HP Ink Challenge! Assignment 1

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Purchasing new ink cartridges for our printer is a item on my to-do list that I put off until I am in desperate need of ink.  You know, that moment when you desperately need to print something and sign it - or the world as you know it will end. That's when I buy ink. I'm not usually thrilled about prices and I never enjoy the process of installing new ink or aligning the printer.

I've been invited to participate in the HP Ink Challenge. The assignments in the challenge will have me compare genuine HP printer ink cartridges with the re-fill ink cartridges/services available at various stores.

Over the next 5 weeks - I will be testing the print qualities of two HP printers. One printer will contain new HP 61 XL black and color cartridges while the other printer will be using refill cartridges. Though I have recycled ink cartridges - I have never purchased re-manufactured ink cartridges or refilled them when they were empty. I would simply place them in the recycle/ref-fill bag and send them on their way. I haven't avoided this process - in fact, I've just never given it much thought. Believing this challenge would give me great insight into the process and the quality - I have come on board and find it fascinating thus far.

I've found that the savings in refilling your ink cartridge can be as much as 50% in some cases. You'll have to allow a little extra time to wait as the refill is processed - but I'm sure that most of use have an errand we can run while we wait.

Not having enough space on my desk - the printers have taken over a dresser in mine and Dan's bedroom. It took me a few days to get them set up, installed on my laptop and then aligned as the cartridges for the refill printer were so low that I could not align that printer.

So, that task had to wait until I had time to go and run errands. Once I had my re-filled cartridges - I was able to print my assigned test pages for the week. Again, I have not previously put a lot of thought into the quality of re-filled or re-manufactured ink cartridges. Though I was interested in seeing if I would notice a difference.

So far - there is no difference. The paper to the right is from the HP printer with a re-filled ink cartridge. It looks just like the paper from the HP printer with a new cartridge. If I hadn't marked the pages showing which printer they came from, it would be easy to confuse them.

*I have been provided with two HP Printers for the purposes of this Ink Challenge. All opinions are my own.