Tech moves fast! Stay ahead of the curve with Techopedia!
Join nearly 200,000 subscribers who receive actionable tech insights from Techopedia.
An ink cartridge is a container for the liquid ink used in some types of printers, most notably inkjet printers. It is not used in laserjet and dot-matrix printers, which use powdered toner and ink-soaked ribbon, respectively. Some inkjet printers actually use an ink tank, instead of an ink cartridge.
Ink cartridges are specially made to fit printer models. They come in two types: black and colored. The latter contains cyan, magenta, yellow and black inks that are blended together to produce various colors. A sophisticated sensor in the printer can determine the ink level and thus warn the user when the ink is low or needs to be replaced. Some ink cartridges can be refilled at specialty stores, allowing users to save on costs and waste, as ink cartridges are relatively expensive, especially those made for printers that are cheap because, in this case, printer manufacturers actually make a profit from the sale of ink cartridges instead of the printers.