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Do you know the real cost of owning a colour laser printer in Singapore? We have compiled a quick guide and analysis of how much it really cost to own a colour laser printer as well as a very general but useful analysis to help you make the most informed decisions when deliberating on a colour laser printer. This article is a deep dive analysis into the cost following our previous article on “The 3 Best Colour Laser Printers in Singapore” which you can read up Here

To set the boundaries right, we have a list of assumptions below:

  1. Printer is assumed to operate smoothly for a 2-year lifespan without maintenance
  2. We defined a light user to change a set of toner cartridge every 3 months
  3. We defined a heavy user to change a set of toner cartridge every 1 month
  4. Original branded toner cartridge is based on Suggested Retail Price (SRP)

First, we will dive into the cost per page for each printer model based on the original toner cartridge price as well as the compatible toner cartridge price. Subsequently, we will do a comparison to see how much savings it brings.

Second, we will take into account the printer cost, then projecting it across 2 years to arrive at a final estimated life time cost of owning a colour laser printer for both a light and heavy user respectively. This is a very simplistic approach but it gives a good gauge of the lift time value of the printer cost.

Which Colour Laser Printer has the Lowest ongoing Toner Cartridge Cost?

Here, we have compiled both the original and compatible toner cost based on the suggested retail price and crunched out the savings in % for a consumer. The shaded portion in green represents the “top savings” while the shaded portion in red represents the “lowest savings”. Having said that, do bear in mind that the lowest savings in % is just relative. It still represents a good absolute savings amount in $

From the analysis, Brother DCP-L3551CDW with its toner cartridge model TN-267 is the biggest saver, whipping up a whopping more than 60% of cost savings. One good reason for this huge savings is the slightly more receptive stance of Brother Laser Printers towards third party manufacturers, which resulted in a lower cost of production and hence a higher supply of compatible toner cartridge, translating into lower toner cartridge prices.

Following on close behind is the Canon MF641CW with its corresponding toner cartridge model Canon 054 or Canon 054H (high yield). They average a 55% savings off originals which is highly respectable.

Last but not least, we have HP MFP 178NW with its corresponding toner cartridge model HP 119A toner cartridge, averaging a 45% savings here. Bear in mind, HP MFP 178NW is a colour printer more suited for the light user, hence the print yield is manufactured to be low, which translates to a higher cost per page due to the base cost incurred in producing the toner cartridge.

Which Colour Laser Printer has the Lowest Lifetime Value?

Here are the results above. For both the heavy and light user segregation, Brother Colour Laser Printer DCP-L3551CDW is the stand out winner. For the light user, a customer is estimated to spend S$4,712 while a heavy user is estimated to spend S$12,344. This is the true cost of owning a colour laser printer for the assumed 2 years and a far cry from the face value of the printer. It is hence easy to see that the toner cartridge cost is far more important when considering which laser printer to buy as it easily forms 80% or more of the total lifetime value

In order to alleviate the steep cost of owning a laser printer, we did a comparison to buying a laser printer then consistently using compatible toner cartridges (check out our premium range Here). The results are stark. In the green shaded area, the savings are a whopping more than average 60% savings which easily translates into S$2,704 for the light user or S$8,112 for the heavy user. These are substantial savings which can be channeled elsewhere!

The lowest cost in terms of absolute amount for originals goes to HP MFP 178NW. However, the twist comes when you purchase compatibles. There are still substantial savings of S$3,595 but in terms of the total absolute cost of owning a colour laser, Brother DCP-L3551CDW is still the lowest. The main reason is because a set of compatible TN-267 toner cartridge (S$139/set) is much lower price as compared to HP-119A (S$189/set), hence the savings tend to widen over time, lowering the lifetime value of ownership. One reason for the higher toner cost is again due to the anti-competitive nature of HP, trying all ways to block off third party manufacturers, hence increasing the cost of production which translates to a higher price compatible toner.


The true cost of owning a colour laser printer is more than the printer cost itself. It may appear that you may be paying only $400 for a colour laser printer, however it is important to know that the bulk of the cost is resulting from the on-going toner cartridge cost. Hence, it is pertinent that there are premium alternatives available so that such excess savings can be channelled to other more important areas.

One important point to note is that, this modelling is only based on a 2-year horizon. As we extend the horizon further (barring any printer breakdown), the actual savings widens and increases which further magnify the impact on the true lifetime cost.

Do feel free to check out our range of high-quality toner cartridges which is great value for money. We hope this will benefit you in your journey with us and if it does, remember to share this article with your loved ones to help them make a more informed decision

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Brother, Brady, Canon, Casio, Dymo, Epson, Fuji Xerox, Lexmark, HP, Samsung and other manufacturer brand names and logos are registered trademarks of their respective owners.
Any and all brand name designations or references are made solely for purposes of demonstrating compatibility.