I was sceptical. But I am
also cheap. So when I saw InkSaver, and it promised to
Save money every time you print, I just had
to take a look. I use an Epson Stylus Color 640 printer
and, while I use third party inks, they are still
expensive. As most people come to realize after buying
their first ink jet printer the cost of the
printer itself is a very minor portion of the overall
cost of printing. Over the lifespan of an ink jet
printer, the cost of ink can easily be 10 or 20 times the
cost of the printer.
is a software product from Strydent Software, of Burnaby,
B.C. It is designed to battle the high cost of ink for
many models of HP, Epson, and Canon ink jet printers by
allowing a fine degree of control over the amount of ink
used, while maintaining print quality. While most
printers switch to a lower resolution when printing in
draft mode, InkSaver allows you to continue printing at
high resolution yet reduce the volume of ink laid down on
Installation from the CD-ROM was
simple and straight-forward. When the program loads for
the first time, it offers to print a sample sheet. It was
at this point that any scepticism I had evaporated. What
came out of the printer was nothing short of impressive
Two pages were printed
out. There was a short passage of black text and a small
colour graphic repeated 9 times at varying levels of ink
savings. It starts with the printer default setting and
then progresses through to 75% ink savings.
Now I would
be the first to admit that the 75% savings setting dont
look terribly great, especially for colour. But modest
savings, such as 24% or 30% for colour and up to 50% on
black provide remarkably good quality printing.
the main InkSaver dialog box,
you can adjust the ink savings
from 0% to 75% in 1% increments.
It is important to note
that the savings are based on the default settings for
the printer. If you already have the printer set to an
economy mode, the printout will be barely
legible at the 75% savings setting. I recommend you set
the printer defaults in Windows to the highest quality
and then use InkSaver to control print quality.
adjustments to printer settings are typically buried deep
in dialog boxes. Even checking to see the current
settings requires a spelunking adventure. InkSaver
provides a system tray icon. Hover the mouse over it and
a tool-tip tells you your current settings. Right-clicking
lets you easily adjust the settings from a pop-up menu,
or you can double-click the icon to bring up the full
dialog box. When it is that easy to check and adjust your
settings, you are much more likely to adjust your printer
settings for different print jobs.
From the main InkSaver
dialog box, you can adjust the ink savings from 0% to 75%
in 1% increments. One of the things I really appreciate
is the ability to control ink saving separately for
colour and B&W. For example, when I print from web
sites, I often want the print quality to be pretty good,
but I dont care so much about the colour graphics,
which are frequently advertisements. With InkSaver, I can
leave the black ink savings at about 35% and crank up the
colour savings to 60% or even higher.
On my wish
list for InkSaver would be the ability to set a default
for my ink savings and then adjust for a single print
job, with InkSaver reverting to my selected defaults when
the print job ends.
All in all, InkSaver is
a very impressive package.
InkSaver works with the
following printers; HP Deskjet 600, 800 (except 820), and
900 series printers, Epson Sylus Color/Color II, Stylus C20,
C40, C60, C70, C80, Stylus Color 400, 500, 600, 700, 800,
and 900 series, and Canon S100, S200, S300, S400 and S500
series (except S520), BJC 2000, 2200, and 4000 series (except
BJC 4450 and BJC 4650). As they may have added additional
printers, check out the web site at www.strydent.com for
the currently supported printer list.
connections are USB, parallel, serial, and TCP/IP. Due to
the way a printer driver interacts with networking,
networked printers will only work with InkSaver if they
have an IP address. It wont work with a printer
shared out from another computer.
InkSaver requires Windows
98, ME, 2K, or XP and 20MB hard disk space.
My only other gripe was
the fact that this Canadian companys web site is
geared to US customers. The price is only listed in US
dollars. You can buy the program and download it from
their web site for US$34.95. If you want them to ship you
a physical package, the shipping charges are US$16.95 for
Purolator or a whopping US$27.95 for FedEx! Ouch!
Fortunately, I found out
that there are cheaper options. First, if you call
Strydent at 1-800-443-2122, you can order it for CAN$34.99.
Shipping and handling via Express Post for up to 3
packages is CAN$8.00. Also, by September, Future Shop
should be carrying it.
All in all, InkSaver is a
very impressive package. Highly recommended!
CAN$34.99 plus S&H
Originally published: September, 2002