This seems like HP is acting anti-competitively, such that a third party would struggle to feasibly make a part for the printer. Reasons that a third party may make a non-official part:
* It's cheaper
* It improves on HP design (flaws)
* It offers some additional functionality not provided by standard parts
* They offer support past HPs official support, preventing contribution of e-waste
Nope; their business model is cartridges and ink, not so much printers. 3rd party cartridges impacts their bottom line. There's a few companies who have consumables as their business model, Keurig is another that added "DRM"-like features to their stuff. Juicero tried it with an extremely overbuilt, but ultimately stupid device with overpriced bags of fruit as the consumables.
It's common knowledge that ink cartridges are a racket and the real money maker for printer manufacturers. I have absolutely zero doubt that this move was only done in order to coerce their users into buying ridiculously overpriced first-party cartridges.
I believe that they are and that it's not just a feeling. Some of their printers also used to tell your cartridges were empty before they were.
Printer breaks very fast and support don't really help you: https://sebsauvage.net/streisand.me/matronix/index.php?20200... (french).
Their policy on recurring payment is also pretty damning: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2020/11/ink-stained-wretches-b...
Nah, that's just the marketing PR blurb they attach to this stuff.
The real reason is $$$, nothing else.
But then I realize I'm not a typical consumer, and most of us aren't, here on HN.
Do typical consumers even have the vocabulary and mental concepts in place (the basics you learn in e.g. free software philosophy, right to repair movement, etc).
I think most people don't. They just see that "Hm, the machine says this ink is bad. Damn those guys who sold it to me! I guess I can only trust genuine HP products." I don't think normal people's reaction is to suspect malevolent marketing and updates. I think when people don't have a good mental model of what is going on they will just take it at face value and therefore the HP brand won't suffer much damage even in the long term.
The obvious example is predatory MSPs where they talk their customers into certain printers and sell them ink. A 10% commission on a $600 set of toners is easy money compared to a $150 set of toners where a 10% ($15) commission isn't even possible.
The other less obvious one is franchises. Part of the franchise agreement will include having corporate be the supplier for all the lease hold improvements, all the furnishing, office supplies, etc., plus all of the ongoing consumables. It's sold as consistency to protect the brand, but a lot of it is about increasing profits for the corporate side at the expense of their franchisees. I've seen it first hand.
In the case I saw, I knew someone who bought into a franchise and asked me about some of the tech stuff. The franchise sold them cheap products with too much markup, but the most egregious was the printer. They were sold a cheap inkjet printer and they were buying 2-3 sets of cartridges per month. That's $3000-4000 per year (CAD) for printing. It may not sound like much, but this was a small business where they were hoping for $30k-$60k of (owner absent) annual profit.
The reason behind that is twofold. First, the franchises are easier to sell because the upfront costs are lower and the purchaser usually doesn't realize the trade-off is higher ongoing and total (lifetime) operating costs. The second is because the franchise supplier is making money off of those higher ongoing costs. It's awful for the franchisees and many of them don't realize what's happening until they're all-in.
TLDR; It's predators all the way down :-(
And most people know very well how to find their aftermarket ink, either in the shop or online. None of them think what they're buying is official. Sometimes (but rarely) really cheap ink does cause printer problems, but even then it's worth the risk. An Inkjet is pretty much "total loss" after the first ink change anyway (a full cartridge set costs close to what the printer is worth).
I always advise Epson EcoTank ones for inkjet use (though these are pretty pricey) and Brother for laser (which besides not being bound to expensive toners are actually some of the cheapest printers around too). For most people a simple B/W laser is sufficient anyway (and just to order photos online).
But they often end up falling for Canon, Lexmark or HP again because they're just cheap and fall for their marketing even though they were bitten by extremely overpriced cartridges before... <facepalm>
You can buy original laserjet cartridges for $150 or third party cartridges for $40-60 (or $25 if you are happy with noname Chinese cartridges). So there is big money involved.
> (or $25 if you are happy with noname Chinese cartridges).
Okay so I'm not one of those '3rd party evil' people. But speaking as someone who has had to repair multiple large format Inkjet and Laser printers, I would have at least a few concerns about Hazmat; even first party toner is pretty nasty stuff.
I heard of such arrangements with Canon, I heard for Xerox, and it seemed to be pretty standard. As long as there was no manipulation errors the company had no need to care about durability, maintenance etc.
In Canada we have 123ink.ca. For my Brother printer a set of genuine high yield cartridges is $520. A completely generic set is $105. However, they also have their own (Moustache) branded set that's $130.
I suspect their branded version is just a different sticker on the generic, but I buy the branded version. If they're willing to stamp their name on it and stand behind it that's worth $25 (+24%) to me. A brand name isn't worth $415 (+495%) though.
These companies have ignored the risk of cheating their customers for a long time and now that customers are getting more informed the same companies think they should be able to force customers keep buying their garbage. No thanks. Their downfall should be swift and spectacular (in my dreams -lol).
If you ask me, this is one huge security hole waiting to be exploited.
And if anyone ever wants to play around with the Z2100 or the formatter (HP50XI/SCR or HP50XISCR)... they're x86 Linux based!
Reboot the printer in Service mode, navigate to "Service Utility", then "Enable/Disable Firewall" and upon a reboot you get a SSH root shell. Kill all processes, sync the disk, and dd it out to your computer, as the laptop PATA disk on the formatter is encrypted. If you're afraid of the PATA disk ever failing, take a CF card, a CF to 2.5in mini IDE adapter, dd the image from the previos step and replace the old disk.
I'm not saying they're not allowed to do that, but it did make me want to never buy a Samsung phone again.
Does not matter though, I got a Ricoh MP C2500 for "picking" it up, the 4 toners ( CMYK ) cost around $320, then here's toner for the rest of my life, and I get to print and scan a4 and a3 in duplex.
Really nice machine, has network support and trays for multiple paper sizes.. amazing what people throw out these days. I'd never go back, this machine is even well enough built that spare parts can be bought for it and it's well documented how to service it.
I'm not sure if I turned auto updates off when I set the printer up. I did go through most of the configuration UI via a web browser and know that I switched it to "IT-managed" mode - maybe that turned off auto updates. The printer is on a VLAN that connects to the internet, but I've turned off every option that sounds like it reaches out to a cloud service.
Overall, this is a decent printer for me. It seems to meet all of my requirements - I can leave it unused for long periods and it will still wake up and print as soon as I tell it to. It's a laser printer, so no worries about clogged nozzles/dried up ink. There are four individual toner cartridges, so no need to a set of three colours because one ran out. Windows and MacOS both discovered the printer on the network and automatically figured out the drivers.
Printers generally suck, but this one doesn't seem to suck too badly.
Of course, it opens up the printer to some pretty serious security problems, but let's just ignore that...
I'm wondering how much of a market there's going to be for this and if cheaper devices could be used.
I know some products blow physical fuses when updating the firmware and if you go back to the old firmware it won't run when it detects the blown fuse.
You'd need significant electrical skills to restore/replace the fuse to the original state.
By then it would be too late. Alas it seems Brother doesn't do these things. It's HP. People should stop buying their products.
E.g. - Had a paper jam at some point. The on-device screen said "Paper jam. Open the front panel." Opened it, the message changed to "Remove the toner cartridge." Removed it, and it kept on going to tell where to look, what to pull, etc. Ditto with the driver installation - downloaded, run, clicked OK, done. No junk to "manage my printing experience", just what's needed to control all printing options, all laid out clearly, and exactly where Microsoft says it should be. Beautiful. Almost shed a tear.
That's 600 pages in the lifetime of the printer, which is less than a single cartridge.
The real mistake people make is they don't realise they'll have to buy a new cartridge every 6 months because the old one has dried out.
Now the printer before that basically never printed. I used it to scan my (postal) mail. One day it decided to upgrade its firmware, then refused to scan without ink. What a waste.
It's also not always easy to compare. Maybe I can see that a HP cartridge holds more ink than the Epson one - but do they use ink at the same rate? How much do they use for cleaning the nozzles when you're not printing? Will I be able to get unofficial cartridges, and will they affect print quality?
It's getting easier to compare, because they're getting on the subscription bandwagon, based on pages per month. But the smallest plan I see is HP's 15 pages/month, which is probably at least 3x what I actually print.
The printer companies are milking the vestigial cohort of people that just can't not use masses of paper for everything. I struggle to find a lot of sympathy for their self inflicted plight, and I'd really like to quit hearing about it.
What I like:
- Build quality and the low price, the thing is huge and weighs 22kg and I paid only 100 EUR for a new one
- Availability of cheap third party toner cartridges
What I do not like:
- Every toner cartridge must include a circuit board that needs to be replaced together with the cartridge. This increases toner cart replacement price by ~4 EUR
- Third party toner quality varies a lot even from the same seller it's hard to find a cheap supplier with constantly good quality
- After 7 years and about 3k pages printed, a white vertical line / streak started to show up on the printed pages
Based on recommendations here I guess my next printer will be from Brother.
It was caught up in the HP driver security cert error of late last month (which makes me suspicious that it wasn’t an accident, but a reinstall of Apple drivers fixed it).
Economics here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=24985405
I haven't tried non-first party toner; the B/W high-capacity HP toner cartridges for my current printer, for example, are ~$200 and last for ~10,000 pages, which works fine for me; my total cost of ownership ends up at $45/year or so, and there's zero hassle involved, which is worth a lot to me personally.
I'd assume that only works once per printer - or at least it's enough of a pain to repeat it that most people would rather pay. The smallest subscription plans are pretty cheap.
If the merchant’s backend doesn’t special case them and sends them through, they will be declined.
They're also paranoid devices which re-enable auto updates by themselves, which is probably against EU law but hey :|
Guess the only option is keeping it off the internet completely.
They've been doing this since at least 2016, but whether they've gone back farther than that is of interest.
I think my age is affecting my memory. Didn't HP did this before... at least twice?
Furthermore their usage in businesses means there's an endless supply of labels in various sizes so you don't depend on the manufacturer for anything.
But with a whole new set of fresh and exciting downsides like expensive paper and fading in sunlight.
Or do you mean toner i.e. heated plastic ink
UPS, DHL and others still require us to print our own labels here. And QR codes are hard to write by hand ;)
That's rather odd. Haven't tried many but Hermes and RoyalMail were both cellphone screen QRs
I would have imagined bigger companies like UPS would be a step ahead
If I bring it to the post office I can preregister and show a code and they will put a label on, but I never do that anymore due to the covid measures. There's a massive queue outside now.
Never spend on ink for shipping things again.
Do this: look at what a printer + as many 1st party refills as you'll need for several years will cost you. Compare that number across multiple manufacturers. If the number seems high - yes, you discovered why inkjets are impopular. If the number seems OK: buy that one and use 1st party ink. Alternatively: buy a printer from a manufacturer that says they accept, and always will accept, 3rd party ink. Expect to pay more for that printer, or not find one.
The vast majority of people don't know this because HP spends tons of money on marketing to distract consumers from the fact that they do this.
Stuff like this is why consumer protection laws are so important: not everybody has the time, energy or mental capability to absorb the nuances of the business models behind the consumer products they buy. And billions are spent marketing to obscure these practices. Buying a consumer-grade printer shouldn't be such an effing minefield , but it is because they market heavily and lobby against consumer protections.
> not everybody has the time, energy or mental capability to absorb the nuances of the business models behind the consumer products they buy
Exactly. And while it could change (let's hope) - I think most people simply shouldn't.
How about product categories have mandated upfront declarations, e.g. DRM / no-3rd-party printers need to state as such, in an unambiguous way on the box in some mandated-minimum font size.