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Office Machines: Solid Ink vs. Toner Cartridges

They look like a new kind of Lego, but solid ink sticks are actually a tool for saving money on toner. Xerox has been using solid ink in small printers since the 1990s. In April, the technology will come to large machines -- the kind that cost as much as a car. Xerox's new solid ink printer-copier, which does not yet have a name, will cost $20,000 and up, more than a comparable laser printer. But the total cost of ownership is lower, Xerox claims, partly because the machines can be loaded with enough ink to last for 63,000 full-color copies, compared with 34,000 for the laser equivalent. Plus, the ink sticks are easy to replace and create less waste.

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