Printer buying advice 2022: cartridge or tank?

Cartridge printers are cheaper to buy, but more expensive in terms of follow-up costs. With a tank printer it is exactly the opposite.

In times of increased home offices, the demands on the output device have changed in many cases. Entry-level inkjet multifunctional devices such as the HP Deskjet 2720 for around 50 euros do not keep up with the growing demand for professional and private prints, scans and copies in the long term. This is also shown in the detailed PC-WELT test.

If you have to pay close attention to the budget, you will also find more powerful alternatives with fax and duplex units for models for just under 100 euros, such as the Canon Pixma TR4650 for around 90 euros. However, the page prices remain high here too, as you can read in the review. The follow-up costs for the ink are only kept within reasonable limits if you take out an ink subscription to the printer, such as HP’s Instant Ink, or if you use third-party alternatives instead of the original inks. The latter is not without risk, because defects caused by this usually invalidate the device warranty.

You can find more information about cheap ink printers here:

Test: The best multifunction printers up to 100 euros in comparison

If you don’t want that, you’ll have to invest more in hardware and purchase a multifunction printer with the largest possible cartridges. Orientate yourself on the device series Workforce from Epson, Maxiy from Canon or Officejet from HP. You will find a good selection between 150 and 200 euros. Our comparison test offers you orientation to many models from the series: The best multifunction printers for copying, scanning, printing and faxing.

As a rule, the inks here are pigmented, which benefits the typeface, but makes the colors a little colder than with dye inks. Brother, too, recently launched a range of devices for the home office with the J4000 series. The model with fax and automatic document feeder Brother MFC-J4340DW comes to around 200 euros. You can read how it performed in the test in our detailed report.

From 200 euros: combi printer with tanks instead of cartridges

Inkjet multifunction printers with tanks instead of cartridges also start in this price range. They are still unbeatable in terms of follow-up ink costs. You don’t have to worry about the handling when refilling, because it is usually cleverly solved and works without ink splashes. However, concessions require printing speed and equipment, such as the Epson Ecotank ET-2720 for around 200 euros, which lacks a duplex unit, for example, as was shown in the individual test.

The PC-WELT comparison test “The best multifunction printers with ink tanks in comparison” gives you a good overview of what multifunction printers with ink tanks are currently doing.

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