Printer Ink Cartridges

By: Ross Bainbridge

All manufacturers of inkjet printers develop their own distinct designs for cartridges and ink composition. For this reason, the cartridges cannot be interchanged among brands and models. The cartridge that is suitable for one model may not work with the other brands and models of printer. When the cartridge becomes empty, the buyer has to buy a new one according to the model number of the printer and the serial number specified on the cartridge.

Modern color printers have a single-unit cartridge containing four colors or four-cartridge unit for each color. While in the case of the former, the entire cartridge has to be replaced if one of the colors runs out; in the latter case only the cartridge that is empty can be replaced.

Original printer ink cartridges manufactured by printer vendors are highly expensive. Though the quality of the print is superior and durable, the high price of the cartridges drives some customers to third-party vendors who provide an inexpensive alternative to the original cartridges.

Third-party vendors primarily deal in compatible and remanufactured inkjet printer cartridges. Compatible or generic cartridges are newly manufactured cartridges that confirm to the high quality and reliability of original cartridges. They match the specifications and the standards of the brand-name cartridges. In case of remanufactured cartridges, the used cartridges are disassembled and cleaned thoroughly, along with the print head nozzle. Any worn-out parts are replaced and the cartridge is filled with the printer-specific ink. The cartridge is then thoroughly tested for its quality. Third-party vendors also offer the service of refilling cartridges.

Though prints produced by third-party vendor cartridges initially look nice, they have poor fade-resistant or water-resistant properties. Some of the low-cost cartridges have good print results for text but bad results regarding quality and durability. The photo prints produced by the third-party cartridges fall below expectation with respect to quality and longevity, as compared to the brand product.

Before buying an inkjet printer the yield of the cartridge must be checked. The yield is calculated based on the number of pages it can print. Cartridges must always be bought from a reputable store. In addition to this, the buyer must check whether the third party vendor is associated with the International Imaging Technology Council or supported by the Better Business Bureau.

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