Most printer companies in the world are now beginning to report the yield of their ink and toner cartridges using recently released ISO standard methods. In the past, each company used their own internal methods for testing and reporting yields and while each method on its own may have been good, there was no way to compare one printer to another because everyone’s method was

Now, you can actually compare the claims of different printer manufacturer’s to each other!

Typically, ISO has a number for a test methodology and a different number for a test target. For example, ISO 24711 defines the method that is used for testing the yield of ink cartridges using the ISO 24712 test suite. You will see printer manufacturers report the yield of their color and black cartridges referencing this standard. However, ISO also provides the option of using other test targets for comparing different technologies or for more focused testing. So, in ISO 24711, you can also run the mono toner test target (ISO 19752) to get pure mono yield numbers (and just to keep you on your toes, ISO 19752 is also the number of the mono toner methodology!)

What ISO Number Should I Look For?

  • Mono Toner (black and white laser printers) – ISO 19752 Methodology and Test Target
  • Color Toner (color laser printers) – ISO 19798 Methodology using ISO 24712 Test Suite, but ISO also allows the optional use of the ISO 19752 test target if someone wants to look at pure black and white printing on a color laser printer
  • Color Ink – ISO 24711 Methodology using the same ISO 24712 Test Suite that is used for color toner and the optional use of the ISO 19752 test target if someone wants to look at pure black and white printing. This is very cool because you can now compare the yields of laser printers versus inkjet printers using the same test targets.

What’s missing? Photo Yield. ISO is hard at work developing a methodology and test target for photo yield and expect to be done in 2009. QualityLogic has developed and published our own methodology and HP also describes their methodology well on their site (they look very similar and are patterned after ISO 24711).

So, the next time you look at a printer or cartridge and want to now what kinds of yields to expect, look to see if they are using one of these ISO standards to help you make an informed decision.