Dell are a relative newcomer to the printer industry, however not everyone is aware that these machines are actually, in most circumstances, rebadged Lexmark machines. While many of the machines use theoretically the same cartridges as their Lexmark equivalents there can be potentially a couple of issues using a Lexmark cartridge in a Dell machine or vice versa.
Most cartridges have at least a different lid stopping one cartridge from physically fitting in to a machine branded differently and in many cases the cartridge ID code is also different meaning that even if the lid were changed the machine would still reject it.
Unfortunately Dell provides fairly poor discounts to most retailers meaning that users are usually unable to make any substantial savings by shopping around for their original cartridges rather than buying from Dell direct. They do typically work out to be relatively expensive printers to run for a number of reasons, including:
- Dell inkjet printers typically utilise just one black and one colour cartridge with the result being that if just one of the colours within the colour cartridge runs out then you would have to change the entire cartridge. For example, if you were printing a number of landscape shots then you would use an incredibly large amount of the cyan colour to reproduce the sky tones meaning you would most likely run out of this colour well before the magenta or yellow.
- A number of Dell printers utilise just the one cartridge; for example the Dell 810 uses a single JF333 cartridge. This means that the printer not only suffers from a similar problem as a two colour machine when it comes to running out of one colour prematurely but additionally it has to mix all three colours together to create a slightly off black colour. This method of producing black is not only expensive and inefficient but if you were to run out of one of the colours or that section of the cartridge became blocked then your black would be severely skewed in favour of the two remaining colours.
Many Dell cartridges are available in a number of different sizes and so it is always wisest to purchase the highest capacity you can; although these cartridges will be most likely more expensive the actual cost per page should be lower.
Due to the usual high cost of the Dell original cartridges and the fact that many people wish to buy their consumables from sources other than Dell direct, many users choose to take advantage of remanufactured cartridges as and where they are available. These are Dell original cartridges that have been completely used before being thoroughly cleaned, refilled, tested then boxed up and sold as a recycled product. They have the advantages of not only a lower price point but also in many instances they actually contain more ink than their original equivalents. There is also usually no loss in quality associated with using a recycled product.
Unfortunately Dell Laser Printers are often more expensive to run than many of the alternatives on the market as despite their often high page yield the cost of the originals can be prohibitive to many users. Those with these machines would again be advised to always purchase the highest capacity they can in order to benefit from the lowest cost per print. Due to the popularity of many of these machines, remanufactured cartridges are quite commonly available and as with their remanufactured inkjet equivalents these offer significant environmental and cost savings without sacrificing print quality.