> Page Yield /
/ Cartridge Yield
What is page yield?
Page yield is the number of pages that you can print
with a printer cartridge. It is also known as ink / toner cartridge
yield. Page yield is one of the factors you should consider when
purchasing a printer cartridge. Some printer cartridge manufacturers use
general terms such as standard yield or high yield to describe the
cartridges, but each printer cartridge model should have a page yield
(the number of pages it can print under standard conditions). It
gives the consumers an estimate of the cost per page (CPP) for that
cartridge. Other than page yield, you should also consider factors
such as the price, print quality, reliability, warranty, etc. when
purchasing a printer cartridge.
Page yield is affected by many things such as the
content or the image you print, print settings, paper type, paper size,
frequency of use, how much time passes between each use, and environmental
conditions (temperature and humidity). So, how is page yield determined?
Page Yield Testing
Traditionally, different manufacturers use different
tests to measure page yield, so it is difficult for consumers to compare
the page yields of different cartridges from different manufacturers.
Nowadays, most printer cartridge manufacturers use the same standard
established by ISO (International Organization for Standardization) to
evaluate the page yield of a given cartridge.
ISO is a network of national standards institutes of
156 countries. It is a non-governmental organization but it occupies a
special position providing industrial standards across the public and
private sectors. The ISO standard is widely recognized as the most
reliable method to test page yield / cartridge yield under standard
conditions. It enables the consumers to compare the yield of different
cartridges in an objective manner.
ISO has established two standard testing methods, ISO/IEC
24711 and ISO/IEC 19752 for measuring ink cartridge yield and monochrome
toner cartridge yield respectively.
ISO standard for testing inkjet
cartridge yield (ISO/IEC 24711):
the tests are conducted using default setting on
a suite of five pages are printed consecutively until
the ink cartridge reaches its end life;
a cartridge is considered at its end life when the
printer shows a signal that the ink has been depleted or the test pages
show discoloration or a significant increase in lightness;
a total of 9 cartridges should be tested on 3
different printers (i.e. 3 cartridges on each printer), not including
the 1st set of installed cartridges and the average result is
the tests are conducted under controlled conditions
(temperature and humidity) similar to home and office conditions.
For color ink cartridges, a test is performed on
3-color composite page yield (a combination of cyan, magenta and yellow).
Color yields for individual color cartridges are determined by taking the
average yield, based on continuous printing, of all individual color
cartridges. For color cartridges with combined color tanks, page yield is
determined by the first color to be depleted.
Some photo printer models may use supplemental color
cartridges such as light cyan, light magenta to improve contrast and print
quality. For these supplemental cartridges, page yields are determined
separately because these colors are not used substantially in regular
ISO has not established a standard to measure the page
yield of photo printer cartridges yet, but most cartridge manufacturers
use robust testing method similar to ISO/IEC 24711 in these cases. For
example, HP has employed these strict criteria in testing the yield of
their photo printer cartridges:
the tests are conducted using the default print mode on photo
3 printers are used in each test
9 cartridges, 3 for each printer, are tested for each
of the color, photo and gray cartridge yield tests
the test photos represent typical subject matter from amateur
the tests are conducted under controlled humidity and
printing is continuous with normal breaks for paper
printing stops when a cartridge reaches its end
life, indicated by a message “out of ink” from the printer or
discoloration is noticed on test page.
ISO standard for monochrome toner
cartridge yield (ISO/IEC 19752)
the tests are conducted with printer default settings
on plain paper;
a standard test page is used (represents
approximately 5% coverage);
a total of 9 cartridges are tested, 3 cartridges on
each of 3 different printers, and the average yield is measured;
almost continuous printing with normal breaks for
changing or adding paper;
printing stops when the cartridge reaches its end
life, which is determined based on the manufacturer’s recommendations in
handling the toner cartridge (e.g. how many times the toner cartridge
should be shaken);
end of life is defined as the printer reports
“replace toner” or “replace supply”;
the tests are conducted under controlled conditions
(temperature and humidity).
As you can see, page yield or cartridge yield is
measured by vigorous testing. This information is useful to determine the
value of different
printer cartridge (OEM vs remanufactured vs compatible, standard yield
vs high yield). So next time when you shop for
discount ink / toner cartridges,
remember to compare the page yield (cartridge yield) and the cost per page
(= cartridge price / page yield) of these cartridges.