If you’re, say, a purchasing officer at a small and medium enterprise, or the head of the household, you might think that you’re getting more for your money by purchasing unbranded, compatible ink cartridges compared to original ones. While the initial, up-front cost may appear lower, there are hidden costs that ultimately add up in the long run—not to mention potential risks to your equipment, your health, and the environment.
A tech expert weighs in
This is why technology editor Art Samaniego has long supported HP’s advocacy of using only original inks in its printers—not just for quality printing and to prolong the printer’s life but to protect against potential hazards.
“Considering the amount of work that our printers go through regularly, scrimping on printer inks has proven to be detrimental down the line,” Samaniego says. “Aside from contributing to additional wear and tear and therefore increased service costs, the quality of the output diminishes over time.”
Furthermore, Samaniego says, “Original printer inks meet the printers’ technical specifications, so users are assured of consistent results every time—no hit and miss, especially for volume printing needs. Not only that, users are assured that the ink they are using has passed the quality and safety standards of the manufacturer. So, it’s actually after the prolonged use of original printer inks that one gets to see and realize the advantages that they bring.”
The clear advantages of original printer inks
Firstly, using non-genuine inks can cost the user more, as the damage it will cause the printer will be pretty significant. Toner leaks and clogging the printer heads are a common occurrence when using fake inks.
A technical study done by Market Strategies International reveals that out of the 71,231 printers usually serviced in a year, 28% are actually caused by the use of non-original inks. Non-genuine inks are manufactured using inferior materials, which normally crack and leak, thus causing permanent damage to the printer’s internal hardware.
Secondly, the use of non-original inks also voids the warranty of the printer. It would be a waste to spend on a good HP printer but then scrimp on using original inks. Using imitation inks forfeits the chances of getting quality technical support that covers printer warranties. More often than not, users pay much higher fees to have their printers repaired when it breaks down.
Then, there’s the possibility of poor-quality printouts. HP printers are designed to work with specific color configurations, and using non-genuine inks significantly affects its print quality.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, is the little-known fact that non-genuine inks are known to use Total Volatile Organic Compounds (TVOC) with high levels of styrene, both of which are known carcinogens. It would be difficult to determine how much TVOC and Styrene these imitation products contain as they are manufactured without any quality control measures and are largely unregulated.
And not to be discounted is how counterfeit ink cartridges are often not properly disposed of, thus adding even more e-waste in landfills.
So, before you issue that purchase order towards replenishing your office’s ink cartridge supply, or for home users before you shop online for printer ink replacements, pause to consider why using original HP ink cartridges can bring true value for money, reliability, and safety. And ensuring that the HP ink you’re getting is genuine can be done through online verification by scanning the QR code on the label, by examining the label’s holographic features on the box, or users can request a free check for bulk orders—online or on-site.
For more information on HP inks, visit www8.hp.com.