Printers may be coming down in price, but the cost of keeping these peripherals stocked with ink can be expensive. Messy ink refill kits have been on the market for some time, but Strydent has decided to take a different approach.
Inksaver is a software application that reduces the amount of ink used to print a page. It starts to work after the printer driver, modifying the output before it is sent to the device. Inksaver analyses the page and decides where to put the ink to achieve the best result for the specified ink-saving level. When you first install the software it prints out a test page, showing the different levels. Cranking up the control to the maximum produces poor results, but with a 25 per cent saving on colour and 35 per cent on black, the results - although noticeable - are more than satisfactory for everyday use.
The saving you choose depends on what you're printing. For photos and special documents, you'd probably want to turn it off completely, but for Web pages or internal drafts then up to 50 per cent would probably be okay.
To see if Inksaver lived up to its claim, we installed a fresh set of cartridges and printed the PC World Web site homepage repeatedly, both with and without the software installed. On its own, the printer ran to 697 pages. With Strydent Inksaver installed and set to 25 per cent colour, 35 per cent black, it managed an additional 359 pages (1056 in total), giving an actual saving of 52 per cent. in brief: Strydent Inksaver.
Inksaver does what it says and, provided you aren't greedy, the results are satisfactory for Web pages or internal drafts.