Tech tips - Refilling cartridges

21:46, May 16 2012

People often buy the same type of pen or brand of paper, expecting the quality will remain consistent. The inference is that if one were to purchase another type of pen, it may not have the same feel as the favourite, or if a different brand of paper was used, it may not have the same look when printing particular documents.

Some would have us believe the same quality issues are true of ink cartridges and toner. That is, if we use anything but the prescribed printer consumable, the outcome will be inferior.

Refilling cartridges, even by a specialist company, is claimed by most printer manufacturers to be harmful to both the quality and reliability of the prints, the cartridge as well as the life of the printers.

Andrew Bigham of Hamilton poses the question, if I were to get a printer cartridge refilled would I get the same amount of use out of it as I would if I had purchased a brand new one?

PC World has researched this issue, finding that refilled cartridges have higher failure rates, print fewer pages than new cartridges, and demonstrate more on-page problems such as streaking, curling, and colour bleed.

Erin Bell of PC World noted that if quality is of the utmost importance, tests show that brand-name cartridges are consistently able to deliver the goods. For the home user who simply wants to print the odd map, grocery list or recipe in black and white, however, refills offer significant short-term savings.

Ultimately, of course, the decision about what approach to take is based on the customers individual needs and expectations.

David Hallett is the chief nerd of Need A Nerd in the Waikato. Need A Nerd can be reached on 0800633326 (NEED A NERD). To ask a question email and be in with a chance to win Norton 360 Version 6 by Symantec ($129 for three PCs).


Waikato Times