Printer has become very important nowadays and one of the reason is that everything is almost electronic now. Why? Imagine you buy flight ticket, you will realise it is no longer the old fashion printed colourful leaflet but instead it is simply an email, or a pdf and then you need to print them out. How about things you purchased online? The receipt you are getting is what? Bingo, email or pdf, or just the screen that asks you to print. So it is almost impossible that you will not need a printer.
When you have a printer then you will encounter one problem, ink cartridges are so expensive. Yes, the genuine ones (those packaged and branded by printer manufacturers) are really expensive, and it is probably (note I used the word: probably, I do not want to go too far in case I piss them off, IYKWIM) where the printer manufacturer earn the real money from. The printer itself is cheap enough for you to buy without thinking too much, and then when your first inks run out (especially when you are in the middle of printing something important!), you will start to realise you are about to spend a fortune, ouch! By law, we are free to choose what brand and what ink cartridges. They cannot force you to use their branded ones, so that's good news.
Most of the time we are just printing documents, like lecture notes, receipt, flight ticket etc, we won't need a really good ink like those professional photographer would use. So a compatible ink cartridge will do the job just fine.
What are compatible ink cartridges?
Compatible ink cartridges are the ink cartridges that are manufactured to meet OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) standards in terms of quality and reliability. They are suppose to be 100% compatible and to replace genuine ink cartridges.
There are a few types:
Chipped ink cartridges
Cartridges with chips embedded are called chipped ink cartridges. The main purpose of the chip is that it records the ink usage that printer and computer can read rather than detecting the physical ink level inside cartridge. Without the chip, computer won't be able to know when the ink is going low. It's VERY important NOT to print when ink is empty as it will damage the EXPENSIVE print head.
Non-chipped ink cartridges
Cartridges without embedded chips are called non-chipped ink cartridges. All of Brother ink cartridges are non-chipped. As you may be aware that, non-chipped ink cartridges are relatively cheaper than chipped ones, so if you want long term saving, get a printer that uses non-chipped cartridges.
Remanufactured ink cartridges
Remanufactured (refurbished or reman) Ink Cartridges are recycled ink cartridges that have been carefully refilled and tested by the manufacturer. This type of ink cartridge is eco-friendly because it reduces the consumption of resources needed to create a new cartridge. It also decreases the number of wastes dumped in landfills. The drawback of this type of cartridge is that they are still quite expensive compared to chipped or non-chipped ones. The only time you would this type of cartridge is that if your printer is using either a nozzle-embedded ink cartridge or a chipped ink cartridge that the chip is impossible to crack (thus, no compatible versions, you can only get the genuine), like HP 564, HP 920 etc.
Nozzle-embedded ink cartridge means that the nozzle (a.k.a. printhead) is embedded in the cartridge, that is why the whole cartridge is way expensive. We really don't need the nozzle being embedded in the cartridge while there is separated colour system (C, M, Y, K separated).
If you are considering getting a printer, be smart, avoid those using this type of cartridge.
So I have explained these and you should know how to deal with the rediculously expensive ink cartridges. Don't buy genuine ink cartridge, they are too expensive and not worth it. Choose the printer that suits you the best and REMEMBER, try to get the printer that uses C, M, Y, K separated Non-chipped Ink Cartridges. All Brother models are excellent choices. Canons are good but beware that some still use nozzle-embedded ink cartridge.
Try to avoid the printers that use either Nozzle-embedded Ink Cartridge or Chipped cartridge that no compatible versions available in the market. The majority of HP printers are using these cartridges, so you should avoid that.