Alternative Printer running costs calculator - from Consumer.org.nz
Consumer.org.nz is a consumer reporting site based in New Zealand. For an in-depth look at all their reports, you need to join, at what looks like $25 NZD yearly. However, they are kind enough to offer access to their printer running costs calculator to the public. The printers they are using in the study were reviewed in 2010, so the selection is very current. However, and this is important, all costs shown in their calculator are in New Zealand dollars.
On May 22, 2011, a currency calculator on the web was showing $1 NZD = $.79 USD. I suggest doing your comparisons on the Consumer.org.nz site, and then running your numbers through a currency converter to whatever currency you use.
Their currency calculator allows you to put in the weekly number of sheets of B & W text, color graphics, and 4 x 5 photos you expect to average weekly. You then select either one or two printers from their drop down list. If you just select one, it gives you estimated yearly costs for ink, paper and the original cost of your printer. However, if you select two printers, it not only gives you that information to compare for both printers, but also has a text box where they tell you how long it would take to pay back your investment, if you selected a printer with higher original cost and lower ink costs. It also points out when it cannot compare this, because one printer not only cost more, but had higher running costs.
While I was trying it, I tabbed back and forth to Amazon to see original printer costs in USD, as opposed to their costs in NZD. However, even without converting the exact dollar amounts, the information on the relative costs on printer and ink is invaluable. Just remember, the printer you were considering for well under $150 in USD is going to show up as $200 + in the original printer costs line.