COMPATIBLE INK CTGS PUT TO THE TEST
COMPATIBLE INK CTGS PUT TO THE TEST
2006-03-02 at 12:25:00 pm #14682
Compatible Ink Cartridges Put to the Test
Whether you’re an advocate of printer manufacturer ink cartridges or have already tried a compatible brand, the question will have occurred to you: Why do original cartridges cost so much? Find out the truth uncovered by an independent test.
March 2006 — Whether you’re an advocate of printer manufacturer ink cartridges or have already tried a compatible brand, the question will have occurred to you: Why do original cartridges cost so much?
The price of manufacturer branded cartridges can be in many cases more than twice as much as some alternative brands.
This for many people leads them to conclude that the price difference is probably justified; and that trying a compatible brand is likely to be a gamble that will only end with a broken printer.
Whilst this might be the case in a handful or cases, as with many markets there are quality alternatives which offer a real opportunity to reduce the cost of printing with a virtually undetectable loss of quality.
The fact is, most of us do not demand that much of our cartridges, and the results offered by the more reputable of compatible brands offer all we require.
What also adds to the gulf in price is the profit model employed by the printer manufacturers. They understand that once the printer is sold it then becomes a lucrative profit vehicle. Therefore, the manufacturer sells the printer at a discount in order to get you to buy into their lucrative ink cartridge business. With the advent of cheaper compatible cartridges made by third-parties, they are seeing that business model fail. They have of course fought back with claims that that the user risks loss of quality.
While that may be true if you need the absolute best print from your machine, it’s not if you just want to print out a regular text document or other standard files. Testing by UK consumer group Which? has found that some compatible ink cartridges are almost as good as printer manufacturers’ own and are much cheaper. Indeed there is a compatible brand Lyson Ink Cartridges which is preferred over the original brand by many in the print production and design industry – where high quality results are imperative.
By choosing one of the best performing compatible ink cartridges, such as the Phoenix brand (available at http://www.ink-toner-uk.com) an average user could save about £100 over three years. Using Epson ink cartridges would cost a user about £220 over the period while a supply of generic ink from Print-Rite would cost £50. Of course the greater your requirement for printing the greater the gain.
The printer manufacturers’ own cartridges do produce excellent results on text, graphs and photos, making them all best buys, but they’re very expensive, Which? said. Generics such as Print Rite and Ink Again also gain best buy status for a fraction of the cost. At the other end of the scale, some of the Jet Tec cartridges used on a Lexmark printer failed during the test, produced disappointing results and were given ‘Don’t Buy’ status.
The worst cartridges, however, were Cartridge Save for the Lexmark Z515 printer, which were so unreliable Which? couldn’t even complete tests on them. By the way the Z515 printer costs under £35 but will cost you about £700 in Lexmark branded cartridges over three years. Which? recommends that customers get rid of the Lexmark and get a printer with lower running costs, such as an Epson or a Canon that offer savings on cartridges with out the compromise on quality associated with refilled cartridges.