Genuine Cartridges vs Compatible Cartridges

Last Updated on May 19, 2018 by Next Century

Have you ever looked at a genuine toner cartridge for your printer and wondered if there is a cheaper alternative? Or you are not sure if a compatible is as good as the original?

Printer machine manufacturers will tell you to only use their products, originals, as this will produce better quality printing and that compatibles may result in lower print quality.

Here are the main questions we get asked a lot about compatible inks and toners:

What are compatible cartridges?

Compatible cartridges are printer consumables produced by third party (or non-branded) manufacturers, as opposed to the printer manufacturer.

Is there a difference in printing quality?

Let us explain this a bit further: If you are using a compatible cartridge mainly to print Word, Excel, e-mails, invoices etc, then there will be no visible difference in quality between compatible and original cartridges.

However, if you wanting to print high resolution documents or images, where the quality is paramount, it is wiser to use original toners and inks.

What about the advantages of using compatible inks and toner cartridges?

The main advantage is obviously the cost – overall compatible cartridges can be between 40% to 80% cheaper than the originals.

Are compatible cartridges very reliable?

Overall, yes. Depending on which brand of compatible you are purchasing, the most common know issue is a cracked or ‘exploded’ casing, which means some of the cartridge content can spill from the casing into the internal parts of the printer.

Also, the volume of ink or toner can often be lower than those of the original cartridges.

That being said, most remanufactured cartridges are made in a controlled environment and should be as reliable as their original counterparts. Plus they will come with their own warranty.

Will using a compatible brand void my printer warranty?

In a word: no.

The Australian Consumers’ Association Choice Magazine has undertaken a survey into the use of compatible cartridges and spoke to Epson, Hewlett-Packard, Canon and Lexmark. They were informed by all companies that the ‘printer warranty would NOT be affected by the use of compatibles or refilled cartridges’. In fact in Australia it is illegal under the Trade Practices Act for a printer manufacturer to require a consumer to use a particular brand of ink or cartridge. The brand of cartridge, ink or paper you purchase is your decision.

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