Ink Cartridge

An ink cartridge is a printer cartridge used in inkjet printers. The cartridge contains ink (dye or pigment ink) and is typically smaller than toner cartridges, which do not contain ink. Typical ink cartridges are used by inkjet printer manufacturers such as HP, Lexmark, Epson, Dell, Canon and Brother, and more recently Kodak. Xerox also used to manufacture inkjet printers, but dropped out of the inkjet manufacturing market around 2004. Popular ink cartridge types as of 2008 include the HP 56, HP 57, Lexmark 16, Lexmark 26, Dell T0529, Dell T0530, Canon BCI-6, Canon CLI-8, Canon PGI-5 and Brother LC51 ink cartridges. As of late 2008 / early 2009, new ink cartridges being released include the Brother LC61 series ink cartridges, Canon PGI-220 and CLI-221 ink cartridges and others. The Canon CLI-226 and PGI-225 are the latest popular ink cartridged by Canon, for example.

An ink cartridge may or may not have printheads on the cartridge. Most HP, Lexmark and Dell ink cartridges have printheads on the cartridge, whereas most Canon, Epson and Brother ink cartridges have the printheads built into the printer. Since printheads have wear and tear, ink cartridges that do not carry printheads typically last longer and are more amenable to remanufacturing than cartridges with printheads.