company.

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