- Dot-Matrix Printer - initial cost of unit is high but the ink ribbon cost is low.
- Inkjet Printer - cost of the unit is low but original ink cartridges cost high.
- Laser Printer - costs of the unit and the ink cartridge are reasonable but power consumption is high.
For most i-cafés, the inkjet-type is the printer choice because of its capability to print black and colored texts and images.
The high cost of original ink cartridges for inkjet printers brought about various innovations to have low-cost inks. First was the refilling of used cartridges which was a bit messy for those who will do it on their own. Next was the replacement ink cartridges which are cheaper than originals but have lower quality prints. The third method of having low-cost ink for inkjet printers is the continuous ink supply system (CISS) which if installed and operated properly results to prints similar to original ink cartridges.
The danger in resorting to any of the above innovations to have low cost of printing is the risk of getting the inkjet nozzles clogged. If such happen to your inkjet printer, the manufacturer’s warranty will be voided. Quality of inks available at refilling stations for CISS are not guaranteed against clogging the nozzles, the most expensive components of an inkjet printer.
Finally recognizing a part of the printer market that has bred the growth of ink refilling stations, Japanese tech firm Epson recently launched in the country the world’s first genuine CISS by a printer manufacturer. Called ink tank printers, Epson’s new line of inkjet printers allows users to just refill ink containers with its genuine inks that are only PhP15.00 more costly than third-party inks which are apparently inferior in quality.
The Epson ink tank or CISS units are aimed at price-sensitive markets such as the Philippines, Indonesia and India. Unlike those bought in refilling stations, Epson ink tank printers use the company’s proprietary Micro Piezo technology that assures high quality prints. For these reasons, i-café owners who have tried CISS and/or currently using the technology now have the choice to shift to Epson ink tank printers.