Replacing a printer’s ink cartridge can be quite expensive. This
reality inspires most consumers to consider the available options, and
these options are simple. The consumer must choose one of the following
1) Brand name printer ink cartridge (OEM)
2) Generic compatible printer ink cartridge
3) Remanufactured printer ink cartridge
the case of photo printer cartridges, it is often assumed that a brand
name replacement must be used to preserve the manufacturer’s warranty.
However, the law dictates that “compatibility” is sufficient to maintain
a warranty. Thus, generic or remanufactured cartridges can safely be
purchased with a resulting savings as high as seventy percent.
Some producers, perhaps purposefully, prohibit the use of generic replacements by inserting a special computer chip in their brand name cartridges which controls functions unique to a particular printer. Therefore, for certain printers, attempting to use a cartridge without the proper chip could result in communication issues, various malfunctions, or even permanent damage. So, the consumer should be mindful of such possibilities.
When considering the purchase of an inkjet cartridge over a laser printer toner, the biggest factor is cost. It is usually the case that the brand name and generic options provide a quality and performance level that cannot be distinguished, or will not concern, the average consumer. Yet, the brand name product is likely to cost twice as much.
In general, generic cartridges are, theoretically, manufactured to comply with, or exceed, the OEM standards. Indeed, on many occasions the generic alternatives do indeed outperform the brand name products with regard to quality and output (price per page). This fact combined with the aforementioned significant savings possibilities builds a compelling case for the generic option.