In a recent poll nearly two thirds readers said that when buying a printer their first consideration is the cost of replacement ink cartridges.

It's a sensible approach: in almost all cases of long-term printer ownership, the life time cost of purchasing consumables will be greater than the initial cost of the printer, and often the cheapest model in the store will prove to be a more expensive purchase. Of course, a lot depends on how often you are going to use the printer, and for how long.

When asked 'When buying a new printer, which factor is your main priority?', 59 percent of respondents to a poll - in association with kodak - chose the response 'Price of replacement ink cartridges.

When buying a printer, it is important to consider he TCO (total cost of ownership), or the cost of replenishing toner and other consumables over the lifetime of the printer. Most manufacturers quote a 'page yield' estimate for their ink cartridges, which is the typical number of pages you can expect to print before the cartridge runs out of ink.

You can use the page yield to calculate the average cost per page and you'd be surprised to find how much this can vary from one printer to another. But printer manufacturers have been known to produce favourable figures: always check figures to get the true low down. According to research you can view at, Kodak All-in-One printers have the lowest ink replacement costs in the UK.

The second biggest group of respondents, 14 percent, chose the option: 'Price of the printer'. This is a sensible option only if you are intending to purchase a printer as a short-term investment, or you use your printer only rarely. There are occasional bargains to be had with older models or in the sales, but be sure to investigate the TCO so you can make an informed decision.

Other factors that matter to PC Advisor readers when choosing a printer are print quality, with 13 percent choosing this option, connectivity features - the choice of 8 percent - and ease of setup and use, which was selected by 6 percent.

See also: 

Printer priorities – getting the best from your next purchase

Buying Advice: Five things to check when buying a printer

Feature: Top 10 printer tools to save money