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Original HP vs generic print cartridges - the ultimate pro and con list

November 11, 2020
Read Time 2 mins

If your business has a high printing output, you may have tried offsetting your printing costs by using generic print cartridges, but is this really an effective long-term solution? This definitive pro and con list will help you decide.

Generic Print Cartridges

Covered In This Article

What Are Generic Print Cartridges?
Generic Print Cartridges - The Pros
The Cons - And Why You Should Stick To HP Cartridges

What Are Generic Print Cartridges?

Generic print cartridges are made by companies other than the original equipment manufacturers (OEM) that produce your printer, such as HP. The cartridges approximate the OEM-made ones in every way and will fit your printer and operate more or less as genuine brand-name products would.

Generic Print Cartridges - The Pros

The most attractive feature of generic print cartridges is the short-term savings they offer. It is true that generic cartridges are generally cheaper. If you do not need printing of particularly high quality - such as photos or graphics - then generics will probably yield adequate results for you and this may seem like great value. However, consider the cons below before you draw that conclusion.

The Cons - And Why You Should Stick To HP Cartridges 

Generic cartridges may be cheaper and they will produce printing that is quite acceptable for most purposes. However, there are some critical factors that you need to consider - and these count as definite cons against generics:

  • Generic cartridges are not suitable for high-quality printing: If you need to print photographs or CAD-generated plans, drawings and other images, you will find that generic cartridges won’t give you the clear, colour-perfect prints you need.
  • Generic cartridges may increase your long-term costs: Despite the short-term savings on replacement cartridges, generics can increase your costs in the long run by damaging your printer. When you invest in a printer, you want it to serve you for the maximum length of time possible. Using original printer cartridges will help you to extend the life of your printer. Generic cartridges, on the other hand, can damage your printer, forcing you to replace it earlier than expected, and causing you to lose those short-term savings.
  • Generic manufacturers cut corners to lower their prices: Both OEM and generic cartridges are tested in the appropriate printers for which they are designed. However, HP uses a far more stringent set of standards than generic manufacturers. Companies who make generics will be more lenient in order to make a product that they can market at a lower price. The savings they are able to generate are only achieved by cutting corners. The result is a product that does not quite meet the full performance standards of your printer, and may, in fact, damage it with extended use. 

For best results, it is much better to stick to original HP cartridges. Your short-term costs may be higher, but you will get the performance you expect while protecting your printer and making savings in the long run.

Tarsus Distribution distributes HP printers and HP print cartridges throughout the southern African territory. Contact us for more information on all HP printing solutions.

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