Have HP invented a magic ink that somehow goes a lot further? Over the last few years the physical size of most ink cartridges has gotten smaller, HP and other manufacturers have taken quite a lot of stick in the industry media and on forums etc. with accusing fingers being pointed at them over this; a lot of customers I have spoken to who buy ink cartridges on a regular basis are of the opinion that the cartridges have got smaller just so the large companies could make more money out of their customers, smaller cartridges means less ink and if I’m being honest I was amongst those people that had that thought, that was until I came across this little conundrum.
If you have bought ink cartridges recently and felt that you have been fleeced or short changed you should read this as hopefully, once you have you might have a different opinion.
I was looking into the page yield of the older style genuine HP51645a for a customer, HP advises that this should print 930 pages (based on 5% coverage) which is quite good as it holds about 42ml of ink so from an ink point of view it feels like good value for money. My customer was making a comparison to the other HP printer he uses at home that uses the more modern 300XL which according to HP prints 600 pages (based on 5% coverage), he asked me to look into how much ink is in the genuine HP 300XL as HP now show ink levels in page yield rather than millilitres on the boxes, apparently its easier for the consumer to relate to but that’s a matter of opinion. I did a bit of digging around and scribbled the ink level on my notepad which for the HP300XL is 12ml of ink, with the intention of dropping him an email later.
I was just about to write the email when something struck me with the numbers, the HP 45 has 42ml of ink and prints 930 pages whilst the HP300XL prints 600 pages but manages to do this with only 12ml of ink, based on this calculation if I could, for arguments sake, actually put 42ml of ink in the HP 300XL, you can’t as its not physically big enough, but if I could, based on the above page yields it would in theory print approximately 2,100 pages!.... Can this be right? Well the math seems to say so, and so do HP; check it out for yourself.First I divided 42ml by 12ml which is 3.5, this tells us that the HP 45a has 3 ½ times the ink of the HP 300XL. Then I multiply the 3.5 by the 600 (page yield of the 300XL) which is 2,100!
If this is correct then surely it means that in the case of the HP cartridges, they are performing more efficiently than they ever have and we are getting more prints per millilitre of ink provided. I am not sure if this is due to technological developments in the ink delivery system, an improved ink formula or just plain old magic but if the maths are correct then HP have managed it, yes these days we are getting less ink in the cartridge but it is capable of producing more prints per millilitre, all that’s missing now is a few more mils of extra ink to keep the customer happy.