Review: HP 901 Series Inkjet Printer Cartridges – Skip It

HP 901 Series Inkjet Cartridge

*look inside the HP 901 – joke of a cartridge  – here.

HP 901 black inkjet printer cartridge opened and exposed to reveal the internal structure of the ink cartridge

These cartridges should be avoided at all costs.  Not getting very much love over at the HP website either. Could it be because the cartridges are so expensive?  We think so.

HP 901 series cartridges are not very popular over at HP.

This printer uses a single black cartridge, and a single tri-color cartridge (all the colors – cyan, magenta, yellow –  are contained in one cartridge).  Both cartridges must be present for multi-function features to work.

HP 901 Black CC653AN Inkjet Printer Cartridge
HP 901 Black CC653AN – $14.99
HP 901 Color CC656AN - Inkjet Printer Cartridge
HP 901 Color CC656AN – $28.99
HP 901XL Black Inkjet Printer Cartridge CC654AN
HP 901XL Black CC654AN – $31.99

Officejet J4500, and J4600 Cartridges:

HP 901 Inkjet Printer Cartridges - Color And Black

Printers that use the HP 901 series ink cartridge, should be avoided – the Officejet J4500, and J4600 series specifically (full list below).  These cartridge contain a very low amount of ink, and HP states on their website that the cartridge yield is a measly 200 pages for the smaller-ink-volume black 901 cartridge and will run you $14.99.  It has been our experience with HP ink cartridges, that the page yield estimates HP provides are off by as much as 40%.  Realistically, you can expect about 120 full text pages from this cartridge.

Page yields for these cartridges:

*HP estimates – your mileage will vary…greatly.

There is also a “high capacity” black cartridge available – the same cartridge but filled full with ink – for $31.99.  Estimates for the HP 901XL inkjet cartridge are 700 pages.  Figure 400 max.  Finally, there is the color cartridge, which provides an estimated 360 pages (in reality?), and will run you $28.99.  S0 if we want to actually use the printer for serious printing, that will be $60.98 for a set of appropriate cartridges.  That is $100.00 to print a ream of paper (500 pages).

Skip this money pit:

There are plenty of other printers on the market that do not require so much cash for ink – look into individual ink tank printers from Canon, Epson, Brother, or even HP.  If you want to increase the options for consumables, there is really no reason in even considering these printers, the cartridges rule it out.  Houston, we have #cartridge #fail at an estimated .40 cents per text print.

Printers that use the HP 901 series cartridge (so you can avoid buying one).

HP Officejet J4000 All-in-One series

HP officejet J4500.  Don't even think about buying this printer.

HP officejet J4500. Don't even think about buying this printer.

  • OfficeJet J 4500
  • OfficeJet J4524
  • OfficeJet J4540
  • OfficeJet J4550
  • OfficeJet J4580
  • OfficeJet J4624
  • OfficeJet J4640
  • OfficeJet J4660
  • OfficeJet J4680

News: HP And Kodak Fight About Ink Claims – You Don’t Print

HP and Lyra say you print 60 pages per month

kodak vs. hp - who has cheaper ink

Kodak vs. HP - who has cheaper ink?

The cheap ink mirage…

The mirage of the cheap ink cartridge...

Kodak and HP are having a war of words about Kodak’s claims that consumers will save over $100 per year on ink if they switch from Hewlett Packard inkjet printers to Kodak.  HP claims this is not true, and Kodak now admits (after the FTC got involved) that the savings calculation is based on consumers printing 120 pages per month.  Hewlett Packard insists that most consumers only print (on average) 2 pages per day, or 60 pages per month, and they can back that up with 3rd party research from Lyra.

Link for original article here:,188504/printable.html

Lyra Research:

It’s not getting better…

The article goes on to point out something we have also noticed, and written on extensively – the amount of ink a printer cartridge actually contains is getting smaller and smaller.  Currently all the major printer manufacturers are offering two, and sometimes even three different cartridge choices – with the difference being the amount of ink in each cartridge, and the price.

HP 75 – 100 pages HP 75XL – 300 pages

HP 75XL Inkjet Printer Cartridge

The  cartridge is the exact same size and shape – the XL has more ink – but the cost per ml is the same. Pay HP now, or pay HP later.

How many times have you seen “high capacity”, or “XL”, or “large volume” mentioned when shopping for ink cartridges. Printer companies have figured out that ink cartridge “sticker shock” is real, and just to hard for some consumers to get past.  In an effort to try and avoid the $50.00 ink cartridge and drive customers to 3rd party inking solutions, colors have been separated into individual ink tanks, and they are priced significantly lower.  So instead of $50.00 for a color cartridge, now the consumer will only pay $15.00 per cartridge – much easier to stomach.  It does not mean you are getting a better deal – rather it means you do not turn away (as quickly) in disgust at the high price of ink.

Going up?

One thing is for sure – the price for ink, and more importantly the price per print is going up at an alarming rate.  Now more than ever is the time to be informed, and don’t get trapped by a printer that is to expensive to operate.

Wow – Ink Cartridges Are Incredibly Expensive

Spotted At Staples

Ink is so incredibly expensive.  The $3.00 back per cartridge is a good deal, to bad it’s only good for store credit. Limit 10 recycled cartridges per month.  If you would like to see inside a CLI-8 cartridge look here.  If you want to know more about Staple’s in-store recycling program click here.  We are about 45 miles from the closest Staples.  They do not offer a recycling credit by mail.

This cartridge bundle is for large format Canon inkjet printers like the Pixma iP9000 series.  Looking at about 80-120 large size prints here.

Printer ink is so expensive - Canon CLI-8 color cartridges spotted at the local Staples.

The Ink Cartridge Has To Go…

CIS or Cartridges? No Contest.

Here you see a continuous inking system, sitting next to 32 Epson brand OEM cartridges (which cost over $500.00 – for ink!).  A good CIS will cost you around $150.00 and last about 3 times longer.  No contest.

CIS, CISS, Continuous Inking System, Continuous Ink System, Bulk Ink, Extrenal Ink

What are you waiting for? CIS is the way to go.

Don’t Be A Sucker – Samsung CLP-315 $89.00

How Not To Shop For A Printer:

Samsung color laser printer.Low on the entry price, get’s you thinking…Fry’s offers the Samsung CLP-315 color laser printer for $89.00.  Sounds like a good deal right?  I mean, for $89.00 how can this be a bad deal?  Well it is a bad deal, and apparently it is not that great of a printer.  Reviews are mixed over on Amazon, and this printer garners a 3 out of 5 star rating.  Looks like a clear case of, “you can pay me now, or you can pay me later.”

Since its a color laser printer, it will have 4 toner cartridges – one each for black, cyan, magenta, and yellow.  Additionally, the printer ships with a set of the dreaded “starter toner cartridges” – take a look at the fine print from Samsung’s web site:

average continuous black cartridge yield: 1,500 standard pages (ships with 1,000 pages starter toner cartridge).

average continuous yellow/magenta/cyan cartridge yield: 1,000* standard pages (ships with 700 pages starter toner cartridge).

So that is a nice color laser printer, with cartridges that will get you 1,000 to 700 prints on your initial print job, and the best you can hope for when a replacement set of cartridges is purchased will be 1,500 pages black, and 1,000 pages color based on Samsung’s estimates here.

Toner cartridge prices:

So there are 4 toner cartridges for this printer. The Samsung Color Laser Printer CLP-315 also has a removable (replaceable) drum that will last for 6,000 pages color, and 24,000 pages black and white, as well as something called a waste toner container which is rated at 10,000 pages black and white, and 2,500 pages color.  So once you get through the initial 1,000-700 pages, get out the wallet.  Here are the “hidden costs” you are looking at over the life of the printer:

Final Analysis:

So there you have it – if we use 10,000 pages as a benchmark for use over the life of the printer here is what your total will be for that $89.99 printer.  6.6 black cartridges, 9 cyan, 9 magenta, 9 yellow, and a possible $12.99 for a new toner waste catcher – which equals a grand total of $1389.00 for consumables to get to 10,000 pages.  If we add the cost of the printer into the equation we are closer to $1500.00 for 10,000 pages, or .15 per print – and that is any print.  Compare that to the Epson Artisan 800 (with CIS) that will print 10,000 pages (plus) for at most $325.00, or .0325 per print – and you get full color prints, plus more flexible paper types can be used. We haven’t even mentioned the energy savings (love your planet) – when our laser printer fires up, the lights flicker.  Get smart, or get ripped off.

Cost of Ink: Do Not Print This eMail…Please?

Just got a note from a reader at a State University, and we noticed this on his signature line:


Please don't print, we can't afford it.

Before printing this eMail think if it is necessary?  We like the picture of the tree, very green.  Maybe we are too cynical but it seems like a trick to save money on ink and toner, not paper.  Paper can be easily recycled (and it is, in large quantities), and inkjet cartridges can also be recycled even though printer companies like Lexmark, and HP would prefer that 3rd parties not get involved.  We believe the more likely reason for the “please don’t print” message is more about attempting to cut consumable costs, and less about saving the planet.

Paper is expensive?

Just think how many inkjet cartridges, and toner cartridges  a 30,000 student State University uses per day.  While we applaud the University in attempting to save the planet one eMail at a time, the real issue is the cost of ink and toner, and the reluctance of the printer industry to make peace with 3rd party remanufacturers.

Kodak: No duh…Printer Ink Is Expensive?

Hey Kodak, No Duh…

All the more reason we evangelize 3rd party, aftermarket, remanufactured, compatible inkjet cartridges as well as continuous inking systems.  We also understand that this is paid for marketing literature.  Others call it spam.  We were promised coupons.  No eMail coupons yet in 2 years of messages.  You tricked us, Kodak. Yet, we continue to hope.


But wait there is more…

We tried to review a Kodak printer we paid retail price for. It was DOA out of the box. Compatible cartridges are available for the Kodak printers, but we found the printer design clunky and uninspired, so, while compatible cartridges are available, that criterion alone is not enough to recommend the printer.  Companies like Epson, Canon, Lexmark, and HP have been making printers for decades and they are light years  ahead of Kodak on design, functionality and print quality.  Keep trying Kodak.  Who would have guessed in the 80s that camera film would start to disappear in less than 15 years.

Kodak also provides a link to calculate your costs savings if you use a competing inkjet printer. *Warning* heavy on the flash animation.


As has been profiled here, ink prices are in the thousands of dollars per gallon. Which is why a gallon of ink is worth more than 4oz of GOLD!

Calculate your “savings” now.