How much ink does my cartridge contain?
If you look at the facts and figures, it seems printer ink is one of the most expensive liquids in the world. Why is ink so expensive? Read on to find out…
Ink cartridges aren’t the most exciting thing in the world; in fact they are very boring and most people dread purchasing them. Everyone complains about the cost of replacing their ink cartridges and not many people realise just how little ink they are getting for their money.
A typical colour ink cartridge contains 3 separate colours. Until recently HP colour cartridges used to contain on average 18ml of ink, 6ml Cyan. 6ml Yellow and 6ml Magenta and these were far from cheap! Recently printer manufacturers have reduced the amount of ink in their cartridges. Some HP cartridges now contain as little as 5ml of ink in total, less than 2ml of each individual colour! This means if you use a lot of one particular colour, you could find it running out very quickly. Even though some HP cartridges now contain less than 1/3 of the previous cartridges capacity, the price has stayed the same, this gives HP an immediate 300% increase.
HP is not the only company guilty of this trick; Lexmark and Epson have followed the same pattern over the years. It appears that Canon are the only company who have kept consistent amounts of ink in their cartridges over recent years.
The most expensive cartridge you will purchase is the starter cartridge that comes with your new printer! Some of the starter cartridges contain as little as 3ml of ink overall! The good news is there are more economical cost effective options out there, such as remanufactured or compatible ink cartridges.
Lexmark and HP used to give different model numbers for their higher yield cartridges, and in some cartridges HP continue to do so. Many models are now using ‘XL’ after the cartridge number to signify it is the high user option. This makes a significant difference to the amount of ink in the cartridge. For example, a standard HP 350 cartridge contains a mere 4.5ml and for a little extra cash the HP 350 XL contains a whopping 25ml, this is an increase of 500%! So make sure you keep an eye out for any XL versions.