Comparing Toner Cartridges: The Difference

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With the global Compatible Toner Cartridge market being valued at such high prices all around the world, reports are saying that the compound annual growth rate is projected to be large, with the market for compatible cartridges reaching an all-time high by 2026. 

By finding the right HP toner suppliers, you could be met with a large range of different compatible cartridge options with vastly better costs than the original HP toner. Different HP LaserJet printers require different toner cartridges, and these different cartridges could be available in black, cyan, magenta, and yellow, with all of these cartridges having a cheaper, compatible version

Seeing as toner cartridges are fairly complex, here is a breakdown of what toner cartridges are and what the main differences are when comparing them and comparing Original HP toner and Compatible HP toner. Having a good understanding of what goes into your printer is important, especially when it comes to toner cartridges. 

What Are HP Toner Cartridges?

Before going into detail about what the differences are, it is important to establish a base understanding of what toner cartridges are and what their function is. Designed to be used in HP printers, HP toners use a form of laser technology to melt toner powder on a page that is printing so that an image can be created. These toner cartridges contain powder and plastics inside, the plastics are utilized to allow for more control during printing. 

This is why HP toner could be expensive depending on where you are buying it from. The actual cartridge is not what is expensive, but rather the materials, methods, and technology needed to develop such a cartridge are what creates the high cost. 

Compatible and Alternate HP Toner Cartridges

Most HP laser printers can also use cheaper cartridges that can act as an alternative to HP toner. These cheaper cartridges are not HP brand but are still compatible and are of high quality. These cartridges can be bought from a website such as CartridgeSave and can be the perfect alternate solution to an original HP toner. 

For example, the HP 85A Black Toner Cartridge can cost £62.66, whereas the compatible HP 85A Black Toner costs £34.46 on Cartridgesave. Both options are available on the website, should you want to buy the original, but you will always have the option of saving money. 

Seeing as these cartridges are expensive, it isn’t surprising that there are non-original, compatible ones in the market. The main way to spot the difference between an original cartridge and a legitimate cartridge is by seeing if the package of the toner has a hologram on the package. You can also check and validate the QR code that comes with the HP toner. 

Comparing Cartridges 

There are various aspects to look at when comparing different toner cartridges, and these should be considered before making your purchase. 

Page Yield 

Page yield refers to the number of pages that you will be able to print with a specific toner cartridge before you need to change or refill the toner. This is an estimated amount, so the number of pages that you could actually print might not be exact. Cartridge volume and coverage amount are taken into account when calculating the page yield. The original HP toner and the cheaper Compatible HP toners have the same page yields. 

The Compatible HP 49X High Capacity Black Toner Cartridge has a yield of 6000 pages, whereas the Compatible HP 49A Black Toner Cartridge has less than half of that yield, only producing a page yield of 2500. The 49X cartridge is more expensive, but that cost could be worth it as it can be used for a much longer period. 

A high-capacity cartridge will always be able to hold more toner, so if you plan on constantly printing a lot, it’s the better option. A standard cartridge does not have the high capacity name attached to it, so it is easy to tell the difference. 

Toner Color 

Another difference that is noticeable when comparing cartridges is that some toners come in one or multiple colors. The HP 49A toner (and the Compatible cartridge) only comes in black, whereas the HP 207X comes with a variety of color toner cartridges. The different color Cartridges for the 207X also have different printing yields, with black having a yield of 3150 pages and magenta having a yield of 2450 pages. 

Different printers 

It is also important to note which toner your specific HP printer uses. Purchasing the right toner is crucial as not every cartridge works for every HP printer. The HP LaserJet Pro 400 M401 uses HP 80A toner cartridges for example, whereas the HP LaserJet 1320 uses HP 49A toner cartridges. Again, this applies to both original and compatible cartridges 

Final Takeaway 

Compatible HP toner cartridges can be very similar to the HP original toner, with the main difference being the supplier who is manufacturing it, leading to a slightly different physical appearance.

 Seeing as it is cheaper, different and more inferior materials could be used in the manufacturing process. If you need to cut costs when it comes to printing equipment, choosing a compatible cartridge might be the better option, even if the production quality does not exactly match the original HP cartridges.