You made me ink!

Sep 6, 2011 (Updated Sep 7, 2011)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Faster, easier and cleaner to install.  Cheaper in the long run.

Cons:Higher short-term price tag

The Bottom Line: I'd recommend HP inks because it's faster, easer, and cleaner to install, and it's cheaper in the long term.

When it comes to writing about something as simple as an ink cartridge, it can be a difficult thing, but I'll give it a shot because, quite frankly, HP ink cartridges are the best I've used.

The ease of installation

COMPETITION:  In some canon printers, to install the ink you have to open up the printer, wait for the printer head to move out to the center of the printer, release and remove the cartridge holder from the printer, and pull the old cartridge out of the holder to replace it, then you have to reverse the process to install the new ink cartridge.  In the mean time, some of the ink leaks onto your hands and clothing.  Let's hope you're not wearing a new shirt, because if you are, it's ruined.

HP INK INSTALLATION:  To install an HP ink, you open the ink access door and find that the ink cartridges are already there and you don't have to wait for them to slowly move out to the center of the printer.  Then you release the old cartridge remove it, and replace it with the new cartridge and lock it in place.  Then all you have to do is wait for the printer to readjust to the new cartridge, which on my HP Photosmart C5180, takes about 30 seconds.  Also, unlike the competitor inks, there's no mess all over you.

Some may be wondering what the risk of inserting a cartridge in the wrong place is, but there is no way to put a cartridge in the wrong place.  The Cartridges are all color coded and also have a Geometric shape printed on the cartridge, which you match up with the corresponding color and shape that's placed above each individual cartridge dock.  Also, Each cartridge has a unique hole in the back that fits over tabs built into the printer.  These tabs do not hinder installation or removal of the cartridges, but do prevent you from instsalling a cartridge in the wrong place.

Cost of New Inks:

HP inks tend to be more expensive than other printer inks in the short run, but in the long run, they're cheaper.  How?  Each individual color is in its own cartridge.  In the competition's printers, when your color cartridge runs out of one ink color, you have to replace it, even though you still may have large amounts of the other two colors.  With HP ink, if you run out of a color, you replace just that color.  This means that you don't waste any expensive ink.

Also an advantage of each color being in its own cartridge, is that you have more of each color in the cartridges.  This means that you're out buying ink less.

HP rated its inks on how many photos can be printed.  It found that the the regular cartridges can print about 220 4X6 photos (I couldn't find the statistics on page numbers).  HP also makes 02XL cartridges in all the colors except black, which can print about 50% more than the regular cartridges.  The black cartridge was already about twice the size of the other cartridges.

In short, buy HP.  The inks are faster, easier, and cleaner to install, and you'll save a little money in the process.

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