If you deal much with ink-jet printers, you know that printer manufacturers are making most of their money with consumables: ink and paper. The fight to maintain their profits include various methods of convincing people to use their own branded paper, and more especially ink.

I just came across this article at Trustedreviews, looking into how all of this holds up in actuality. The methodology looks pretty tight, though I need to look for the promised updates for color durability.

The interesting points include:
*The combination of printer+branded ink+branded paper did not win any of the overall quality scores.
*The branded papers did better than the branded inks.

On the entire ‘no-refills thanks to the embedded chips’ thing, it seems that’s something of a myth. The refilled cartridges generally work fine. However, Lexmark printers will claim ‘low ink’ for the entire life of an off-brand cartridge, and most off-brand (not refilled) Canon cartridges want you to transplant the chip from a real cartridge (odd…).

More worrisome is the fact that they did have some reliability problems with the off-brand inks.