At the same time, the big companies are getting stingier with the amount of ink they are putting into each cartridge. For example, when H-P eliminated one cartridge that had 42 milliliters of ink and cost $29.99, it replaced it with another that costs $19.99 but has only 19 milliliters of ink.
But cheaper cartridges are far from perfect. The price is often considerably lower, but consumer watchdogs frequently decry the quality of alternative ink, complaining that they can result in streaky printouts. “Shop around for the best cartridge prices but be wary of off-brands; we have found brand-name cartridges to have better print quality overall,” Consumer Reports recently cautioned.