Ink Tank Printer Vs. Ink Cartridge: Which is better?

There is no dearth of printer models in the market, which makes it very confusing for consumers to make choices. Here we will compare the traditional ink cartridge printers with the new type of printers known as ink tank printers. There are some important points based on which a fair comparison between the two kinds of printers can be made.


In the case of ink cartridge printers, the documents are printed using the link present in containers called cartridges. These cartridges have in-built printheads and are available separately from the printers. The ink cartridge printer has slots to fix the ink cartridges. Only compatible cartridges can be fixed in the slots. For color printers, cartridges filled with the ink of primary colors come along with black cartridges. The primary colours combine to create many color combinations to print documents. The ink cartridges need to be refilled or replaced when they run out of ink.

Ink tank printers, as the name suggests, have in-built tanks for storing inks of various colours such as black, magenta, and yellow. These printers do not have in-built printheads but utilize an integrated bulk ink system that continuously supplies ink for printing. Since the link tanks are integrated into the printer itself, there is no question of replacing them. It would help if you refilled the tanks using ink bottles. Refill bottles are easily available in the market.


The capacity of ink tank printers can be anything between 6000-7000 pages for a single refill. Thus, the capacity of ink tank printers is impressive. On the other hand, the capacity of ink cartridge printers is lesser as compared to ink tank printers. However, the yields of high-quality cartridges are measured in international standards, which are satisfactory.


Quality of printing in case of ink cartridge printers depends heavily on the quality of the ink cartridges. The ink cartridges which conform to international standards have high-quality ink and are compatible with printers of all models and brands. This ensures that the quality of prints is high and is devoid of smudges and flaws.

In the case of ink tank printers, the print quality is high because the ink tanks are integrated into the printer and are manufactured as per the specifications of that particular printer only. Since there is no need for any external ink tank; the print quality is not adversely affected in any way. The integrated bulk ink system also contributes to the high quality of the prints.


Costs of ink cartridge printers are low as compared to ink tank printers. However, you need to shell out money for purchasing ink cartridges manufactured by the same company as the printer. The recurring cost of printing depends upon the usage.

Ink tank printers are expensive and can even be double the cost of ink cartridge printers. However, even though the initial cost is high, the printing cost per page is low, which saves money in the long run.

Which is better?

The performance of both types of printers is almost the same. For people with moderate printing needs, ink cartridge printers are suitable. On the other hand, ink tank printers are the best for printing a high volume of colour documents daily because the printing costs are less.