Comparing OEM Toner with Compatible or Generic

Prices being what they are for genuine OEM toner versus compatible or generic cartridges, it is not surprising that many people want to know if they can trust the cheap clones and what the differences are. Some of the questions people have about these low-cost products include: What are compatible toner cartridges and are they the same as generics? There are so many; are they all the same? Will they damage my printer or void its warranty? Do they produce good quality print outs? First of all, compatible toners are manufactured by many third-party companies in many countries. They are all new cartridges (not refills or remanufactured) that are meant to fit into the same printers as the OEM cartridges. Some companies do produce what many people refer to as generic toner cartridges. Those are typically in a plain box and don’t have a brand name associated with them. Since there is no brand name to protect, you might expect that these will be more susceptible to quality issues. That is not always true though. It really depends what company produced them since approaches to generating profit varies. For example, some want to be the cheapest and others want a reputation for quality. But if they are generic, how can a consumer know one from the other?  Well, unless you are in the toner cartridge business, you probably can’t tell. In fact, some generics sold by the some retailers are swapped from one to the other manufacturer based on availability, cost, and other factors. So, no, compatible toner cartridges are not all the same. If getting consistent and reliable results matter to you more than getting the cheapest price, you will want to look to a name brand compatible instead. Brands typically take ownership of the quality level of the product, often down to the level of specifying what components and toner powder are used for their particular models. They do this of course because they are building and protecting a brand image based on some set of values they offer their customers. I posted an article in October 2012, answering the question, “Are compatible toners OK?” I noted there that compatible toner cartridges usually have some differences in their design and manufacturing so as to avoid violating copyrights or patents held by the original printer manufacturer. This accounts for some of the major differences among compatibles, since each must come up with their own way of getting around the legal issues. Concerns about voiding the printer warranty is largely unfounded, as discussed in my post about that question here. Essentially, the U.S. Congress made sure in 1975 that manufacturers of many types of products don’t have a stranglehold on needed supplies. Furthermore, actual damage to printers by generic or compatible toner cartridges is very rare and often caused by the user themselves. I’ve heard from many people who claim they will only use OEM toner because the compatible or generic they tried did not produce quality print-outs. One of three things probably happened in these cases: They actually received a defective product, which happens to every brand – even the big ones They happened to choose a generic that was produced by an inferior manufacturer and can’t differentiate it from the better ones since it is generic They happened to choose a brand of compatible that was designed or manufactured well enough or consistent enough Some generics are in fact good at replicating the quality of the OEM version. Reputable retailers know which ones they are and will stick with those to provide their customers  consistency. Branded compatibles may...

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How to Find Replacement Toner Cartridges That Work

Cheap toner cartridges are only a deal if they actually work and give you good quality print outs from your laser printer. Plenty of people have tried alternatives to the genuine, original manufacturer cartridges only to find that the cartridges they tried caused more trouble than it is worth. Actually, discounted toner cartridges that work well can be found if you know what to look for. I’ll give you some key indicators that will help you find the toner cartridge you are looking for at a price well below the cost of the original manufacturers cartridges. You have two choices for alternatives to the original manufacturer’s full price OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) cartridge: Compatible – quality varies from very good to unacceptable Remanufactured – quality varies from very good to unacceptable Compatible cartridges are typically all new materials and very often have slight design variations so that they do not violate the original manufacturer’s patents, but will still fit all the printers or copiers the cartridge model is intended for. Quality variations depend on the manufacturer producing them. Remanufactured cartridges typically use a cartridge shell from the original manufacturer that has been used at least once and sent through a recycling process to be reclaimed. Various after market manufacturers remanufacture the cartridges differently, resulting in various levels of quality.  For example, some replace the drum and other worn parts while others keep the cost way down by doing little more than refilling the toner – producing a dreaded “drill-n-fill” product destined for the trash. How do you choose when shopping? Compare the cost per page Select a brand that has a good reputation Cost per page can easily be calculated and is explained in this post about calculating cost per page. You need to do this because manufacturers can produce the same cartridge with different page yields. The page yield is how many printed pages can be expected at the industry standard 5% coverage. Compare the original manufacturer’s price per page to the brand you are considering. Very often it will be less than half of the cost of an original cartridge. You will find that the reputation for a brand is typically reflected in the reviews. Good brands will have consistent reviews, but keep in mind that even the big original manufacturer brands can have occasional bad ones. Occasional defects or printer and user errors are the usual reasons for these. So don’t let a few of those deter you from trying a brand, especially if they offer a good guarantee. Try this example search for reviews As you can see, this search brings up reviews from many places on the Internet and is a gold-mine of feedback for a brand. You will soon have a feel for how reliable the brand is and if their guarantee is any good. By taking a few minutes to find alternative toner cartridges that work and people rely on, you can save significant money. While it is true that some discounted toner cartridges are not reliable, you will find that out in a hurry using these three steps so you can steer clear of the brands that have given compatible and remanufactured toner cartridges a bad reputation. So, go ahead and look for cheap toner cartridges that work to replace those expensive ones you always thought you had to buy. +Scott Roy Smith +LINKYO...

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CE505A vs CE505X – What’s the Difference?

I’ve seen quite a bit of confusion about the HP CE505A versus CE505X toner cartridges – and with good reason. Some may think of these as the HP 05A or 05X toner cartridges, but it is all about the differences between them and if they are interchangeable. To be clear, there are differences, even though some HP printers can use both toner cartridges and other printers cannot. I have double and triple checked this, even on HP’s own web site and will list the printer models below for absolute clarity. When you compare the CE505A to the CE505X, there are some major differences in terms of price, print yield and cost per page. Based on HP store pricing, here’s the breakdown between HP CE505A and CE505X. CE505A is $90.99 each and prints 2,300 pages. The cost per page is $0.0396 CE505X is $165.99 each and prints 6,500 pages. The cost per page is $0.0255 Another major difference is the printer compatibility for CE505A and CE505X. Here’s a list that explains which printer models are compatible with the HP CE505A and CE505X. Printer models compatible with the CE505A (05A): HP LaserJet P2035 Printer (CE461A) HP LaserJet P2035n Printer (CE462A) HP LaserJet P2055d Printer (CE457A) HP LaserJet P2055dn Printer (CE459A) HP LaserJet P2055x Printer (CE460A) Printer models compatible with the CE505X (05X): HP LaserJet P2055dn Printer HP LaserJet P2055x Printer HP LaserJet P2055d Printer I hope you have found this comparison of the HP CE505A VS CE505X useful and it will help you save money on toner cartridges in the...

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What’s the Difference? HP 940 vs 940xl Ink

Many people have inquired regarding cost savings on Original HP 940 VS 940XL ink cartridges. Here’s a brief guide that explains the difference. The HP 940 compared to the HP 940XL reveals two major differences. The first of course is the price. Retail pricing on HP’s site as of this writing was $26.98 for the HP 940 black ink cartridge and $38.99 for the HP 940XL high yield black ink cartridge. However, the second difference between the HP 940 and the 940XL is revealing: The “XL” version of the black ink will print more than twice as many pages. I compared the lists of compatible printers for each cartridge right on the HP website and found them to be exactly the same. So, the upshot is that if you use the HP 940, you can also use the 940XL. The number of pages printed with ink cartridges is standardized in testing guidelines under ISO 24711. By that standard, HP indicates that an HP 940 black ink cartridge will print 1,000 pages and the 940XL will print 2,200. On the other hand, the HP 940 color cartridges (cyan, magenta, and yellow) print 900 pages and the color 940XL print 1,400 – not quite twice as...

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What’s the Difference? Brother TN330 vs TN360 Toner

You may have been wondering about the Brother TN330 vs TN360 toner cartridges mentioned in the manual after realizing the starter cartridge that came with your new Brother printer only yields about 1,000 pages. Making the right choice can save you money once you understand the differences outlined below. To be sure, those starter cartridges have a maddeningly reduced output compared to the standard cartridges. Brother is not the only manufacturer to do this since they all want to get you into the flow of cartridge replacement quickly and keep the initial cost of the printer down without the disappointment that comes when the box doesn’t include everything to get started. Even so, Brother is among the few that offer varying models of cartridges like the TN330 or TN360 for their printers – mainly to play to two crowds: The first group are those who want to find the lowest cost replacement to get them past the current lack of toner; The other group are those who are willing to pay more for a cartridge that needs to be replaced less often. Of course, all of this presumes that the new Brother printer user is convinced they need only the Brother brand name toner to maintain print quality or to protect their printer warranty. So, for those who do check the manual, the question then comes to whether the TN330 is sufficient or should they go to a TN360 and are these completely interchangeable? What’s more, can you get quality print output with cartridges made by other companies to fit these Brother printers? The first thing to acknowledge is that printer manufacturers follow an ISOIEC Standard for toner page yield at 5% coverage.   We explain this in our post about page yield.  This actually allows the common user to compare the number of pages they should get from different toner cartridges and from different manufacturers. As for many Brother printer models that use TN330 or TN360 toner cartridges, the starter cartridge yields about 1,000 pages. This assumes you are printing a relatively standard text-based document. A Brother TN330 cartridge is rated to give 1,500 pages at that same 5% coverage. On the other hand, a TN360 toner cartridge will produce 2,600 – almost twice as much. So, let’s say in the course of a year you print through two cases of paper at 10 reams each. That is 10,000 pages. If you were using TN330 cartridges, you would burn thorough 6.66 of them. Suppose instead you bought TN360 toner cartridges because they are completely interchangeable, but you get more toner in these ones. That would be about 3.865 cartridges. Sure, that is fewer cartridges, but does that translate to saving money? As of this writing, at office supply stores, an original Brother TN330 is about $50 and you would have used  about $330 (6.66 X $50) in toner. Had you spent about $70 for an OEM Brother TN360, you would have expended about $270.55 (3.865 X $70) to do the same amount of printing. Is saving about $60 worth it to you? What is more, according to industry estimates, each cartridge is responsible for the consumption of 5-9 pounds of virgin materials and resources. So, by reducing the sheer number of cartridges needed for printing a given number of pages, you can shrink your impact on the limited resources of the earth. Therefore, it could save you money to use a TN360. In fact, many aftermarket manufacturers, like LINKYO, provide a Brother TN360 compatible toner cartridge as a free upgrade to TN330 orders because it doesn’t make sense...

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