#4 - Why didn't my cartridge print the full amount of pages ? (5% coverage)
Customers often worry about the yield of their cartridges. They often mistakenly try to track yield by time. The amount of time it takes for a cartridge to go empty is a bad indicator of yield. The cited yield for ink and toner cartridges is given at 5% coverage. This is usually not a lot of print on a page. Typically only a short memo is at 5% coverage. If you are printing letters, using legal size paper, printing photos, web pages or doing any kind of graphics your coverage will vary greatly. This will cause the yield to drop greatly.
There are two ways to properly check for yield. First is to utilize any page count your printer has. Refer the user's manual for instructions. The other way is to count reams or boxes of paper you have used with each cartridge. Both of these methods will tell you how many pages per cartridge you are using.
Both methods give you a raw number. You should also take into account your typical print coverage. If you only do memos then you should reach the manufacturer's stated yield specifications. If you write full page letters or print graphics your yield will be considerably less. When printing text and full page graphics a 4000 page yield cartridge will run out of toner in around 800 pages.
Introduced in June 2004, the ISO/IEC 19752 standard method for testing page yield was introduced. It created a comprehensive process to test page yields. This standard method means that from now on all printer manufacturers and cartridge manufacturers will be quoting ink and toner cartridge yields using the same testing process. On the right you can see the sample page that is used to test yield. If your documents have more page coverage you will get drastically lower page yields from each inkjet or toner cartridge.