Knowing What Printer Ink Cartridge Numbers Mean


One of the many pervading questions in the line of HP printer ink cartridges is what the cartridge numbers mean. Surely, they should mean something. HP prides itself for high quality printer inks and they have a variety of products to show for.

Whether one buys original inks or go for compatible inks, knowing what these numbers mean is surprisingly helpful. HP printer ink cartridges numbers mean two things; namely, the capacity of the ink and its regional origin. These factors serve a purpose for both HP and its consumers.

The first letter following the cartridge number signifies how much HP ink is in the cartridge. There are four letters to that effect: ‘A’, ‘D’, ‘G’, and ‘XL’. An ink cartridge that is filled to full capacity is suffixed with an ‘A’. These cartridges have a print yield of around 700 pages to 1,300 pages depending on the printer model where the cartridge is used. Meanwhile, ‘D’ cartridges are only filled at half the capacity which usually translates to 350-650 pages. ‘G’ cartridges are filled with twenty five percent to thirty percent of the ink tank which is the standard capacity for demo inks and starter cartridges when you buy a new printer. Thus, they get used up so fast.

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You might be curious why there is such a need to sell ink with half-capacity. Today, ‘D’ cartridges are phased out. But before remanufactured inks entered the market, HP printer ink cartridges and all inks for that matter are very expensive, calling the need for two kinds of ink capacity. There is no need to do that now since the market for printer ink has turned to lower pricing. ‘A’ printer ink is the standard capacity being sold by HP.

‘XL’ or ‘X’ inks stand for extra-large capacity or high-yield cartridges. These cartridges are sold at a premium price but they give a longer lifespan to your print jobs. ‘XL’ cartridges are normal HP inks in large tanks compared with other HP inks that have the ink technology ‘HP Vivera’ in them.

The second part of the suffix found in HP Vivera inks is attributed to their regional origins. With similar HP models and printer ink cartridges sold worldwide, it is important to localize printer parts to avoid cross-region compatibility and have only the parts of the same zone work together. The four zones are Asia-Pacific (P), North America (N), Latin America (L), and Europe (E). There are further variations in these cartridge letters including ‘W’ for western hemisphere, ‘WL’ for Mexico, and ‘EE’ for England.

Other printer inks have letters that symbolize a color such as Y (Yellow), Cyan (C), and Magenta (M). Black inks are not letter-coded.

Now, when we see a set of HP 74XL ink, or HP C8560AN cartridge, we can make sense in them. It just shows us how much HP has advanced in research and development to produce the standard for all printer inks and how printer market and brands have advanced and diversified through the years.

This Article is written by John C Arkin, contributor of PrintCountry Articles.



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