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This toner cartridge is designed for use with the HP Laserjet 5P and 6P laser printers. These toners are used extensively at the company I work for as we have a number of 6P printers.
The 03A is a black ink cartridge with an estimated life of 8,000 pages. (This will vary according to whether standard or presentation modes are used on the printer).
This toner will retail at around the £70 mark depending on which supplier you use.
The cartridge comes in a large-ish cardboard box and it securely packaged with cardboard holders to keep the toner from being shaken around too much. The cartridge is sealed in a black plastic bag, which seems to me to closely resemble bin bag material!
In Use These toners are quite easy to use, once it is removed from its bin bag(!) it is simply a case of removing a plastic strip from the toner to make it ready for use, and then placing it in the printer. These toners are the type that slot straight into the printer and this makes changing them over an easy job. You could probably do it with your eyes shut after a while!
HP advertises on the packaging that their toners are now using “microfine technology” to improve print quality. This technology seems to have something to do with the print droplets being a smaller size and so making the print more accurate and sharper. To be honest I haven’t noticed much of a difference myself, as I think the 6P has always had a pretty decent print quality to begin with!
The packaging also tells us that the toner may well use parts recovered from HP’s recycling program. I think credit is due here to HP for making a concerted effort to embrace recycling, as the more waste we can stop from being thrown into landfill sites the better! Now if only they could find a way of reducing the amount of packaging they are using…
(I am pleased to say at this point that my company use a recycling firm to dispose of all our used toner cartridges).
I can’t say that I have any particular gripes about the reliability or life span of these toners. They do seem to last for a good amount of time and when the print quality starts to fade, removing the toner and giving it a good shake around seems to give you a few more pages worth of printing!
I have not used any non HP toners in our 6P printers so I cannot really judge whether the HP products are of a significantly higher quality or not. However, as we have a policy of only using HP consumable products, I think it unlikely that I will be able to make a comparison any time soon!
The only disadvantage that I can highlight is that the price of £70 per toner cartridge is quite steep, considering that this is not the highest spec printer available on the market these days.
Conclusion If you are using a Hewlett Packard 5P or 6P printer, then these toner cartridges are probably the best option that you can choose to maximise your print quality. They are easy to use and I have not experienced any reliability problems with them.
My only moan would be that they are quite pricey, but thinking about it, that seems to be the way with all printer cartridges these days doesn’t it?!