Like other big printer brands, HP urges customers to use original supplies. However, the pricing is a deterrent, and there is a range of affordable alternatives for every model. Compatible cartridges are perfectly legal, as they are not identical to their original counterparts. Besides, your savings can be substantial.
The cheapest inkjet printer may cost only £90, but the price for the original cartridges is often similar. The company sells cheap equipment to capitalize on consumable supplies. In comparison, this great offer for HP 933XL 4 pack from Smart Ink lets you save as much as 70%! So, is there a catch?
Compatible vs. Remanufactured
Compatible products are not the only alternative to OEM, or original equipment manufacturer goods. You may also have your cartridge filled with fresh ink. This is known as remanufacturing.
Filling an original HP product with third-party ink does not guarantee the best quality. Bad supplies or poor filling techniques may result in smudging, printhead issues, and other unpleasant surprises. The result depends on the provider.
Top Shopping Tips
A new cartridge from a third-party supplier is a better option. These models are designed independently, so both the cartridge and ink come from the same manufacturer. The quality you get will also depend on the producer. Subpar products have problems with compatibility and quality of printing. Unfortunately, there are quite a few fly-by-night businesses, so follow the tips below.
1. Look at Certification
Products from trusted manufacturers comply with different standards, such as ISO, CE and STMC. Do not buy cartridges without a quality mark.
2. Latest Chip Version
The version of the chip determines if the product will be recognized by the original equipment. The latest version guarantees compatibility.
Compatible cartridges often come in large-volume versions, such as XL. This allows you to save even more, as you get more ink.
4. Page Yield
This figure shows how many standard pages you can print on average. For example, 1,000 pages in black and around 800 pages for each colour cartridge is very decent.
Reliable providers offer a 2-year warranty. It covers any defects and damage during transportation. Do not settle for anything less — make sure your rights are protected.
Will a Compatible Cartridge Void My Printer Warranty?
No, it will not. No printer brand may require you to buy only its products. Neither can it void your warranty due to the use of alternative cartridges. HP recognizes the appeal of alternative supplies, but it only makes recommendations.
The Bottom Line
Buying compatible cartridges is a cost-effective solution if you choose your supplier carefully. Study user feedback to see how the products perform. Make sure there is a warranty, and the cartridges have the latest chip version.