How much does it really cost to print per page?

When it comes to buying printer inks and cartridges, the first thing that you should consider is how much it will cost to print per page. When you look at a product description, you might have come across the words page yield, duty cycle and page coverage, but what does it mean, and why does it matter?

What is Page Yield?

Page yield (also known as duty cycle) is the maximum amount of pages you can print with one ink cartridge or toner.

Calculating Page Yield

Calculating the exact page yield on an ink cartridge can be confusing because not all pages will print with the same amount of ink used.

To solve this issue, the Office of Fair Trading enforced a measurement of ‘page coverage’ on the product description of ink cartridges to give customers a rough estimate of how many pages they can print. Ink & toner cartridges page yields can also be estimated by using the Industry Standard (ISO) test with 5% coverage on each page.

What does Page Coverage look like?

5% Page Coverage

One of the most common measurements of page coverage is 5%. This coverage is approximately 6 lines of text (with a font size of 12). Below is an example of how this could look like:

As you can see, 5% page coverage does not cover very much. If you were printing a full page of text instead, it would approximately be 15-20% page coverage which means that you could be printing around 30-40% less than total page yield.

Example A:

Total page yield = 2,500 pages

Pages printed at 5% page coverage = 2,500 pages

Example B:

Total page yield = 2,500 pages

Pages printed at 20% page coverage = 625 pages (1,875 pages printed less than the total page yield)

What Factors Can Impact Page Yield?

As already mentioned, page coverage is the most common factor that affects the total page yield. It’s normal for home and office printers to print documents with more than 5% page coverage, which leads to printing fewer pages than the total page yield (example A & B).

Other factors that can impact the total page yield can include:

  • If your printer has been recently serviced
  • If parts of the printer need replacing
  • The humidity around the printer
  • The age of the printer
  • How often you print (if you print lots of documents in a small amount of time)

How Can I Make My Ink Cartridge Last Longer?

Printing all of your documents at 5% page coverage or lower is going to be difficult, but there are some ways to make your ink toner last a little longer:

Save Documents Online

The most cost-effective thing you can do is to edit and save your documents online. Try to keep electronic files saved online via a hard drive, PC or cloud storage such as dropbox.

Change Your Printing Habits

Before you think about printing anything, decide if there are any other ways to share a document, maybe e-mail perhaps?

Set Your Printer to Draft Mode

This printer setting is perfect for printing out rough or internal documents. Draft mode reduces the quality of the print, therefore, reducing the total ink used to print the document.

Change Font Sizes

Reducing the font sizes of your document can also help minimise the total page coverage used while printing.

Buy a Newer Printer

If you are still using the same printer over the last 5-10 years, investing in a new printer will improve the efficiency of your prints.

How can we help?

Here at Printernet, we have a large variety of printers and ink cartridges available online. If you are looking for a new printer or running low on ink, click on the link below and discover our collection today:

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