HP Ink Cartridges
HP ink cartridges will give you the best possible results from your HP printer and should be used if print quality is in any way important to you. As soon as inkjet technology showed the potential to displace dot matrix printers back in 1979 HP began investing in the new equipment. The company went on to invent the technology for thermal inkjet printers and is now the leading printer manufacturer in the United States .
The HP printer range includes inkjet printers, laser jet printers, multifunction printers, photo printers, mobile printers and large format printers. Over the years HP has invested heavily in ink research and development and has constantly improved the quality of their inks. HP now markets their printing technology as "always clear, always sharp". The newest range of inks has excellent light fastness and quick drying times.
HP ink cartridges incorporate the printer head technology into the ink cartridge and include a utility program to allow you to monitor your ink usage. However, because HP color cartridges generally contain more than one ink you must replace the whole cartridge when one color runs low. On the plus side, every time you change a cartridge you'll get new print heads, unfortunately you'll also lose any remaining ink.
HP inks are dye-based which means they are brighter and more colorful than pigments but fade faster. HP's newest range of inks, developed for photo-quality printers such as the HP PhotoSmart 7960, get round this problem however. HP boasts that prints from the PhotoSmart 7960 using HP ink cartridges on HP paper will last up to 76 years.
HP has also developed a black ink optimized for printing black text to ensure excellent quality printing on all media. This HP Versatile black ink is specially designed for coated papers where there were traditionally problems with sharpness of text and richness of color.
For photo printing HP have developed the 'three-ink black' cartridge which contains three tones of gray (light, medium and dark) allowing for better tonal variation in black and white printing. If you're used to printing black and white images in color mode (quadtone) you may not see this as extraordinary breakthrough technology. Quadtone printing still allows for greater tweaking of tonal variation and correction of color casts than the three-black cartridge. Beware however, that HP inks do produce noticeable color shifts in black and white prints when used on some competitors' media.
HP ink cartridges cost between $15 and $45 depending on your printer model.
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