What do Ink Cartridge Numbers mean?

What do Ink Cartridge Numbers mean?

One question we get asked frequently is “What do the different HP ink cartridge numbers mean?” Surely they must stand for something. HP prides itself for high quality printer inks and they have a variety of products to show for it.

Whether you are buying compatible or original HP inks, knowing what these numbers mean is surprisingly helpful. HP printer inks mean two things, these being the capacity of the ink and the regional origin. These factors serve a purpose for both HP and its consumers.

The first letter following the cartridge number signifies how much HP ink is in the cartridge. There are 4 letters to this effect: ‘A’, ‘D’, ‘G’ and ‘XL’. An ink cartridge that is filled to the highest capacity is suffixed with an ‘A’. These cartridges will have a print yield of around 700 pages to 1,300 depending on the printer model and how the cartridge is used. Meanwhile, cartridges with a ‘D’ suffix are only filled to around half their capacity and this usually translates to 350-650 pages. ‘G’ cartridges are filled with twenty five to thirty percent of the ink tank; this is the standard capacity for demo inks and starter cartridges when you buy a new printer. These cartridges will get used to quite fast!

You may be wondering why on earth HP sell cartridges that are only half full? Before remanufactured cartridges entered the market, HP ink cartridges and all ink cartridges for that matter, are very expensive, calling for the need for two kinds of ink capacity. There is no need to do this now as the market for HP ink has turned to lower pricing. ‘A’ printer ink is now the standard capacity being sold by HP.

‘XL’ or ‘X’ ink stands for extra large capacity or high yield cartridges. These cartridges are sold at a premium price but they will last considerably longer than standard sized cheaper cartridges.

The second part of the suffix is found in ‘HP Vivera’ inks and is attributed to their regional origins. With similar HP models and printer ink cartridges sold worldwide, it is very important to localise printer parts to avoid cross region compatibility and have only the parts of the same zone work together. The four zones are Asia-Pacific (P), North America (N), Latin America (L) and Europe (E). There are further variations of these cartridges including ‘W’ for Western Hemisphere, ‘WL’ for Mexico and ‘EE’ for the UK.

Some printer codes also have a letter which symbolises a colour such as Y (Yellow), C (Cyan) and M (Magenta). Black HP ink cartridges are not colour coded.

So now when you see a set of HP 350 XL or a HP C8560AN cartridge, you can make sense of it. This just shows us how HP has advanced in research and development to produce the standard for all printer inks and how printer manufacturers have advanced and diversified throughout the years.

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