Everyone's been there: You just bought an expensive ink cartridge for your printer, you use it for a while, and then suddenly—much sooner than seems reasonable—your printer tells you that you're either low on or out of ink. Suspicious of the amount of ink wasted by adhering to the low ink warnings of popular printers, PC World hit the lab, testing just how much ink is left in "dead" cartridges. The results:
Many manufacturer-branded (OEM) and third-party (aftermarket) vendor cartridges leave a startling amount of ink unused when they read empty. In fact, some inkjet printers force users to replace black ink cartridges when the cartridge is nearly half full.
In most cases, printers were more apt to call it quits early on third-party cartridges. You can do a lot to offset high cost of printing—many of which we've covered before. First and foremost, you can always refill your ink cartridges yourself and save a ton of money in the process. Software applications like previously mentioned HP Smart Web Printing and GreenPrint are designed to help you cut down on wasted pages. If you really want to conserve, check out our guide to smart and easy ways to reduce your printing costs.
When possible, I suspect most of us continue printing until the results have visibly deteriorated after receiving low ink messages. But for those of you whose printers refuse to print after you're warned of low ink, this news is probably all the more frustrating.