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If you have done any printer ink shopping recently you will have noticed that colour ink surpasses black ink in terms of pricing. Of course, not everyone requires coloured ink for their printers, but for those of you who do, you must wonder why it costs so much more.


On average, you can pay up to 30% more for colour ink cartridges compared to their black counterparts. The main reason for this is that colour ink is far more complex - a black ink cartridge will only have a single ink reservoir for one colour, whereas a colour cartridge will have to have at least 3 reservoirs for 3 separate colours. This fact means that manufacturing colour ink cartridges is a more expensive process due to the intricate design necessary.


In fact, if you are looking to save money, we'd recommend that you avoid printers that use tri-colour cartridges. The problem with multicoloured cartridges is if you use a lot of blue ink - for example  - when they run dry your printer will then stop functioning completely; this also leaves you in the unfavourable position of having to discard your entire cartridge, even if the red and green chambers are completely full.


Basically, in order to form the most cost-effective printing plan you have to consider exactly what it is you're going to be printing. If you're mainly going to be printing plain black documents, then obviously it's pointless having a colour printer in the first place...


If you are going to require colour documents, think carefully when purchasing your device as to what printer ink cartridges it takes, and how much it is going to cost to maintain them.





For some reason, printer manufacturers have never put a lot of effort into naming their machines. It would be refreshing to see someone like Brother or HP roll out a new model called 'The Inkredible' or 'Colourama', but no - it's always DCP this and 3800DN that. How boring.


But have you ever wondered what those names might mean? A quick browse through our toner cartridge range will throw up a mind-boggling variety of acronyms and suffixes, but unless you're already a printing expert, it's probably all greek to you. What, for example, is the difference between an HP LaserJet 3500 and an HP LaserJet 3500n


In today's blog, we're going to explain what some of those letters stand for. Note that different manufacturers use different nomenclature, so this information will vary between brands; still, most of these are reasonably universal:


  • D is for Duplexing: This printer is capable of double-sided printing.

  • L is...a tricky one. It can denote a low-speed printer (although this is more commonly written as LS); bizarrely, HP have also been known to use it to denote a stapler function (see S).

  • M means that this printer has PostScript capabilities. Not to be confused with...

  • MFP is for Multi-Fucntion Printer: This printer also functions as a scanner, photocopier, etc.

  • is for Network: This printer is network-ready, meaning that multiple printers can connect to it at once. Non-network printers must be plugged into the computer you're printing from.

  • is for Stapler or Stacker: This printer has a built-in stapling function...or a paper stacker for large jobs. Not to be confused with...

  • SE is for Special Edition: This printer was marketed as a 'special' version of a previous model. Note that this doesn't refer to any specific features or functions.

  • Si is used by Hewlett-Packard to denote high-volume printers.

  • T is for Tray: This printer has an additional paper tray.

  • is for Wireless: Printer can connect to the network wirelessly (as opposed to printers, which have to be physically connected to the network).

  • X is used to denote that this printer has several different features - it looks a bit cleaner than DTNSL, after all!

Did we miss any? If you're still not sure what that model name means, why not get in touch?

Technology is constantly marching forward, and that applies to the printing industry just as much as it applies to anything else. Just compare a printer from the '90s with the printers that you get nowadays, and you'll see exactly what we mean!


Of course, we occupy an age in which 3D printing is commonplace - the printing world has moved far, far beyond the standard black-and-white documents that your office printer is so good at producing. Here are three of the most amazing new technologies from recent months:



Printable Food

Here's a story that emerged late last year: 3D printers that can actually prepare meals. You probably saw the video of NASA's 'pizza printer' - the results didn't look that appetising, but if you're up in space then any pizza would presumably be welcome. Personally, we won't be interested until they start making printable anchovies to go with the pizza.



The Pen That Can Recreate Any Colour

The Scribble Pen is a real-life version of the 'colour picker' tool from Microsoft Paint. Simply tap your pen on the colour you want, and it will start drawing in that colour - pretty amazing, eh? Ironically, the pen itself is only available in six different colours.



4D Printing

That's right - the human race is already bored of 3D printing, and has swiftly moved on to 4D printing. This technology is still in its very early stages at the moment, but the people behind it have promised that 4D-printed objects will be able to react to their surroundings and adapt themselves accordingly. Come to think of it, isn't that exactly what happened in the Terminator movies?


If you're still happy enough with that boring ol' laser printer of yours, remember that you can buy replacement toner cartridges for a wide range of printers from City Ink Express!

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As we're pretty much experts in the field of HP toner cartridges, it is fair to say we've had our fair share of dealings with the HP LaserJet 5 series. As such, we thought we'd write a brief summary of this popular line to let you know the score.


The HP LaserJet 5 series was introduced in the middle of the 1990s as part of Hewlett Packard's existing LaserJet range. The LaserJet 5 series can unofficially support up to 32MB 72pin SIMM modules with parity, which lets you install up to 98MB of memory.


Being a range of monochrome printers, the 5 series will only allow you to print in black - making them ideal additions to offices, or anywhere that requires quality documents in black print. 


As far as the network connection is concerned, though the 5 series does not come with a network adaptor, there is an expansion slot and the firmware itself supports all network printing. A little tip for you: if you are struggling to install a network card, you can reset your printer back to its factory settings, then let the printer fully boot before releasing the online button. You should now be able to get the network configuration to work just fine.


All-in-all the HP LaserJet 5 series is a high-quality laser printer which will be most at home in office environments.

In case you haven't caught the exciting news, our products - the Edible Ink Starter Kit with Canon MG5550 A4 with Scanner Value - are going to feature on Saturday morning's Weekend Kitchen


The popular cookery-based TV programme features presenters Steve Jones and Lisa Snowdon, but with the welcome addition this week of master patissier, Eric Landard. With some help from our edible ink products, Eric shows us how you can utilise such tools to really enhance your baking.


If you'd like to get a head start on the show, you can check out our range of edible ink products here. Otherwise, make sure you tune in to Channel 4 at 9.00am this Saturday to see our wondrous ink in action!