For some time, consumers have wondered on forums around the world whether it’d be cheaper to just buy a new printer than to replace empty ink tanks on an older model.

With the sale on HP’s DeskJet D5560 at the moment, they’d need wonder no more.

This printer-only model is being sold in Australia in Dick Smith stores at just $29. What’s impressive is that it’s not only USB connectivity – it’s wireless as well with a built-in 802.11g Wi-Fi adapter.

It will print at up to 28 pages per minute (ppm) black and 21ppm colour (although for normal good-quality printing, print speeds will be considerably slower than that) at up to 600dpi resolution. It’s ready for Windows Vista (32 and 64-bit) and will work with Mac OS X computers (however HP says not all features may work here). You’ll probably need to download Windows 7 drivers, which are available from the HP website.

The printer comes with driver CD, USB cable and power cord – plus HP 60 introductory black and tri-colour cartridges.

Normal HP 60 black tanks will cost you $28 while the tri-colour cartridges will sell for $31 in Australia, $59 in total. We’re not sure exactly what “introductory” means but they’ll not likely be full-capacity tanks. Even so, at $29, the D5560 is less than half the cost of standard replacement ink tanks and you get the tanks and printer thrown in.

The D5560 is a printer-only model and it may reflect more on the dominance of all-in-one multifunction devices. But at this price, why would you bother with replacement tanks?

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