â€¨â€¨Reading the price tag of a printer ink cartridge is not always reliable when it comes to the ink yield. The ink yield number is the estimated number of pages that a specific cartridge can print. However, a higher priced ink cartridge does not necessarily guarantee a higher ink yield as many would assume. Fortunately, a standard yield test has now been implemented for text documents but a standard test for photos is still in development.â€¨â€¨
Many printer ink cartridges will use the ISO/IEC measurement to report their ink yield and are therefore easily compared regardless of the individual manufacturers. The ISO is the International Organization for Standardization and the IEC is the International Electrotechnical Commission. The aim of both is to provide unbiased standards and measurements for those involved in development and distribution, but they also provide the most accurate readings for consumer knowledge. As opposed to findings made by a specific company, the ISO/IEC gains nothing by spreading false reports.â€¨â€¨
The ISO/IEC test is performed by collecting nine primary cartridges, black or tricolor, and recording the data of each one individually. From there, the nine are separated into three sets of three to be tested on three separate printers. Variations between the printers as well as the cartridges are taken into account and recorded meticulously. After the initial findings are run through basic statistical formulas, the â€œpercent lower confidence boundâ€ is determined. This number is reported as the yield and appears on the packaging of most ink cartridges in a very user friendly manner. For example, instead of reporting the â€œX percent lower confidence bound,â€ it will read something more like â€œX number of pages.â€â€¨â€¨
The most important aspect of the process is to remain consistent when testing each of the nine cartridges. To do this, the same text pages are printed in the same font and size for every cartridge, set, and brand. This allows for accuracy when a consumer is comparing separate products.â€¨â€¨
Most will utilize the ISO/IEC measurements, but some companies choose to perform their own ink cartridge yield test. While they follow the same basic procedure that likely proves accurate reading, they may not provide for a proper comparison across other brands. This would be because the ISO/IEC test and independent test may use different fonts, size, or test format. Even though the difference would not be visible in a small number of pages printed, when calculating with an entire cartridge, the difference can be significant.â€¨â€¨
Pay attention to not only the ink yield on printer ink cartridges, but give some consideration to who carried out the test for proper comparison to ensure accuracy.