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HP Introduces Nano Sponge

Posted on May 9, 2012 by kyle There have been 79 comment(s)

Is it just me! Or are we actually getting less for our money!

Does everything seem to be getting less and less to you?, less petrol for your money, less food for your money, it seems that every where I look I feel as if I am being short changed on the size or amounts in the pack, nothing seems to be the same value for money as it used to be.

If you own a printer you might want to take a moment and read this, because this blog is about getting less ink for your money in your ink cartridge, over the last few years printer cartridges and their contents have been getting smaller, and the worrying thing is that all manufacturers are the same.

HP Cartridge Over Time

To prove my point I have done a little bit of investigating myself, I started with an HP 350 ink cartridge with a manufacturers date of January 2010, nothing particular about HP as all manufacturers are doing the same thing, I simply used a HP ink cartridge as that’s what I had lying around.

I then removed the top of the cartridge with a handsaw and as you can see from the picture below the hydrophobic sponge fills the cartridge totally, just as I would have expected for the best part of fifteen quid, I then took another HP 350, the same cartridge but this time the manufacturers date was 2012 on the cartridge, I removed the top in the same way as before and to be totally honest I could not believe what I was looking at, the hydrophobic sponge inside the 2012 cartridge is only half the size!!

HP Cartridge Over Time 2

Mmm, I was beginning to smell a rat; as the saying goes… this got me thinking even more and I started to wonder if all the newer cartridges are like this, so this time I chopped the top off of a new HP 301 cartridge to have a look at the sponge, surely it can’t be any smaller…..or can it? Guess what! The sponge inside the HP301 is almost 40 percent smaller than the 2012 HP 350, which means that we are actually getting less ink for our money now than ever before. Why is that? The price isn’t shrinking though, that’s for sure!

Please leave your thoughts below and let me know what you think. Genuine comments only please, spam will be deleted.

Edit: The cartridges we have shown in the images and talk about in the article are all low user cartridges.


This post was posted in Ink Cartridges

79 Responses to HP Introduces Nano Sponge

  • Greg says:

    First off - the price of ink is insane, with you on that one.

    I'm curious - Did the smaller ones come with the printer? What I have noticed they started doing is selling "starter" ink cartridges with new printers.

    If they are full pop retail new ones though, you are on to something.

    Also a question to ask - has the amount of pages they report to output gone down, or are they more efficient?

    Posted on May 9, 2012 at 5:11 pm

  • adminky says:

    Hi Greg,

    No, the smaller ones are not starter cartridges. They are in fact genuine HP low user cartridges, just like the one you would purchase from any retailer. I'm not 100% sure about the page yield (the amount of pages they print), but if we can we will try do a test comparing the page yield of a cartridge from a couple of years ago to one from the present.

    Thanks for commenting.

    Posted on May 9, 2012 at 5:25 pm

  • Michael says:

    If you look at the pages per cartridge statistics, they don't change significantly over that time period, so I think you're seeing less wasted sponge rather than less provided ink.

    Posted on May 9, 2012 at 5:28 pm

  • adminky says:

    Yeah the page yield hasn't decreased as much as the sponge size has... but we will definitely be running a test to compare the pages they print nowadays compared to one from two or so years ago if we can get our hands on one within the next few days.

    Posted on May 9, 2012 at 5:43 pm

  • Adam says:

    The point is you are paying for ink, not page yield. Great if the actual printing tech is now more effecient, but that shouldn't affect price of the physical ink product. If anything, it should bring it down.

    Imagine the outrage if every car became twice as economical overnight, but petrol prices doubled.

    Posted on May 9, 2012 at 5:49 pm

  • Eric says:

    We're talking about ink here and the only difference mentioned is the size of the sponge. Look at the saturation of each sponge. As it gets smaller it also becomes more saturated. It looks like they're actually using less sponge to keep the consumer from running low due to dispersion. Basically it looks like a smaller sponge with the same amount of ink instead of a smaller sponge with proportionately less ink.

    I'd go so far as to say HP is being more efficient about the use of material in the form of sponges and not simply cutting corners and cheating the consumer by selling them less ink. But I could be wrong. A proper test would be to measure the actual amount of ink instead of looking at the size of the sponge.

    Posted on May 9, 2012 at 6:00 pm

  • Eric says:

    We're talking about ink here and the only difference mentioned is the size of the sponge. Look at the saturation of each sponge. As it gets smaller it also becomes more saturated. It looks like they're actually using less sponge to keep the consumer from running low due to dispersion. Basically it looks like a smaller sponge with the same amount of ink instead of a smaller sponge with proportionately less ink.

    I'd go so far as to say HP is being more efficient about the use of material in the form of sponges and not simply cutting corners and cheating the consumer by selling them less ink. But I could be wrong. A proper test would be to measure the actual amount of ink instead of looking at the size of the sponge.

    Posted on May 9, 2012 at 6:00 pm

  • Chris says:

    The sponges are without a doubt getting smaller, but if you look at the ink content of the smaller sponges compared to the large sponge, it appears you are still getting the same amount of ink but just on smaller sponge. Obviously though, unless you cut out the 'inked up' part of the sponges and weigh them to compare, we wont really be able to tell.

    Posted on May 9, 2012 at 6:01 pm

  • Jazz says:

    The only way I can see the smaller sponges being an improvement is if the sponges in the older cartridges were never filled with the most ink they could absorb and were essentially holding the same amount of ink as the smaller, less wasteful sponges.

    As for the page yield stats, are these independently run or are they in-house HP reported stats? Not that I'm saying a company would EVER fudge stats to make their products look better than they are, but just in the name of science I'd like to know. :)

    Posted on May 9, 2012 at 6:07 pm

  • Kevin says:

    It's not how big the sponge is that matters, it's how much ink it displaces.


    Nonetheless, when it's cheaper to buy a new printer than refill the ink (which has been the case for me during a sale), there is something seriously wrong.

    Posted on May 9, 2012 at 6:15 pm

  • Ian says:

    You may be paying for ink quantity. I'm not paying for ink, I'm paying for # of pages printed, or more correctly the lowest cost-per-page to print (which is why I actually still have an old HP Laserjet 2200 from 2000; still going strong).

    Posted on May 9, 2012 at 6:35 pm

  • I think the sponge is there to prevent the ink from being splashed against the internal walls of the cartridge during the rapid movements induced during printing, which could end up drying the piezo actuators... So I am not sure that the sponge size is not linked with the amount of ink contained in the cartridge.

    Still, HP is charging a fortune for these - I agree with you wholeheartedly.

    Posted on May 9, 2012 at 6:45 pm

  • Alex says:

    I'm inclined to agree with Adam (previous comment) on this. Ink is ridiculously expensive and being a student, I buy ink frequently. So seeing actual evidence of a business move to make more money gets me pissed.

    Posted on May 9, 2012 at 7:18 pm

  • NT says:

    This is why we use refillable systems or CIS systems :)

    Posted on May 9, 2012 at 8:16 pm

  • @Adam

    But that IS exactly what has happened with the price of Gasoline/Petrol

    Posted on May 9, 2012 at 8:52 pm

  • EBAY. I bought 3 full sets of ink from a supplier (also had 5 black fills) for $20. delivered. Compare that to Epsons $100. price. I also went for a continuous ink supply for my photo printer. $100. same as the cost of new cart. and i doubt I will ever have to buy another.

    Posted on May 9, 2012 at 8:56 pm

  • Derp says:

    >Imagine the outrage if every car became twice as economical overnight, but petrol prices doubled.

    In fact the cars have become up to three times as economical and the gas prices have gone up well over 1000%. Just not overnight... over several decades.

    Posted on May 9, 2012 at 9:01 pm

  • Nemigo says:

    hi,
    today no one prints
    the printer business is dying alone
    I personally prefer to recharge the ink cartridges
    Greetings from Spain

    Google Translate

    Posted on May 9, 2012 at 9:08 pm

  • Umm do you happen to have an engineering degree?? Do you work inside a cartridge manufacturing plant? Oh no, really? The how the f can you purport to know what shrinking the size of the sponge even does?? A real test as is mentioned would be to test how many pages you get from each cartridge. A second test would be to somehow extract the toner/ink from unused cartridges.

    You could be right, and if you are... f them. But you cant go around posting something like this with no idea what you're talking about.

    Posted on May 9, 2012 at 9:23 pm

  • mikeyuk says:

    This is a real eye opener, not much ink in a genuine cartridge these days compared to my old Hp deskjet printer, luckily I get my cartridges refilled so I'm still saving money, ......

    Posted on May 9, 2012 at 10:01 pm

  • Andy G says:

    Adam... Might not be overnight, but over the last 10 years cars HAVE become twice as economical and petrol prices HAVE doubled! I'm outraged even if nobody else is!

    Posted on May 9, 2012 at 10:04 pm

  • Joe says:

    Yes indeed, prices are going up--and to conceal this, companies are doing things like this, and putting less potato chips in each bag.

    But they are doing this because the Federal Reserve/US government have created so much new money out of thin air, which causes prices to go up (other things being equal).

    Learn more here: http://www.yaliberty.org/sites/default/files/endthefedflyer5.pdf

    Posted on May 9, 2012 at 11:22 pm

  • Nick says:

    You would think that new technology would lower the price of ink. But look at it this way. That new technology costs MONEY. A company isn't going to spend time and money researching ways to make their product cheaper, are they? No. HP is going to spend money to find ways to make ink more efficient, thus being able to stretch each gallon further (at the same PPC rate, so consumers aren't being screwed) and make more money. Its pretty simple economics.

    Posted on May 9, 2012 at 11:44 pm

  • Ahmed says:

    It could be that the ink used is more denser or thicker and is able to print more with less.

    Although I highly doubt it , since hp or any other printer brand is just looting consumers.

    Posted on May 9, 2012 at 11:47 pm

  • Raj says:

    That's an excellent analogy Adam, thank you.

    Posted on May 9, 2012 at 11:51 pm

  • Rick says:

    Next thing you know they will be using bottled water in the cartridges.

    Posted on May 9, 2012 at 11:55 pm

  • john says:

    Adam has the best point of this conversation. Agree completely.

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 12:12 am

  • Paul says:

    >Imagine the outrage if every car became twice as economical overnight, but petrol prices doubled.

    I'm not a fan of how ink cost either but this is flawed logic. You're still paying the same price for the cartridge to get roughly the same page yield. Thats not an 'ourtage', and no, youre not paying for the ink. You're paying for the entire package, and though the whole thing is WAY overpriced and has been since the mid 90s, this issue is one any business will face selling ANY sort of product; "Do I pass on the savings to the consumer or do I keep the prices at standard market level" then you look at demand and they supply accordingly. Real outrage there! If you dont like the cost there are alternative ways to refill your ink. Dont be a drama queen.

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 12:34 am

  • Steve says:

    "Imagine the outrage if every car became twice as economical overnight, but petrol prices doubled."

    That's exactly what would happen, it's called supply and demand.

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 1:34 am

  • Tommy says:

    What people fail to understand about printer catridges is that they arent selling you the "ink". They are selling you the number of "prints". The ink cartridges for older HP printers (2003-2005) contained more ink but cost more. The newer printer cartidges (2005-current) contain less ink but usually cost less. Now, even if the cartridges contain the same amount on ink, the newer, smaller cartridges will produce as much as, or often times, up to 50% more printed pages.

    Also, creating catridges with lots of ink is quite wasteful - expecially for the home environment. Often times, the expensive, ink filled, cartridges end up dried out sitting in your printer all year. Yes there are ways to clean up the cartridge print head and get more prints out, but not everyone knows how to or is willing. They usually assume its empty.

    This is one of the reasons why companies have started the "regular yield" and "high yeild" cartridges. Some people do not print enough to warrant buying large ink cartridges just to let them sit there and dry out.

    The biggest reason, in my opinion, is that printers are being designed to utilize ink much more effeficiently and effectively. If you ever get a chance to compare a current printer, and a printer from pre 2005 and print the exact same picture or txt document, use the same paper, and you will see that older printer lays down significantly more ink on the paper than the newer ones.

    Another point is that your ink cartridge yirld will vary depending on the type of paper you use. Thats why you see "Ink Jet" paper and "laser" paper. Inkjet printer is designed to absorb a bit a of ink whereas laser paper is designed to withstand the high temperature laser allow the toner to melt onto the paper. There are low quality papers, or sometimes high quality thick papers, absorbe too much ink and will in turn, reduce your page yields.

    Just my perspective.

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 2:05 am

  • Art says:

    Every HP ink cartridge I've seen in recent years tells you the milliliter volume of ink you are getting, It is not a secret. If the ink volume is reduced, then they are playing the same crappy tricks as the ice cream companies (no more half-gallon size for example).

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 2:05 am

  • A says:

    The smaller sponges look like they have more ink in them. The largest one only has a spot in the middle whereas the two other are almost fully soaked. Could it be that only the unused parts were cut away?

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 2:10 am

  • Taylor says:

    To be honest, the amount of ink looks to be about the same in all three cartage. It just looks like they're wasting less sponge.

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 2:25 am

  • >>Imagine the outrage if every car became twice as economical overnight, but petrol prices doubled.

    Maybe not overnight, but oh how ironic this statement will be in 10 years. Imagine? Won't have to.

    As for the ink situation, larger companies aren't concerned with what they sell so long as it maximizes profits. They aren't "selling less," they are "increasing margins." So long as it works (i.e. profits increase), the market is essentially rewarding them for their practices. It isn't up to anyone else to regulate them into larger sponges. Sorry!

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 2:25 am

  • Josh says:

    Another metric to test is the weight of the carts both before and after they've been used. When people have tested to see if the printer is using all of the ink in a cartridge, I've always seen them report the weight of a cart to tell if it's really empty. Weighing it could show if the amount of ink is the same despite the different size sponge.

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 4:29 am

  • Brandon says:

    Also look at how much of the sponge surface area is saturated with in in the first cartridge as opposed to the last. Smaller sponge yes but it looks like its 80-90% saturated vs the first that looks about 30% saturated in ink.

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 4:45 am

  • Chris says:

    What may be an interesting test would be to weigh the cartridge when new vs. empty.

    The HP website lists the cartridge capacity in mL. I would think that would kind of hold them to the amount of ink actually in the cartridge. If not they are leaving themselves wide open to a lawsuit. Unless they dare actually lowering the capacity each year :/

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 5:12 am

  • Chris says:

    What may be an interesting test would be to weigh the cartridge when new vs. empty.

    The HP website lists the cartridge capacity in mL. I would think that would kind of hold them to the amount of ink actually in the cartridge. If not they are leaving themselves wide open to a lawsuit. Unless they dare actually lowering the capacity each year :/

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 5:15 am

  • Xenith says:

    The following is a comment I posted on a thread about printers at LifeHacker. It didn't gain much attention there, so perhaps I can piggy-back here with some relevant information. You sir, have just brushed the tip of the Iceberg:

    I have a Kodak C310, one of last year's models. I bought into the ink prices because I was sick of the high prices of Lexmark and HP ink, it also has decent wireless support for where I want to locate the printer.

    I want a take a minute to bash Kodak because they're doing something that should be illegal.

    Their printers do NOT measure ink levels, it counts pages. A laymen might assume that when a printer tells you it's out of ink, it means it, or has some way of actually measuring ink. These printers are full of shit. I've taken apart the cartridges and studied the mechanism of how they do what they do, and it turns out it's a small removable chip that functions as a ID for the printer to tally how many pages it has run through with that cartridge installed; When it hits an arbitrary, and random count, the printer STOPS ALL FUNCTIONALITY and renders itself useless until the printer receives new cartridges. When I say it stops all functionality - I mean if you "run out" of color ink due to the tally, you can not print in black, at all, or scan. These chips are in no way connected with the actual internals of the cartridge itself, and since it uses a convenient "Printing head" they have no other electronic internals. They essentially hijack your printer until you feed Kodak with more money, and your printer with a new cartridge.

    You can remove this 1x1cm chip and replace it with a newer chip from another cartridge and the printer will think it's a new cartridge and continue on printing. Any cartridge that you do this with will be able to print for hundreds of more pages. I've even gone so far as to see how much ink is left when it meters it as being "empty," it literally oozes with ink when you remove the reservoir and squeeze the sponge. It would appear what you're really buying when you purchase a Kodak cartridge is a license to use the ink in the cartridge for x amount of pages; a seemingly arbitrary function of what seems like time and page-count.

    I have series 30 cartridges. Literally the only reason for these cartridges to exist over the series 10, is that the mechanism for the way this chip authenticates with the printer was broken with series 10 cartridges and you can purchase after-market chips to restore functionality to already half-full cartridges, or to cartridges that you can fill yourself (thereby "costing" Kodak money. All newer series Kodak printers use the number 30 cartridge because it has a more secure authentication method that hasn't been exploited, yet.

    In the good ol' days you changed your cartridges when you could visibly see that it was running low, due to reduced quality... and this is exactly the argument they provide when you confront them about their practices... It's all for the "benefit of the customer in providing quality printing."

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 5:18 am

  • Rusty says:

    Printers have indeed become more efficient with ink over the years. Interesting that you choose HP cartridges to show this. HP is the only manufacturer I am aware of that is very forthcoming with ink cartridge page yields. The page yield is usually clearly posted on the back of the ink cartridge package. If you can't find or what to see what the rated page yield is you can get this information from HP's own website. http://h10060.www1.hp.com/pageyield/en-019/yieldSearch.html?cCode=us This is from the US site, I am sure there are similar for the UK and other countries.

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 5:44 am

  • John says:

    Adam, you're an idiot. Of course you're paying for page yield. The ink is useless to you if it isn't printing pages in a printer. If HP have invested in more efficient sponges, probably saving the environment in the process, good on them.

    Why should more efficient tech bring prices down? R&D isn't free...

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 5:48 am

  • Jason D says:

    Agreed - I think the page yield staying constant while the ink decreases is probably due to the printers becoming more efficient.

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 6:00 am

  • Matt says:

    Of course it makes sense that they are giving you less ink in the same cartridge, for a couple of reasons.

    1) Despite your claim that you are paying for ink not page yield, do you think that people really look at ink cartridges in terms of the amount of ink they have? Of course not, instead they look at them and consider how long they usually last, which is really just a rough approximation of page yield.

    2) Assuming we are talking about more efficient ink here, it doesn't just show up at the doorstep one day. R&D is a very large expense, especially if the ink is 40% more efficient.

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 6:34 am

  • Gallan says:

    This is a result of getting marketing mixed with the problem of money debasement

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 6:47 am

  • Bob says:

    Printer ink is outrageously overpriced. I always refill my cartridges with a kit.

    Wouldn't there be more ink in the cartridge since the sponge takes up less volume?
    This is assuming the cartridge is filled to its capacity of maximum volume.

    Also isn't the sponge only to maintain a consistent ink flow, especially at low ink levels, when the head is moving rapidly? In other words, the sponge prevents ink splots and dry patches.

    Also, printer ink is dirt cheap, moreso for high volume cartridge makers. I understand the manufacturer could decrease the amount of ink in a cartridge to make the consumer purchase ink more often; but people would be pissed and buy another brand. The manufacturer also couldn't maintain the same page count as advertised in previous versions, so it would be a liability.

    So would it not make sense to decrease the size of the sponge which (per volume) costs much more than ink?

    What do you think?

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 6:50 am

  • Bob says:

    Printer ink is outrageously overpriced. I always refill my cartridges with a kit.

    Wouldn't there be more ink in the cartridge since the sponge takes up less volume?
    This is assuming the cartridge is filled to its capacity of maximum volume.

    Also isn't the sponge only to maintain a consistent ink flow, especially at low ink levels, when the head is moving rapidly? In other words, the sponge prevents ink splots and dry patches.

    Also, printer ink is dirt cheap, moreso for high volume cartridge makers. I understand the manufacturer could decrease the amount of ink in a cartridge to make the consumer purchase ink more often; but people would be pissed and buy another brand. The manufacturer also couldn't maintain the same page count as advertised in previous versions, so it would be a liability.

    So would it not make sense to decrease the size of the sponge which (per volume) costs much more than ink?

    What do you think?

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 6:51 am

  • Reggie says:

    Does the ink they sell you only exist within the sponge, or does it flow freely as a liquid in an open area around the sponge?

    In other words, was the cartridge chamber re-engineered to have one smaller ink compartment, and also a larger compartment to contain nothing but air? (I can't quite tell from the photos but it looks like this might possibly be the case.)

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 7:14 am

  • David says:

    Welcome to the world of DIY refills.

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 7:24 am

  • Joseph says:

    In the end, the only economical printer is a used laser printer. If you live in a town that has a freegeeks office, check them out. I got an HP 1300 for twenty dollars and a new cart for about 30. I'm printing pages by the hundreds without a care in the world.

    And your capcha's are to difficult. Get real.

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 7:59 am

  • Emir says:

    What you are seeing is improved cartidge efficieny, but instead of passing this on to the customer, they reduce their costs and sell for same/more money.

    no/low competetion when it comes to inks (printers change so you have to buy their ink) so they can gouge the consumer all day.

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 8:28 am

  • That's exactly why I refill my carts... I've been doing it for a while and it never damaged my printer, or produced less than satisfactory prints.

    The ink cartel can kiss my derriere.

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 8:35 am

  • i think the there's actually more ink in the smaller ones. the sponge is larger in the left sample but the amount of ink in the sponge is only that little spot. in the smaller sample almost the whole sponge is covered. Someone also made a good point earlier that the page yield hasn't. totally agree with you in general though prices on everything is rising and manufacturers just need to compete with with other manufactures who are making things just a little bit smaller to get that better price. only the consumer looses:(

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 8:35 am

  • Brad says:

    You could weigh them to compare mass. That might give you clues if the change is due to "sponge efficiency" or less ink.

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 8:42 am

  • Daemon says:

    If the total pages printed is the same, then the total amount of ink you're actually getting is also the same. Any extra ink that was in the cartridge that the user can't get on the page was simply wasted. Presuming they haven't monkeyed with the way they determine page count, that is.

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 8:56 am

  • Knew it! This is pretty much the reason why the cartridges used to last longer a couple of years ago! we could have printed around 150 pages a couple of years ago and now it has gone down to 50! That's what we get for being consumers!

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 12:19 pm

  • Tom says:

    I think there are polar differences in consumer logic vs corporate logic. The TCO is what realy matters: keeping the cost of printing 10k the same over 3 years vs slowly raising the price of ink every year by a few percentages. you can use the car analogy again. If gasoline had an additive that let me drive the same distance at the same cost, but physically put less gas in the tank, versus getting rising costs very year. Whcih variable do you prefer to change? Cost or value? Would you be more content if the price went up 10% a year but the amount of ink remained the same, even though you cannot print any more pages? I know with my car, the total cost of ownership goes up every year with the price of gas even though the mileage remains constant. I own printers from HP, Brother and Epson.

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 3:56 pm

  • Tom says:

    One more comment. Refill ink is much cheaper but I have noticed a significant decrease in yield also. It was going dry more often and I ended up buying more OEM cartridges to have backup empties.

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 4:06 pm

  • Printer says:

    Whoever tries to justify this scam is probably working for HP as a PR consultant for damage control.

    You pay for the INK because they cannot guarantee page yields.

    As a graphic artist who has printed tons of things over the course of 15 years, I cannot estimate 'page yield' because one day I am printing the picture of a blue sky in high quality, and a picture of a red, orange and yellow sunset on another day.

    EPSON, HP, CANON, etc. have professional grade inkjets that do not employ those scams and usually have a separate cartridge for each color. The microchip that decides how many pages you can print on these newer consumer printers is should be an embarrassment for those companies.

    After installing three consecutive sets of brand new, official black and color cartridges I literally THREW OUT an EPSON Printer/Scanner combo after it stopped printing and scanning because of the 'low ink".

    Great business model you guys have here, now take

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 5:41 pm

  • Peter says:

    I long ago rejected inkjets. Last bought one in 1998, and was too displeased with the quality and costs of operation. I bought a monochrome laser and never looked back. On the rare occasion that I need colour, I find it cheaper in the long run to go pay to have it printed somewhere, since it is rarely more than a few pages a year if any. If I needed colour constantly at home, I suspect even an inexpensive colour laser would recoup its own costs in no time compared to inkjet.

    Recognize inkjet for what it is: a tax on the short-sighted. "This printer is $39!" Yes, and you'll get a handful of pages out of each load, rather than thousands. My current laser is duplexing and network (and wireless) capable and runs about $90 on Amazon, coming with a 750-page starter cartridge. A 2500 page toner refil costs about $49. Good luck getting that kind of value out of an inkjet. Your first 3250 pages for about $140 plus paper. Try getting that out of ink, at the speed and quality.

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 8:00 pm

  • michael says:

    Reggie, All the ink is suspended within the sponge. Hp have made the sponge smaller as we can see but the physical size of the cartridge has to stay the same to fit the printer, the internal area has been made smaller to accommodate a smaller sponge.

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 9:01 pm

  • michael says:

    Rusty, thanks for your comments. Its true HP are one of the most upfront about page yield, their website is packed with consumer info, its also fair to say that HP are one of the least aggressive companies when it comes to the refilling/re-manufacturing of empty HP cartridges. I think its worth mentioning that ALL manufacturers have made changes to the size of their ink cartridges and it would be unfair of us to single out HP, we simply used HP cartridges as we had them lying around.

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 9:10 pm

  • michael says:

    Xenith, Thanks for your comments, this blog was never really meant for a "a bashing" your words not mine ..lol.., of any particular company but the good thing about blogs like this is that it allows us to express our opinions freely but hopefully without malice, and I think you'd agree you have done that today. Fair play to you, thanks for reading....

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 9:19 pm

  • michael says:

    Very good point Taylor, we intend to run some tests to find out so check back here for updates.

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 9:21 pm

  • Cash says:

    For my sake, when I print I use the normal settings under "preferences", am I wasting more ink then I should be?

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 10:15 pm

  • BOB says:

    I purchased a 901 cartrige 5 days ago, printed 36 pages and I am showing low ink levels already? Bought one in November of 2010 and that's what my recent puchase replaced.

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 10:25 pm

  • It isn't just "H.P." doing this, it seems lately.
    Starting this last December ('11), Kodak (going through a Bankruptcy/Merger)...began manufacturing their Cartridges in a "new" box (no longer Butterfly logo on box; also multi-lingual wording all over box). From the very first "new" cartridge I bought, suddenly I went from getting approx. 200 copies per Black Ink cartridge, to around 20-50 copies. I took back cartridge, and got replacement...SAME thing. People at office store, said they had similar complaints on Kodak cartridges.
    Then my Color Cartridges began grossly "underperforming."
    I contacted Kodak. They sent me a "refurbished" model of my Printer...blaming the problem on my Printer. BUT the 2nd printer did NOT change the sudden under-performance of Kodak 'new' cartridges.
    My receipts show last Fall, I bought an average of 1 Black, and 1 Color cartridge every 2 months. AFTER last December (during Kodak merger), I went down to using 1 cartridge/mo....and by February-March...1 every FOUR-TO-TEN DAYS of both Color and Black cartridges. Getting an average of 20-50 copies from each cartridge!!
    After months of haggling with Kodak, they just this week made their "final offer"...after much "review" of my case. They offered me ONE "free" set of Black, and Color ink...as compensation for my problems?!! OR, I could buy a new Kodak printer?! Why, when ink problem not solved.
    I ultimately went out and bought a new HP printer (yikes), in addition to the $60-100/mo. on ink I spent last three months I owned my Kodak...printing an average of 20-50 copies per set of ink cartridges, as I said.
    So the ink "shorting" appears to be not confined to one manufacturer. Unless my experience was 'isolated'...which as I was told at my office store in December...they'd been getting complaints on Kodak cartridges then from other consumers.

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 10:31 pm

  • ALEX says:

    Shame on HP .....

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 10:41 pm

  • Clayton says:

    I really must give my thoughts regarding this blog. I have used HP Printers for a long time and I must say that throughout the years I am getting a lot less for my money. I use a HP printer just for myself in my office and I hardly ever print on it but I am still using 2 black cartridges a month and 1 color. I used to be able to use 1 of each every couple of months. I really would love to know why this is happening. What tops it off, it's the same printer! I thought it was the printer but I have had it checked out and it's in excellent condition so that's not this issue. The only conclusion I can gather is the cartridges themselves. I understand HP is there to make a profit and run a business as I do also but when the products start to get bad, we the customers will start looking into other brands. I hope that Ho will take this very seriousand look into this matter before you start to lose your value customers

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 10:46 pm

  • What's the big deal? I thought the bigger deal was HP's ink-cartridge-installed computer chip auto shutting down the cartridge, when In fact there was a lot of ink still in the cartridge. Someone put tape of that particular sensor and was able to print over a hundred more pages.

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 11:03 pm

  • Gordy says:

    When will someone design a refillable cartridge for hp?

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 11:12 pm

  • crk says:

    I bought HP inkjet "901xl". It supposed toprint up to700 pages. In fact, it printed from 150-200 pages only. I feel it 's very deceitfull to consumer. Thank.

    Posted on May 10, 2012 at 11:34 pm

  • Tom says:

    To all those who are saying it's OK because the sponge is better, and so takes up less space in the cartridge to hold the same amount of ink: why not put the better sponge into the whole space, and then have a cartridge that actually holds more than it used to and therefore performs better than the original design in the same casing, rather than one that is better engineered but doesn't actually perform any better from the user's standpoint? Answer: because that passes engineering benefits on to the consumer and not the manufacturer. In a fairer, saner world, it would be done this way - the consumer would get the benefit of less time between refills, and the manufacturer would get the benefit of reduced manufacturing overheads (the number of cartridges made) per unit ink sold, plus the selling point of a printer that goes longer between refills than any of the competition.

    The reason the economics of this kind of product get so insane is because we're actually paying for the packaging around the product and not the product itself. It's the same deal with many packaged foods; you pay per package, the packages stay the same size but contain less actual product.

    All that would be needed to halt the whole disgusting, exploitative mess in its tracks would be a law that products containing measured amounts of a substance, where that substance is the only (or the majority of) the use value the buyer actually gets from it, should be priced and sold per unit quantity of actual contained product, not per unit; or, at the very least, should prominently display the effective price per unit substance you're paying. Some supermarkets already do this with food (they may already be legally obliged to, but somehow I doubt it); the price tags have both the price per item, and a slightly smaller font also giving the price per unit you wind up paying.

    Posted on May 11, 2012 at 2:29 pm

  • There is not enough ink in today's cartridges to allow you to print the number of pages that HP claims. Sponge size or ink amount doesn't matter except perhaps technically. What does matter is how many pages can you print. With HP that number seems to keep shrinking, so that your cost per page keeps going up. HP must stand for HIGH PROFIT.

    Posted on May 11, 2012 at 8:17 pm

  • adminky says:

    It really depends on what you are printing, if it's just a written document or something un-important then you could use the "draft" setting. It's best to change it depending on how much wuality you actually need.

    Posted on May 14, 2012 at 10:08 am

  • adminky says:

    What were you printing? If it was heavy photos set to print on the highest setting then maybe that could be why. The page yield that HP usually provide on their cartridges are based on around 5% page coverage.

    Posted on May 14, 2012 at 10:10 am

  • adminky says:

    I'm very sorry to hear about your troubles with Kodak... Hopefully HP will prove to work better for you.

    Posted on May 14, 2012 at 10:11 am

  • adminky says:

    From what I understand it's not HP doing that, in fact HP have really been the best out there when it comes to allowing cartridges to be refilled to be fair. Lexmark on the other hand do in fact do something to similar to what you have mentioned... When buying Lexmark cartridges, you have the option of buying two cartridges, one refillable and one not, the refillable one costs a reasonable amount more.

    Posted on May 14, 2012 at 10:24 am

  • adminky says:

    Most of HPs products are in fact refillable to a certain extent, in fact on our main shop site we sell re-manufactured HP cartridges

    Posted on May 14, 2012 at 10:26 am

  • adminky says:

    The page yield of 700 pages that you saw was probably based on around 5% coverage. So depending on what sort of documents or images you are printing then that number is likely to vary a lot.

    Posted on May 14, 2012 at 10:28 am

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