Archive for October, 2011

Thermal Inkjet Printers

First marketed in 1976, inkjet printers have come a long way in the last few decades.  These days, inkjet printers can rival the speed of some laser printers while still creating vibrant, true-to-life images.  There are two primary types of drop-on-demand inkjet printers, piezoelectric and thermal, with the latter being far more common.

When a job is sent to a thermal inkjet printer, a resistor within the printhead is immediately heated.  This will cause the ink in the hopper to expand into an air bubble within the printhead (which is where the Canon-coined name ‘BubbleJet’ comes from). The ink air bubble is forced through the nozzles (Typically thermal inkjet printers have 300 – 600 nozzles per ink cartridge) and onto the selected media, where it regains liquid form and dries onto the paper.  Once that air bubble pops, a vacuum pull is created, which sucks more ink from the cartridge into the printhead for the next bubble.

Here is a quick video as a visual aid:

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High-Capacity Toner Cartridges

Though not available for all laser printers, many models offer a choice between standard and high-capacity cartridges.  The primary differences are obvious- price and capacity.  High-capacity cartridges are going to yield more prints, but you will have to spend more money upfront.  Generally, these bigger cartridges are best suited for homes or offices with heavy print volumes.  If you currently use the standard size cartridge and find yourself replacing it more frequently than you would like, the high-capacity version might be a better option.

Let’s say your office has an HP LaserJet 4250 that is being used to print hundreds of documents a day.  If you are using the standard cartridge, which yields 10,000 pages, you are probably purchasing replacements as often as once a month.  This could be very time-consuming.  If you opted to use the high-capacity cartridge, which can yield up to 20,000 prints, you would reduce the need for replacements by 50%, even though the price is a little higher upfront.  You could purchase three at a time to ensure you always have backup toner and you would only need to order cartridges twice a year.

Below are the two cartridges available for the 4250 as well as the approximate cost per page based on the yield and price:

High Capacity Cost Breakdown

Approximate Cost Per Page:
Standard- $0.0151
High- $0.013

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What are Large Format Printers?

The majority of users in the world require standard laser or inkjet printers that are fairly compact in size and that can produce high-quality prints using mostly standard paper sizes.  However, there is a small group of users who need to print on larger formats such as banners, posters, and more. This is where large-format printers come in.

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Replacing HP Photo Cartridges

HP Photo CartridgeThe standard colors that are found in most printers are cyan, magenta, yellow and black.  These four basic colors combined in different mixtures can generate a color gamut that includes thousands of colors.  This extensive color spectrum creates sharp, vivid images that are pretty true to the original.  However, certain photo printers from HP offer specialty photo inks that provide even more intricate color schemes to create the best photographs possible. Continue reading “Replacing HP Photo Cartridges” »