If for some reason you've yet to make the jump to a laser printer, Epson's new line of EcoTank printers could put an end to your ink refill woes. Why so? Because they do away with ink cartridges completely (well, sort of). Allow me to explain.

As you know, a traditional printer relies on expensive ink cartridges that only hold a relatively small amount of ink. Once it runs dry, you've got to spring for a new cartridge and repeat the process each time a different color is empty. Did I mention this is expensive? It's why many people opt to purchase a whole new printer instead of replacing cartridges.

Epson's EcoTank printers replace the small cartridges with much large ink reservoirs that can hold the equivalent of 20 cartridges. Right out of the box, an EcoTank printer will last users about two years with regular use.

Specifically, the three lower-end models yield up to 4,000 black and 6,500 color pages. The next model up can pump out 11,000 black and 8,500 color pages while the high-end model can spit out 20,000 black and 20,000 color documents before needing a refill.

Replacement bottles are sold for $13 each or $52 for a complete set with cyan, yellow, magenta and black.

I recall seeing a very similar setup at a local computer show many years ago. Like the EcoTank, the homegrown printers relied on tubes attached to large ink bottles instead of traditional cartridges. I'm surprised it's taken this long for a major printer company to develop a similar setup although considering most of their money is make on ink refills instead of printers, I understand why.

Pricing starts at $379 for the consumer-minded Expression ET-2500 and tops out at $1,199 for the WorkForce Pro WF-R4640, suitable for medium-sized businesses.