For household use, an inkjet printer is the most popular choice, but consumers must make a decision regarding the number of cartridges within the device. Inexperienced users often choose the least expensive model without considering their needs. With cartridge ink printers, there are variable costs in regards to replacing the ink. When choosing the right printer, it is important to consider how the device will be used on a regular basis. Some ink cartridge printers are great for printing text documents while others perform better when printing photographs and other graphics.
Many computer users choose the two-cartridge systems because they only have to worry about replacing two components; however, this is not always the cheapest option. Two-cartridge printers contain one cartridge for black ink and another that is tricolor. The latter cartridge holds three separate reservoirs for magenta, cyan and yellow ink. While it may seem economical to purchase a three-in-one cartridge, these multi-color systems often waste more ink than single cartridges. Two-cartridge printers work best for printing text documents. These devices have the ability to print color images and photographs, but they do not produce the highest quality results. The color cartridge is designed to make the black ink last longer. When the black cartridge becomes low, the colors combine to produce that same dark shade. Casual users who do not need to print graphics will do fine with two-cartridge printers. One disadvantage of the multi-color cartridge is the amount of wasted ink. Typically, when one color runs out, the printer will not function properly until the entire cartridge is replaced. This is not a significant issue when only printing in black and white.
Currently, four-cartridge printers are the most common type for households. These printers have separate cartridges for black, magenta, cyan and yellow inks. The separate cartridges increase the efficiency of the printer while reducing the amount of ink wasted. Four-cartridge printers are better at printing graphics and photographs than those that use tricolor systems. When one color runs out, only that cartridge needs replacing without affecting the other colors. Printers with a four-cartridge system are ideal for everyday use and standard quality graphics.
Six-cartridge printers contain the same colors as the four-ink systems but add light magenta and light cyan. Users will receive higher quality graphics with these printers. This type of printer also offers greater accuracy and precision. Consumers who wish to print photographs and graphic illustrations on a regular basis will benefit most from a six-cartridge system.
Generally, only professionals will require eight-cartridge printers, like the Canon i9900 ink printer, that offer additional colors like red, green or light gray depending on the model. These printers produce the highest quality graphics that are life-like. Many professional photographers and illustrators use these eight-ink systems. Printers with more cartridges are typically more expensive, but businesses will benefit from the high quality results.