Printer Ink Study Part 4

Here we are at the half way point in this study.  This week it was recommended that we check ink levels. Was I surprised.  The refill ink cartridges were empty!  The HP color cartridge was half full and the black more than 80%. I expect this was due to the many cleanings I had to do after the cartridge stopped printing.

  • (How did I get it working? When it became apparent that additional cleaning wasn’t doing anything but draining the tank I cleaned the bottom of the cartridge with a wet towel and I lifted the stick on cover over the holes in the top in case it had an air bubble. Not sure which was the answer but it did work.) 

Because I had problems with that original cartridge the HP testers sent me a “new” refill cartridge.  I figured I was in good shape to continue without a trip to the store…until I printed a sample page. 

The top row is the new refill cartridge.  The bottom row is an earlier sample with the original refill cartridge and what the colors are supposed to be. Obviously, something serious is wrong.  My guess, some significant contamination.  Yikes!

So…that plan didn’t work and I instead took my original refill back to the store and had if filled again.  Back in business.

It’s important that you realize I am the queen of cheap.  Just call me Your Highness With the Pink Stained Fingers.  I have filled my own cartridges for years.  My fingers were always pink, yellow and blue at Christmas and it wasn’t from making cookies.  I had accepted that my refilled cartridges might not work as well but until now had not seen the actual difference in quality.  Not to mention I have now spent as much on the refill cartridges as I would have with the HP brand.  Interesting, isn’t it?

So today’s project:  Print some selected photos and compare colors to what our mind thinks they should be.   Armed with a new refill cartridge I found the images to be very similar in quality.  Grass was the same green, snow the same white, sky the same blue.  The photo collage, from my Road Less Taken album, below demonstrates how close the colors were.  The top photo is HP.  I thought the picture of the woods in the upper right were maybe a little more true in the refill print, similarly I thought the clouds in the bottom right were darker as on the refill.  And that’s what I was evaluating.  What I also noticed was that with these scenery pictures I could see better detail throughout the HP prints than the Refill.  Just a little more blurring of colors.

So the week 4 memory color is a slight edge to the Refill Cartridge though the overall win again goes to HP, due to the whole crummy refill cartridge deal.

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