Starting out at a new uni this week? Get ready for a few years of printing off a couple of trees worth of paper every week; most unis are dinosaurs when it comes to PDFs and digital submission. But here's a tip -- don't print your assignments and tutorial papers on campus; do it at home and save yourself some money.
If you're a uni student, chances are your university's library has a big printer/copier that you can use to copy textbooks or print assignments. If you're new to uni and in your first year, you might not realise this, but chances are your uni's printing service is expensive. Ridiculously expensive. I remember being at uni just a few years ago and paying 10 cents per monochrome page, and a dollar for colour. (It looks like that hasn't changed, either.)
On my work desk at the moment, I have a nifty little Canon PIXMA MG7560. It's orange, and everyone walking past has mentioned it at one point or another. It's striking, as well as being a good printer, scanner and copier -- which, if I'm honest, is kind of its whole reason for being. But more than anything else, it's pretty:
Having your own printer, sitting away quietly at home, can actually save you a lot of money over the course of your three- or four- or eight-year degree, especially if you're in a paper-heavy discipline like law or media and communications. The Canon MG7560 has a $189 RRP, although I'm sure you can find it cheaper, and it'll handle your printing, scanning, copying all in one. Plus it has Wi-Fi, which means you don't have to go through the rigmarole of hooking it up over USB or Ethernet to your PC.
Here's the rub -- you can pick up a set of six XL-sized ink genuine Canon cartridges for the MG7560 for about than $180 if you look around a bit, which will get you more than 700 pages of full-colour photo printing, or a lot more assigments which only use a small amount of colour. Black yields are up to a ridiculous 4500 pages from the black and grey ink tanks, more if you're printing in draft. That's at least a tenth of the cost of uni printing, and potentially a lot less if you're just running off a lot of your documents in monochrome draft mode.
And hey, because it's orange, you can put it out in your living room or communal living space or the one spare corner in your tiny uni-student flat and use it as a conversation starter. The PIXMA MG7560 prints quickly (and legibly) even in its miserly cent-saving draft mode, and can ramp up the quality substantially if you need to make a presentation look especially good. Plus it's orange. [Canon]