Testing Ink Cartridges

January 21, 2010 No Comments

With the large number of OEM, compatible and remanufactured ink cartridge brands as well as the wide range of printer brands and models in the market nowadays, I’m sure you are able to try out some of them. For most of us, we have tried out several printer types and models. As such, you (like me) may have probably noticed that some printers either consume more ink or run out of ink faster than the other brands or models. If you’re really after cost-efficiency then you might be wondering how to tell which printer brand or model and which printer ink cartridge brand or type can give you the most number of prints at cheapest cost per page.

There’s good news for consumers who regularly buy ink cartridges. A new ISO standard for printers has been approved by several printer manufacturers which can implement a better way for consumers to compare the different types of printer ink cartridges. This might also form the basis for an accepted way to test ink cartridges.

Testing printer ink cartridges is important because it allows us a means to compare several similar products. For instance, the number of pages that an ink cartridge can print is established via testing. However, until now, this parameter remains to be subjective since printer manufacturers use different metrics for measurement. For example, one printer manufacturer measures the number of pages that an ink cartridge can print based on 16% of the page covered in text while another manufacturer may print a page complete with graphics but with only 10% text. As such, test results depend on the parameters used by a printer manufacturer and may lead to discrepancies that can confuse consumers. This example simply shows that without the establishment of standards, consumers are still left in the dark regarding the capacity of an ink cartridge.

The new ISO standard will require all printer manufacturers to use the same test methods in determining the number of pages printed and other parameters of their ink cartridge products. It will also encourage printer manufacturers to use the same software and settings for the test pages, ink volumes and others in order for them to earn an ISO certification. In this way, consumers can compare ink cartridge products more easily.

Yes, we understand that ink cartridges can be expensive but the new ISO standard can be helpful in a sense that consumers can now buy the least expensive ink type or brand that can give the most number of prints.

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