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Welcome To Cartridge Discount BlogHello and welcome to the blog for Cartridge Discount

We will be using the blog to keep you informed and updated on all news and related articles in the ink and toner cartridge industry and

This will include educational articles, printer reviews, buying guides and any other information that we feel could be useful and interesting.

We will also be keeping an update of the new ink cartridges and toner cartridges we have added to our website. We are dedicated in our research to find the latest products for all printers and continue to offer our best possible prices!!

The ultimate guide to printing photos at home

With the height of summer upon us, it’s time to let you all in on how to print the perfect photos. Whether you’ve been on holiday and have bundles of snaps of you and your family to print off or you’ve just taken a few photos on your phone, we’ve got some expert advice when it comes to skipping the shops and printing at home.

First thing’s first, the basics of what you’ll need

  • A printer.
  • A device to send photos from – laptops, PCs and even mobile devices can work (depending on your printer).
  • An image editing program (even Microsoft Paint may suffice).

 

Print size

Depending on the model, home printers can produce results ranging from average to exceptional. You need to consider the size of the image you’re printing and the megapixels of the camera you’ve taken the shot on.

This is because the higher the megapixels, the larger an image can be without distorting the quality. Therefore, a low-quality camera (2-4MP) should only be used when printing small photographs.

DPI (Dots per inch) is used as a measure of quality. Generally speaking, the higher the DPI the higher the quality.

Find out the megapixel settings on the device you’ve taken photographs on and then consult this chart to find out what size you should be printing photos off at:

Megapixels  Resolution (Width x Height) Excellent quality300 dpi Good quality200dpi Poor quality150dpi
3 MP 2048 x 1536 7” x 5” 10” x 8” 14” x 11”
4 MP 2464 x 1632 8” x 6” 12” x 8” 16” x 12”
6 MP 3008 x 2000 10” x 8” 15” x 10” 19” x 13”
8 MP 3264 x 2448 12” x 8” 16” x 12” 22” x 16”
10 MP 3872 x 2592 13” x 9” 19” x 13” 26” x 17”
12 MP 4290 x 2800 15” x 10” 21” x 14” 28” x 18”
16 MP 4920 x 3264 17” x 11” 24” x 16” 32” x 22”
35 mm film 5380 x 3620 18” x 12” 27” x 18” 36” x 24”
36 MP 7360 x 4912 24” x 16” 36” x 24” 48” x 32”

 

It’s important to note that while ‘excellent’ should be the best quality, without proper photo paper you won’t get the glossy photo feel. Good quality will be fine for most uses.

Printer types

Home printers come in four main varieties: Inkjet, laser, all-in-one and dedicated photo printers.

If you’re serious about printing photos at home, you’ll want one dedicated to photo printing. While good quality printers in the other styles will work, you won’t get the same quality as you will in a photo printer. Here are the things to look for when buying:

Connectivity: Ideally you want to choose a photo printer that has wireless functionality. If you’re going to print from mobile devices, you’ll need one that supports airprint (for Apple devices) or Google cloud printing (for android devices).

Memory card slots: Makes printing from cameras and other devices that use cards far easier.

Print quality and speed: If printing lots of photos, you’ll need a printer that works fast or you’ll be sat waiting. Do some research to find a speedy model.

Steps to printing

  1. Find where your photographs are stored. If you took them on a camera, they’ll most likely be on the camera’s on-board storage or more likely an SD card. Depending on the camera, you may be able to wirelessly print them. More often, however, you’ll need to either plug your SD card into a PC/Mac or into your printer itself.
  2. Ensure the photos are the size you want. Consult our chart above and use an image editing program to resize them. Ensure you click ‘maintain aspect ratio’ if possible so there is no distortion.
  3. Insert photo paper of the desired size into your printer and ensure it is stacked correctly to avoid print issues.
  4. Ensure your printer is switched on and if it’s wireless that you have it set-up correctly. If it’s a non-wireless model, you’ll need to have it connected to the device you’re printing, usually via a USB cable. If it’s an older model that uses a pin connector, you’ll probably need to install drivers from a disc.
  5. Highlight the photos you want to print. On a PC you can do this via dragging your mouse across the files, right clicking and selecting print.

 

Photo printing tips

  • Applying a black and white effect can be great for timeless, classic looking photos such as wedding snaps. You can easily accomplish this in lots of image editing programs by finding the ‘desaturate’ option and selecting it. Picasa is a free program available from Google.
  • Try the preview options before you begin printing, or test a single photo before printing lots.
  • When you want to print the best quality photo you can, turn off compression by saving the file in a format such as TIF.
  • If your print quality looks poor and you’ve set-up correctly, try running printer cleaning routines.
  • Choose quality photo paper for prints you want to frame. For throwaway photos such as those you’d pin to a fridge, normal paper may do.

Six Weeks of Fun: Printable School Holiday Activities

The summer holidays are here! For most adults, this means lots of time spent with your children trying to keep them happy and occupied in the absence of school. Unfortunately, actually keeping your child busy can be tough in an age of distraction from electronics such as iPads and games consoles.

Thankfully, Cartridge Discount has got you covered. We’ve scoured the web for some of the best printable activities for children to help entertain and engage your kids. Harness their creativity and get them drawing, writing and puzzling away with the following activities.

TinkerbellPuzzle

TinkerbellPuzzle

ToyStoryPuzzle

ToyStoryPuzzle

Colour in with Crayola!

Crayon brand Crayola has a host of amazing colouring sheets for kids to harness their colouring skills. With some popular Disney characters voted as the parent’s picks, you can quickly find sheets your children will love.

Our favourites are these Tinkerbell and Toy Story worksheets. Remember, you don’t have to use crayons for these – pencils and pens work just as well.

Head to Crayola’s free colouring page for more.

Did you know? Colouring increases concentration, fine motor skills and engages burgeoning creative skills.

School’s out word search

A good word search can keep a child busy for hours at a time. For most children, it should include a mixture of basic and slightly more complex words. This one from Classroomjr.com is all about summer sport; great for little ones that love exercise.

 

SummerWordsearch

SummerWordsearch

Did you know? Word searches help reinforce learned vocabulary and increase visual acuity when recognising words.

Ice cream poem

Creativity is a precious talent and one many children sadly grow out of when they enter adulthood. See what your child is capable of by giving them this printable, acrostic poem from Activity Village that should be filled out using the letters on the sheet as the first letter in the lines of their poem.

 

IceCreamPuzzle

IceCreamPuzzle

Working through a poem like this helps kids learn how poetry works and keeps things summery. Perhaps reward their completed poem with a real ice cream.

Did you know? Poetry fosters creativity and since it doesn’t adhere to strict rules, it’s great for English language learners. Encourage open-ness and expression and let your children’s ideas shine.

Monkeying around with an activity sheet

Sometimes a single-page activity won’t hold attention for long. When that’s the case, it’s time to head to multi-activity sheets that feature lots of different distractions. This monkey sheet from kidspuzzlesandgames.co.uk is a great example – featuring a word search, maths puzzles, Sudoku and even colouring in.

MonkeyPuzzle

MonkeyPuzzle

Did you know? Sudoku is a great tool for children. It teaches decision making and promotes logical thinking.

 

The puppy puzzle

Any list of children’s activities would be incomplete if it didn’t include a maze puzzle. Tracing their way through a maze can be a great way to keep a child interested and to help them work on their problem solving skills. This puppy puzzle from thekidzpage.com is a great example of a tricky but solve-able quiz.

MazePuzzle

MazePuzzle

Did you know? Maze puzzles are a classic activity that boost fine motor control alongside problem solving.

 

Kids crossword

Crosswords are a classic puzzle that help children learn language, writing skills and are generally tougher than word searches – so will keep your child busy for longer. This one from thekidzpage.com is summer relevant thanks to its picnic theme.

PicnicCrossword

PicnicCrossword

Did you know? Crosswords are great for boosting memory and vocabulary skills.

 

The top 3 printers on the market

We all know the frustration of poor quality prints. They’ve ruined countless business meetings and presentations and have caused headaches for home users who need a letter printed for what can be a life-changing event.

We’re now living in 2015 and poor printers are no longer acceptable. We live in a digital age where information travels fast and our print technology should reflect this. We’ve handpicked the three best printers on the market today to ensure you’ll never suffer from poor performance again.

The best budget choice – Canon Pixma MG5650

Offering a full multifunctional experience with a scanner and copier, the MG5650 offers wireless printing from devices around the home and also has mobile support for all Apple devices, as well as Android and Google Cloud support. This means you can scan from your phone and print from your Canon — great for busy people on the go.

Performance wise, the MG5650 is a great choice for home printing. It supports high quality photo printing as well as normal prints. For text printing, the Canon shines through with incredible economy, as each standard black print cartridge lasts around 1,700 pages. Considering replacement Canon Ink Cartridges are affordable, you’ll be spending very little per page. You can pick up the printer itself for around £70.

The best small business choice – Brother MFC-9330CDW

A printer used in business needs to be fast and accessible. Generally, office printers need to be quick and handle lots of prints. In a small business that values growth, it pays to have a versatile printer that can print both colour and black and white.

Enter the Brother MFC-9330CDW, a sub-£300 printer that offers everything a business could want. Blistering fast print speed in high resolution for both black and white and colour prints, mobile printing options, Wi-Fi connectivity and excellent paper handling come as standard. The printer has a paper tray that handles double-sided printing for 250 sheets at a time, making it suited to small businesses.

As additional features go, the ability to scan and fax are handy to have for all types of business and the 9330CDW packs them in.

Brother’s official speed rating is 32 pages per minute for black and white text-only printing, a great speed for printing important documents ahead of meetings, sending multiple letters or even e-commerce receipts. Laser toner replacement for Brother Printers helps keep the costs down. The printer itself costs around £240.

The best choice for larger businesses – Kyocera Ecosys P6030CDN

A larger business means a larger print volume alongside increased speed demands. The Kyocera laser printer is a fantastic choice for growing and larger businesses that have a high demand in paper output. The fairly bulky unit is designed to slot between other machinery and still allow access to its paper trays. The controls are simple to use and the paper tray handles 650 sheets as standard (which can be upgraded at a cost up to 2150 sheets.)

Performance wise, the Kyocera prints 30 ppm and offers a max resolution of 9600 x 600 DPI, which makes it suitable for great quality colour prints for posters.

The real USP of the Kyocera is the low running cost. Mono pages cost about 1p each and colour costs around 5, meaning great economy for businesses. This cost can be lowered by purchasing our Kyocera toner kits. The machine costs around £400. If you’re in a business printing more than 10,000 pages a month, this is the obvious choice and will save you lots of cash in the long run.

Troubleshooting: How to fix common printer problems

Whether you’re just printing at home or you’re desperately printing out a vital document ahead of the office meeting, at some point you’ve experienced the dreaded printer error. For many of us, this is an almost daily occurrence. Fortunately, we’ve prepared a list of common printer problems and how to fix them.

Printer won’t print

Firstly check all connections, including the printer cable itself and the power lead. If your printer is wireless, ensure you’ve properly connected it to the same network you’re using on your computer. If your printer is still unresponsive, ensure you’ve installed the correct drivers. These will be available on a disc, or online. Just google the name of your printer and ‘driver.’

Paper getting stuck in the printer

This is probably the most common error any print user experiences. We all know the pain of sticking our hands in the paper tray to pull out torn paper. If your printer jams, open the tray and try to pick out every last scrap. Tweezers can help, but ensure the printer is switched off if you’re prying inside with metal.

To prevent the problem before it starts, ensure your paper is the correct size for the printer and also be careful of old paper that has been left for a while. It can attract moisture, causing two sheets to pull through at once. Ensure paper is stored in a bag or sealed container.

Print quality is poor

Sometimes you’ll print off a vital document, only to find it’s covered in streaks or in the entirely wrong colour. First things first, fix the print heads. You can access the printer’s maintenance program which should have been set up when you installed the device. Run printer alignment and also clean the printing heads (be aware, this uses up ink).

If you’re still not satisfied with the result, consider buying quality paper designed for print. This is especially true if you need your prints to be visually impressive.

Printing costs too much

While printer ink is a lucrative business, you’re in the right place. We offer some of the cheapest options in the UK for ink cartridges both at home and in the office. However, if you’re still finding printing costly, consider learning to shrink pages to fit one page of print. This means faster print times and less ink used overall.

My print job is going to the wrong printer

If you’re clicking print repeatedly and copies are flying out of the wrong printer, you need to head into your control panel. Click start, then control panel, then devices and printers. From here, right-click the one you want to use and click “Set to default”.

Can’t print from my mobile device

An underutilised feature of most modern printers is the ability to print via mobile devices. While this can be handy, it can also be tricky.

For Apple users, check this list to ensure your printer is ‘AirPrint’ compatible. However, if you have a Mac computer you can turn the printer it’s attached to into an AirPrint device.

Android users have an alternative in Google Cloud Print. Download the app from the Google Play Store on your mobile device and then download it in Chrome on your computer. Once linked, it’s easy to print from your device.

Printer ink warnings

Lots of printers prematurely warn you that you’re running low on ink, when in reality they can still print plenty of pages with no trouble. As a guideline, order yourself a new cartridge from a service like ours but continue printing with your current cartridge. You only need to replace it when it finally runs out.

My print doesn’t look like I wanted it to

This is a tough issue to troubleshoot because it could be down to user error. If you’re trying to print a webpage, make sure you click ‘print preview’ and see what it will look like on the page. Consider hitting the ‘Shrink to fit’ button to bring pages down to the correct size. Fiddling about in print preview can save you a massive headache when you’re trying to print websites and other media not designed for print ratios.

Introducing Cartridge Discount’s Young Writers Competition

All glory comes from daring to begin.” – Ruskin Bond, Scenes from a Writer’s Life.

Do you work in a school and know children who love to write? Are you a parent who wants your child’s teacher to encourage creativity? If so, we’ve launched the perfect competition for young creatives to get rewarded for their writing.

Crafting a good story can be one of the most exhilarating experiences of a young person’s school years. Their imagination can conjure up tales of dragons and wizards or think up a plot about detectives and robbers. Whatever they can come up with, we’re keen to see the worlds that young writers can create.

Here at Cartridge Discount, we’re running a creative writing competition to see who can craft the most entertaining story. Aimed at schoolchildren, our competition is for tales written to a maximum of 500 words (or 3 pages of our worksheet) and will award any budding authors with up to £75 worth of book vouchers! Entries won’t be judged on handwriting but we encourage children to write as neatly as they can.

If you have a budding Shakespeare, Tolkien, Rowling or a Hemingway in your class, this is a competition you don’t want them to miss. To request an entry pack, email: competition@cartridgediscount.co.uk.

Entries should be handwritten and mailed to:

Mediaworks Online Marketing Ltd.
Unit 11A Princesway North,
Team Valley Trading Estate,
Tyne & Wear,NE11 0NF
United Kingdom

Alternatively, entries can be scanned and emailed to the email address above. All entries will be read, enjoyed and then judged accordingly before winners are picked.

So teachers, start printing out the workbooks because entries must be in before 5pm on the 13th of June 2015. The prizes are as follows:

  • 1st place — £75 book voucher
  • 2nd place — £50 book voucher
  • 3rd place — £25 book voucher

If you’re not a teacher but want to get your child involved, we encourage you to send this post or a copy of the poster to your child’s teacher.

The competition reflects Cartridge Discount’s ongoing relationship with the public. Not only do we supply schools, government departments, the NHS and educational establishments, we also try to encourage participation in all things print. For any queries please telephone 08456439782.

Office resolutions for 2015

Can’t face the gym? Putting off starting your latest diet? It’s the same year after year, so why not make 2015 different?

This year, make a more effective New Year’s resolution and vow to become more office-savvy. Here’s how you do it…

Go greener

Like many offices, you’ll probably find you go through paper quickly. If you’re not currently recycling in your office, where have you been!?

Rather than tossing waste paper away with general rubbish, you should invest in specifically designed recycling bins. Colour-coded bins will make it easier to sort your office’s recyclable material. Inform all staff members of the changes to ensure they follow suit.

It’s even possible to recycle your old printer cartridges too. At Cartridge Discount, we offer an empty cartridge recycling scheme. Preventing your cartridges from going to landfill, you can send your empty ones back to us for recycling. For each cartridge you send us, we make a donation to Cancer Research UK — find out more here.

Save money

Did your office costs spiral out of control in 2014? If so, it’s time to reign in your expenditure in 2015.

Simple choices like switching PCs off at night, unplugging laptops once fully charged and heating the office periodically can save you money on your energy bill. Positioning desks and workspaces in an area with lots of natural light will help minimise the need for electric lighting.

If you are investing in new technology, choose the most energy-efficient models to keep costs down. This may mean spending a little bit more initially but it can save you money in the long run.

Boost morale

Happy staff make for a happy office. With the right attitude, you can help boost employee morale.

Complimenting staff members on a job well done and supplying sweet treats will help make your staff feel appreciated. Arranging staff trips or nights out will give workers something to look forward to, as well as helping to improve working relationships.

Go flexible

Long gone are the days when office workers were cooped up in cubicles. Nowadays, our working style is becoming increasingly flexible thanks to the growth of laptops and mobile devices.

Creating a flexible working environment, where users can work from any location in the office, can aid creativity and group work. A more relaxed atmosphere will help staff feel more at ease too. It’s definitely worth considering, although this working style is not for everyone.

How will you improve office life this year?

Printers and portability: A match made in heaven?

It’s no secret that the way we use technology is changing. In times gone by, clumpy PCs with large monitors and bulky towers occupied the homes of a select few and were envied by many.

Fast-forward to the present day and technology is widespread. Nowadays, the market is largely dominated by laptops, tablets and smartphones. In fact, as reported by The Independent, there are now around 7.22 billion mobile devices in the world — more than the earth’s total population.

As technology has evolved, so have our computing accessories. But will the humble printer go the same way as the floppy disk? Find out below…

Wireless printers

In the past, the desktop PC and inkjet printer went hand in hand. Now that mobile devices have replaced our PCs, how we print is changing.

Printers typically connect to PCs through USB ports. With many tablet devices lacking this kind of port, users have to find new ways of connecting their gadgets together. This usually involves using a wireless printer.

To use this kind of printer, all you need to do is connect your mobile device and printer to your wireless network. The network will then act as the ‘cable’, connecting your gadgets, enabling you to print anywhere in your wireless range.

Many printers already have AirPrint capability. This specialist software developed by Apple enables you to print directly from your iOS device without the need to install drivers. To find out if your printer is AirPrint-ready, check out this list.

It can be more difficult to connect non-Apple devices and older wireless printers without AirPrint functionality. However, there are apps that can help, such as PrintCentral and PrintBureau.

Portable printers

Taking wireless printers to the next generation, Epson has recently launched a new portable inkjet printer: the WF-100W. As the world’s lightest and smallest inkjet printer, it offers wireless connectivity and USB charging functions.

It’s perfectly suited for use by businesspeople on the go, enabling them to print and sign contracts while travelling or commuting.

A new age of smartphone printers is currently emerging too. These compact models, like the Instax SHARE Smartphone SP-1, enable users to print their images on the go.

The floppy disk became extinct, but the printer is evolving to meet our changing digital needs. More useful and convenient than ever before, we expect the printer to become even more indispensable in the coming years.

 

5 of the best printable Christmas activities for children

With the Christmas holidays looming, excitement is at fever pitch. If you’re struggling to keep the kids occupied until Santa’s arrival, don’t worry! We have the perfect solution.

We’ve rounded up five of the very best printable Christmas activities for children. Simply print them out and watch as your little ones have hours of fun — you might even get some Christmas wrapping done!

1)     Christmas writing paper

If you have a budding JK Rowling on your hands, this printable is for you! Activity Village’s Christmas story paper is perfect for getting your kids’ creative juices flowing, allowing them to pen their very own Christmas bestseller.

Your kids can take inspiration from the fun colouring image featured on the sheet, or come up with their own unique tale. They could even use it to write their own messages to Santa Claus.

2)     Candy cane tree decorations

Is your tree looking a bit bare? Does it lack a personal touch? Get the kids to create these super-cool candy cane tree decorations.

They’re really simple to create and all you’ll need is a printer, some scissors, sticky tape and some ribbon. You’ll find full, easy-to-follow instructions here — remember to supervise the little ones when they’re cutting!

3)     Frozen colouring pages

Frozen has captured the hearts of millions of children—and some adults too! For those parents who’ve seen the DVD one too many times, we’ve hunted down the best Frozen colouring pages. They’ll love every minute and you won’t have to hear “Do you want to build a snowman?” for the hundredth time!

There are plenty of designs to choose from here, featuring all of their favourites like Elsa, Anna and Olaf.

4)     Nativity scene

It’s easy for kids to get carried away at this time of year, becoming overwhelmed with presents, decorations and lights. Remind them of the true meaning of Christmas with this cool printable nativity scene.

Easy and fun to create, the scene looks really impressive when complete. You can even make a homemade stable from a cardboard box to finish it off.

5)     Christmas puzzles

If colouring sheets just won’t cut it, check out the selection of Christmas puzzles at DLTK. There’s everything from anagrams to crosswords, mazes and more, so there’s plenty to keep them occupied on a wintry afternoon!

What printable activities will your kids be doing this Christmas?