By Claire Groden, Reporter from Fortune Magazine.
The end of printer-related frustration might be drawing near.
Epson, the purveyor of printers and ink, is getting ready to launch a game-changing printer this September, according to Bloomberg. The EcoTank stores ink in deep wells that hold enough to print about 4,000 documents–almost twenty times the capability of current home and small business models.
The new printer will cost about $379 to start—far more than the $60 for a current Epson model. But owners of the EcoTank model will only have to buy $13 refill bottles to feed their tanks when they empty out, which Bloomberg says should happen every 3.5 years or so. In the long run, that’s a much better deal than the current cartridge scheme.
The ink cartridges of old, which constantly need to be refilled, have posed a customer relations problem for Epson. While printers’ low prices hook customers into purchasing their equipment, the frequent and high cost of ink enrages them. In 2006, Epson settled class action lawsuits brought by embittered customers who noticed some last drops of ink in cartridges that printers were refusing. Customers earned a $45 credit per printer, but Epson never admitted wrongdoing.