Bottles instead of cartridges: "Stiftung Warentest" finds four multifunction printers really good
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Bottles instead of cartridges: "Stiftung Warentest" finds four multifunction printers really good

Martin Jungfer
Zurich, on 24.03.2022

Printing, scanning and copying - printers had to prove themselves in these three disciplines in the latest test by "Stiftung Warentest". Of 14 devices, four achieved the test rating "good".

The winners in the comparison test are the manufacturers Canon and Epson. The overall winner - thanks to good results in all core competencies - is Canon's Maxify GX6050. Epson's Ecotank ET-8500 is close behind in second place. It is slightly weaker than the Canon competitor in copying.

MAXIFY GX6050 (Ink tank, Colour)
487.–
Canon MAXIFY GX6050 (Ink tank, Colour)
73
EcoTank ET-8500 (Ink tank, Colour)
607.–
Epson EcoTank ET-8500 (Ink tank, Colour)
27

The following two printers also belong to the "good" all-rounders. However, the G650 is criticized for needing patience because it prints black and white pages very slowly, specifically 16 seconds were measured. The competitors in the test field managed the page in two to five seconds.

PIXMA G650 (Ink tank, Colour)
264.–
Canon PIXMA G650 (Ink tank, Colour)
11
EcoTank ET-2850 (Ink tank, Colour)
277.–
Epson EcoTank ET-2850 (Ink tank, Colour)
28

The testers particularly emphasize that printers with ink from the bottle have landed so far in front for the first time. In tests to date, devices with cartridges have been qualitatively superior to those that obtain their ink from bottles. As a user of a printer, you have always had to decide whether you want to print cheaply but imperfectly with a bottle printer or prefer a perfect print image with expensive cartridges.

Big differences in ink costs

The differences in the cost per page are huge. According to the test results, the test winner from Canon prints a black and white page for 0.7 cents printing costs, the best cartridge printer in the comparison, the HP Officejet Pro 9022, consumes two cents for this. The differences are even greater for a color page in A4 format: 1 cent vs. 6.5 cents. And for a full-page A4 color photo, the cartridge printer sprays ink worth one euro onto the paper, while the ink for the same result on the Canon bottle printer costs only 8.5 cents.

Stiftung Warentest" determines the printing costs using a standardized procedure. A set of ink or toner cartridges is printed with text, color pages and photos to determine the page range of the respective printer model. The templates for the text and color pages are even standardized. They look a bit like a Word Art accident, but at least they have Iso certification.

Diese Seiten werden für den Vergleichstest als Vorlage verwendet. Links der «Dr.-Grauert-Brief» mit Arial 12 und 1280 Zeichen, der in «Briefqualität» gedruckt wird.
Diese Seiten werden für den Vergleichstest als Vorlage verwendet. Links der «Dr.-Grauert-Brief» mit Arial 12 und 1280 Zeichen, der in «Briefqualität» gedruckt wird.

Fairness in the cost comparison is ensured because the testers use the largest one for cartridges, which come in different sizes. This should ensure the cost advantage of larger cartridges compared to the sometimes very small standard cartridges. Ink subscriptions, which are offered by Hewlett Packard among others, do not play a role in the comparison of "Stiftung Warentest" and where you as a user do not have the effective costs for ink, but those per page that you print. If you print a lot of photos or even color pages, the printing costs involved could be interesting for you - despite a recent price increase.

  • News + TrendsPeripherals

    HP raises prices for its printer ink subscription - especially for low volume printers

Printers that get ink by the bottle are currently much more expensive to buy than cartridge models. The price difference between the test winner, the Maxify GX6050, and the best cartridge model, the HP Officejet Pro 9022, is almost 40 percent(click here to compare products in the store). According to calculations by "Stiftung Warentest", the higher purchase price is offset by lower printing costs after around 2600 pages.

Multifunction or specialist?

Not every home office needs an all-rounder. Depending on what is particularly important to you, it is worth taking a look at the weighting of the test results. In the case of multifunction devices, the factors flow into the overall score as follows:

  • Printing: 20 percent
  • Scanning: 10 percent
  • Copying: 15 percent

    The remaining 55 percent of the grade therefore comes from other disciplines, specifically:

  • Ink and toner costs: 20 percent
  • Handling: 15 percent
  • Versatility: 10 percent
  • Environmental features: 10 percent

    If good printing performance is all that matters to you and you trust "Stiftung Warentest", you should take a look at their best lists for printers. In contrast to the multifunctional devices, the print performance result is much more important here at 45 percent.

    Among color printers, this one currently leads:

PIXMA G650 (Ink tank, Colour)
264.–
Canon PIXMA G650 (Ink tank, Colour)
11

For black-and-white printers, "Stiftung Warentest" sees this device ahead:

Neverstop Laser 1001 nw (Laser, Black and white)
296.–
HP Neverstop Laser 1001 nw (Laser, Black and white)
2

And for black-and-white multifunction devices here:

i-SENSYS MF445dw (Laser, Black and white)
454.–
Canon i-SENSYS MF445dw (Laser, Black and white)
12

How "Stiftung Warentest" specifically tests printers is also shown in this video:

Titelfoto: Canon

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Journalist since 1997. Stopovers in Franconia (or the Franken region), Lake Constance, Obwalden, Nidwalden and Zurich. Father since 2014. Expert in editorial organisation and motivation. Focus on sustainability, home office tools, beautiful things for the home, creative toys and sports equipment. 


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