Should You Buy Third-Party Toner Cartridges for Your Laser Printer? Our Hands-On Test Report Provides the Answers

Greensky Toner Cartridges - H & V Banding

Sample of print designated as suitable for “Individual” use. Note the various image-quality defects, particularly those displayed in the red box.

Testing showed that an average of only 31 percent of prints produced by the non-HP branded toner cartridges were suitable for business use, and an average of 69 percent prints were not suitable for business use. The question is: is all of this unpredictability and inconvenience worth it, and with all of the poor reliability and inconvenience issues that Wirth Consulting observed in testing, are there indeed any quantifiable savings?

ValueToner Toner Cartridges

Example: When using several non-HP toner cartridges, we observed considerable stray yellow, magenta, and cyan toner particles and residual banding on drums . The Original HP 201X High Yield Toner Cartridges with JetIntelligence ran to near perfection.

Summary

If you intend to use replacement toner cartridges for business use, this test demonstrates that the unpredictable print quality and inconvenience exhibited by all tested non-HP replacement toner cartridges (banding on prints, toner deposited within the printer, unacceptable noise levels, clumsy packaging) will provide little or no peace of mind, and should cancel out any perceived advantages. The most reliable choice is to install HP 201X JetIntelligence toner cartridges and practice print-output management (for example, specify draft EconoMode/grayscale/black-only print modes for internal distribution and archival purposes). On the other hand, if all that is required is readable prints – but prints that are likely to be marked by embarrassing print defects – then replacement toner cartridges may do the job.

The full test report is available here and contains many additional details.

Additional Resources

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