Unpacking Page Yield

Page yield. This printing industry buzz term is often misunderstood and can lead to frustration if you don't get a handle on what it really means. It refers to how many 5% coverage pages you’re able to print with a single cartridge before it’s officially empty. This benchmark was set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to help consumers more easily compare functionality and performance of different printer brands and models.

But what does 5% coverage actually mean?

Believe it or not, this ISO standard isn’t the most accurate way to determine how long your cartridges will last. Why? In actuality, a full page of text is typically around 30-40% page coverage and is closer to what most of us are more likely to print. 5% page coverage looks like this:

It’s no wonder you might think that your ink is running out far too quickly when you consider how little text (and ink) goes into 5% page coverage. Now that you know what this looks like, it’s easier to understand the implications it has for your printing and the cartridges you purchase.

In an ideal world, giving our customers a precise page yield would be great but unfortunately, there are several factors that will contribute to the number of pages your cartridge will print before running empty:

    1. Print quality: Printing in draft mode will definitely guarantee that you get more out of every cartridge. Choosing best-quality print mode will take up substantially more ink and could lead to you running out sooner rather than later.

    2. Content: What you’re printing is just as important as the print quality you choose. Are you printing mostly full colour images/photographs or black and white text? This makes a huge difference where page yield is concerned. If you print more documentation than pictures, you might find that your black cartridge doesn’t last as long as your colour cartridges. The opposite can be said for those who print a lot of photos.

    3. Frequency: Surprisingly, printing frequently can help you get more out of your cartridges. If you leave your printer idle for long periods, it may have to use small amounts of ink to run head cleaning and printer maintenance programs more regularly.
      On the other hand, printing consistently high volumes will understandably cause your cartridges to run out quickly.

    4. Age of your printer: Older printers are generally less efficient and don't have the benefit of advancements in printing technology which enable modern printers to run using less ink and toner per job.

    5. Environmental factors: Where you live and the weather patterns you experience can also influence your page yield! Humidity is the amount of water vapour in the air and it can effect both the paper and ink or toner in your printer.


      Should you buy a high-yield cartridge?

      For those looking to maximise on their page yield, a high-yield cartridge will help you print for longer before having to replace it. Whether you choose a standard or high-yield option, these are easily installed in your printer without any hassle, as the term 'high-yield' refers to the volume of ink within the same capacity cartridge. High-yield cartridges simply have bigger sponges containing more mililitres of ink than their standard yield counterparts. Should you print a fair amount, a high-yield cartridge works out to be more affordable in the long-term.

      It's important to compare apples with apples when considering cost. A common oversight is to compare a standard yield OEM price with a high yield Alternative cartridge price. One may find their prices to be similar, but keep in mind that you'll be getting a lot more ink in the high-yield cartridge.

      Got any questions? Ask our experts

      At The Inky Shop, we are always ready and willing to help address any queries that you might have. If you’d like to know more about page yield, and which cartridges would best suit your needs, please get in touch with us today or chat to someone in-store. To visit your closest Inky Shop, use our store locator: https://inkyshop.co.za/pages/store-locator  Please be assured that our team are following strict hygiene protocols for your safety and theirs. To shop online and enjoy delivery to your door, click here: https://inkyshop.co.za/collections/all

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