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Debunking the myth of fade-free inkjet prints

Marc Perton

kodakprintersepia picsWe assume you're savvy enough not to buy all those claims about inkjet-printed photos being able to last hundreds of years. However, just in case you're expecting those prints to outlive your grandkids, PC World has a dose of cold reality with a feature that goes into the nitty gritty of how printer and paper companies use—and abuse—data to market their products. With no standards for testing fade-resistance, companies like Epson, Kodak, and HP have marketed paper as being able to hold images for over 100 years. However, independent labs like Wilhelm Imaging Research have disputed some of those claims: WIR found some images printed using HP Photosmart printers using Kodak paper would last just 11 years, rather than the 120 claimed by Kodak. Your best bet: keep those prints in albums or shoeboxes instead of framed on the wall, or just skip printing altogether and view the pics on your computer (and always make backups, of course).

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