Users of laser printers are aware that the only negative aspect of operating one is the cost of the replacement OEM printer cartridges. Certainly, with cost almost at par with the printer, something unforgiving must really be in the works that drives manufacturers to consider even selling the cartridges at horrendous prices. Users who think of the OEM as too restricting, finds comfort in the use of alternate products like the Lexmark T520 toner cartridges that is not only financially liberating but print quality driven as well.
What is a compatible cartridge? Well, for the plebe in the laser printing business, a toner cartridge is a near clone of the OEM but with distinct differences to avoid infringement of the copyright laws. Physically though, there are no distinguishing differences apparent – reinforcing the observation that compatibles look like their OEM counterpart, weighs like one and even smells like one. Similarities include print coverage and print quality, although compatibles have different toner formulation as opposed to the OEM.
Can compatibles outperform an OEM? Yes, compatibles are produced following the standard created for the OEM to duplicate performance. Compatibles and OEMs carry similar toner load in grams, yet in some tests, compatibles deliver more printed pages in comparison. There really is no question in print quality because both products exhibit excellent performance – it is only in print coverage that both differ. However, as toner used in compatibles is of an entirely different formulation, here is where the similarity ends.
What makes compatibles better than the OEM? Compared to the OEM, compatibles are trade-off in cost, since an OEM Lexmark for instance is available for $150 for a print capacity of 10,000 pages (5% coverage) – the Lexmark T520 toner cartridge is 30% cheaper at only $99. The cost difference is really the driving leverage behind the popularity of compatible cartridges because technically one cannot outweigh the other. In addition, users would really choose a much more economical product when questions about quality are irrelevant.
Why are compatibles cheaper than OEMs? Price comparison between toner products is really worth looking at. At the present flow of production, cartridge parts are no longer exclusive to printer manufacturers – outsourcing has become the standard practice. All the parts come from different sources, although the OEM manufacturers really put a lot of technical expertise to do the assembly meticulously at first-rate A1 laboratories – logically to maintain the standard of quality. However, third party manufacturers of Lexmark T520 compatible toner, for example, practically follow the same production processes and yet compatibles are sold way off the cost of OEMs.
Next time your Lexmark laser printer is out of toner, pick a Lexmark T520 compatible toner, the trusted alternative to the OEM at less cost.