Printer cartridges, and how much they cost, have been a perennial cause for complaints – outrage even – for consumers. They cost way too much to replace, so much so that it can sometimes be more practical to simply buy a new printer than have those cartridges replaced.
A feature on Gizmodo, however, may provide more reasons for consumers to whine about cartridges, at least when it comes to HP cartridges. According to the feature – or the exposé of sorts – those print cartridges that you practically pay an arm and a leg for have been carrying a diminishing amount of ink since 2010.
The feature shared a post from the HP Ink Cartridges Blog, which featured three HP ink cartridges – one from 2010, one from 2011, and one from 2012 – with their insides all exposed. The images showed that the hydrophobic sponges in the cartridges have shrunk dramatically over the years. A hydrophobic sponge absorbs ink, but repels water, so that the two do not mix in a humid environment.
The shrinking was so noticeable, as indicated in the photos, with the size of sponge in the 2012 cartridge being less than half of that in the 2010 cartridge.
So what is the significance of the reduction of the size of the hydrophobic sponge? Gizmodo presented the argument that since these cartridges were all of the lower-use variety, HP may have reduced the size of the hydrophobic sponge because the cartridges contain less ink. Which may make consumers wonder: if that were the case, why do those cartridges still cost way too much?
Tags: HP cartridges over time, HP ink cartridges content, ink inside printer cartridges