5-speed listening (Level 6)

New printer with enough ink for two years



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Are you fed up with paying extortionate sums of money for ink cartridges that run out soon after you buy them? Help may be at hand. The Japanese printer company Epson has just released a new line of printers that have enough ink to last the average person two years. Its new EcoTank printers will be able to print up to 6,500 pages in colour and 4,000 pages in black before the ink needs filling up. Epson said the typical family prints 200 pages a month. The company says the days of using small cartridges with a limited life span are over. With the new printer, users simply pour new ink into the tank. A spokesman said consumers would save around 65 per cent on printing costs with its new printers.

Profits from ink cartridges are falling as more people are choosing to print less and share more on social media. There has also long been discontent with printer makers over their marketing of ink cartridges. The business model has traditionally relied on the concept of "planned obsolescence". Companies intentionally put as little ink as possible into the cartridge so it runs out quickly, making consumers buy more. Some manufacturers use smart chips in cartridges to prevent the user from printing out more than a set number of pages, even though the cartridge may still be half full of ink. Britain's Daily Mail newspaper said companies sell cartridge ink for the equivalent of over $4,700 a litre.

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