Toner Cartridge

What Does Toner Cartridge Mean?

A toner cartridge is a cartridge that holds physical print medium materials for a modern laser printer. Rather than containing wet ink, a toner cartridge has toner powder inside that is used to form text and graphics on a page through an electronically charged and heated printing process.


Techopedia Explains Toner Cartridge

Although the toner cartridge seems like a straightforward and simple part of a printer, the design of new laser printers and toner cartridges has created a lot of conflict and controversy over the sale and use of these replaceable cartridges. At the core of the issue is whether consumers and business users can buy aftermarket cartridges that are much cheaper than OEM models or refill cartridges for a more sustainable and long-term use. There is a conflict between the printer makers, some of whom charge so much for cartridges that printers become single-use devices. This can lead to excessive waste and cost for customers.

Issues surrounding the controversy around toner cartridges include warranties for laser printers, the prices of various cartridge models and compatibility with printer models. Industry experts are looking at the long-term sustainability of these basic materials for modern document printing.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.