Ink Cartridge Capacity

By: Ellen Davidson

Perhaps one of the most important questions and one of the most frequent questions asked in the world today relates to ink cartridges and the capacity that they have. People want to know for reasons related to toner refill products and replacement cartridge purchases how many pages their ink cartridge will print. While this is certainly a question that is worth discussing, unfortunately there is no real answer when it comes to putting down an exact number on paper as to the capacity of a specific printer cartridge.

Why is there no answer? Well, this is primarily because the different manufacturers have different ink levels in different cartridges. Taking an average value of pages that were printed by the different cartridges would be a useless average because it would be possible for there to be a huge deviation from the average value for a number of different cartridges. For example, if ten cartridges printed a thousand pages each and ten printed a hundred pages each, the average amount would be 550 pages per cartridge; a value that corresponds to none of the cartridges that were looked at.

In addition to the capacities and construction values of the actual cartridge manufacturers, there is also the small matter of what the printer ink cartridge is actually used for. People that use their printers to just print things like essays, thesis statements and other black and white word documents that are predominantly text based, then they are going to find that on average each of their cartridges will last longer than the cartridges used by a person that regularly prints photographs, color drawings and a number of other things that tend to cover a piece of paper in far greater measure than simple text documents do.

Printer companies from HP to many others used to give estimations as to the number of pages that could be yielded from a single cartridge and doubtless you have heard the phrase this estimate is based on 5% coverage. Well, the unfortunate truth is that even text documents cover more than 5% of a page, making those estimates useless. Also, ink cartridges used to have quite a bit more ink in them (consider that the HP 45 has 42 ml of ink and the HP 96 has 21 ml of ink) which is another reason why the older estimates are unreliable today.

So why did companies stop giving out estimates of the capacities of their ink cartridges? Well, with the advent of the internet and the subsequent ease of sharing of information, it was widely publicized that a lot of the estimates were just plain wrong when held up to empirical information and therefore to avoid potential lawsuit problems, ink creation companies have simply just stopped giving those types of estimates out.

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