The Benefits of Printers Using Individual Ink Cartridges

Published: 08th March 2007
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Individual cartridges are not a new phenomenon to hit the printing world; in fact, they have been around for years.

HP was one of the first companies to have separate color cartridges for their printers, such as the early Designjet series and wide format printers. This system worked well but required a large printer to hold the cartridges, that were huge in comparison to what are used today.

Although HP has continued to manufacture this type of printer, they have been traditionally best suited for special applications or heavy printing. Individual ink cartridges were not to be found as an option in personal inkjet printers until 2001. Epson came out with the C80, and about the same time Canon came out with printers like the BJC-3000 series.

This new, separate color ink cartridge system was a real innovation for small offices and home use. The printer's footprint was equivalent to other contemporary 2-cartridge printers (1 black cartridge and 1 color cartridge) but had the advantages of the older large printers that used separate color cartridges

One of the best aspects of having separate ink cartridges in your printer is being able to replace a single color when it is empty instead of having to replace all colors. If you print multiple copies of the same photo or image, you'll most likely use more of one color. This makes individual cartridges especially economical.

All in one or "tri-color" cartridges usually contain Cyan, Magenta and Yellow. Some cartridges also have Light Cyan and Light Magenta for a total of 6 possible colors in one single cartridge. The inks are not used at equal rates, so inevitably you will run out of one color (usually yellow) before the others, which renders the entire cartridge unusable. A lot of usable ink gets thrown out, which is a waste of money when you consider the cost per milliliter of ink.

Image quality on a color to color basis does not change with separate tanks but does allow for more colors to be added for photo printers. More colors to start with means it is easier to accurately replicate the original colors of the image.

Today's high-end printers use more individual color cartridges in additional to cyan, magenta, yellow, light cyan and light magenta. Epson and Canon photo printers can use an array of additional colors like red, green, blue, matte black, photo black, light black and even light light black. These inks are designed to provide better halftones, so it is easier to reproduce photographs. Additional colors also produce more accurate and richer photos, especially in grayscale printing.

Human eyes see more than 9 million colors. Color has hue, intensity and luminosity, so it makes sense to start with a larger palette.

Another benefit to individual color tanks is that they are generally larger capacity ink volumes. You have more of each color in the printer at a time, so they will last longer and you'll spend less time changing cartridges.

In case you need more justification for using an Epson or Canon printer with individual tanks, the individual compatible cartridges are inexpensive, ranging from $4.87 - $6.87 each.

ASAP Inkjets offers ink cartridges and laser toner at up to 80%

below retail store prices.

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