Is printing at home on the way out?
Tech’s making it easier to carry around documents without the need to print things on paper. There’s also the expense of printing that’s holding many us back – are you printing less at home?
My desk is covered in paper – most are my scribblings, but I do still print a fair amount because I find it easier to read copy and spot errors on paper. However, when it comes to reports I’m much more likely to view them on my smartphone, so I reckon I must print less than I used to. But are we all printing less?
Last week, Kodak announced it will stop selling consumer inkjet printers in 2013, instead continuing with just ink and paper. And earlier this year, Lexmark announced a shift of focus to office printers rather than general consumer home printers.
These changes are probably more attributable to money problems in Kodak’s case, since HP, Canon and Epson hold such dominant positions in the printer marketplace. I’m not sure the possibility of us printing less at home has contributed to Kodak’s demise.
Pricey printer ink
Back in 2010 when we asked 1,400 people about their printing habits, 31% said they don’t print photos at home. When we asked a similar question a year later, the proportion of people saying they don’t print photos dropped to just 21%. I can’t remember the last time I printed a photo, but there are clearly plenty of people who do.
Two thirds of people said they use their printer more than once a week and there are plenty who still print up to twice a day. However, the expense of branded printer ink, along with the rate at which printers seem to use it, are very common gripes. Leblanc left this comment on the Canon Pixma MG8150:
‘The printer is like a car doing only a few miles to the gallon. It seems to use ink when not in use! I think it has an ink-eating gremlin.’
More than 90% of the people surveyed said they print black text, colour text and emails. Around 80% print maps, with 35% of people using a colour setting other than draft, which is hardly likely to be sparing on ink.
With Google maps on my smartphone, maps are one thing I know I print less of, and airline apps mean I don’t have to print as many boarding passes. Still, that only saves about four sheets of paper a year. So, technology has had a small impact on my printing habits, but I can’t see myself living an entirely print-free existence. Could you?
Do you still print things out on paper at home?
Yes - a home printer is a key piece of my kit (82%, 1,429 Votes)
Kind of - I rarely use my home printer (16%, 269 Votes)
No - printers are no longer part of my home (2%, 35 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,733
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