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~ ~ EPSON T1291 Black Ink Cartridge ~ ~
I own the Epson Stylus Office BX305F printer which is an All-In-One machine which runs with four separate ink cartridges.
The T1291 black ink cartridge is designed for a wide range of the Epson multifunctional printers. It is a high capacity (L) cartridge, part of the "Apple Ink" printer supplies. It's a standard cartridge that fits most Epson Stylus, Epson Stylus Office printers and also some WorkForce models. A full list of the compatible model numbers are mentioned at the bottom of the review.
The large ink container holds 11.2 ml of black ink, but a medium sized cartridge (T1281) is also available from the "Fox line" with 5.9 ml capacity.
The Epson cartridges are very popular and easy to find and most computer stores have the T1291 black ink on stock. I've seen that it's available at Carry's, PC World and Argos but Amazon has proved to be the cheapest option for me. I have purchased the Large T1291 container and this is the one I am reviewing.
The black ink is designed with an exclusive resin-based formulation. The DuraBrite Ultra ink pigment penetrates into the paper without expanding around the printed text and produces sharper printouts without smudging. In addition, this ink has a quick-drying formula and dries almost instantly. When the sheet comes out on the output tray, the print is already dry and stable on the paper.
~ ~ Quality & Performance ~ ~
The quality of the ink plays an important part in the printer's performance and I always buy genuine Epson cartridges for best results. I print a lot of standard black and white text documents or graphs at home. I also use my all-in-one printer for copying therefore the black ink is the one that I use more often.
The black and white text documents are clear and sharp, with deep black coloured text. The ink lasts well and the printing quality is consistent. I really enjoy printing with a brand new cartridge, the fresh black ink comes across sharp and highly detailed without shading of the letters. It dries very fast and doesn't leave any marks or blurry areas around the printed text.
With the DuraBrite Ultra technology the ink comes out completely dry and the colour doesn't smear if you touch the printout. In addition, if I print a document with black text and use the highlighter on the printed text there is a little colour smear as expected, but overall the ink stays on place.
When I print everyday documents or notes on plain paper I change my printer's settings to draft mode. This way the ink gives me more prints and it has proved to be an effective way to reduce the ink use and the frequency of cartridge replacements. If the low quality "draft" printing option is selected, a very light grainy effect might appear at the letter edges. However, this effect is highly dependent on the printer settings and it's not representative of the overall ink quality.
When the printer gives the low ink warning, the ink comes across being a little more faint and grey instead of deep black. I have found that this happens to all the printers that I have owned so far though. Additionally, the quality of the printing might change depending on the printing frequency. If the printed is not used regularly and the ink cartridge has been inside for a long time, the ink dries out on the printer head and the print quality deteriorates.
~ ~ Price vs Durability ~ ~
The ink price is affordable and the amount of ink inside the container is good. The T1291 black ink that I currently have in my printer was installed on the 28th of September and today the ink level is half full. I must say that haven't counted exactly how many sheets I can print with one large black cartridge. On average, I print between 10-20 standard black and white documents and some graphs or spreadsheets twice a week, using the low quality printing feature. A rough estimate of the amount of printed pages produced by a full black ink would be around 480 pages max. Overall, I think that there is a good balance between the price and the printing capacity.
~ ~ Installation ~ ~
As with most cartridges, the installation is very simple and straightforward. It's very easy to insert by following the instructions displayed step by step on the computer screen. It is recommended to shake the container 4 to 5 times before opening. After unpacking the T1291 cartridge, the yellow tape is removed and the cartridge is placed inside the black cartridge slot. In order to be installed properly, it should be gently pushed until it clicks into place.
~ ~ Packaging ~ ~
The Epson T1291 black ink cartridge comes in the "Apple pack", which is transparent at the back and at the sides, with the image of an apple at the front. The Genuine rounded label with the colour shifting golden star and the Epson logo is placed on the top right corner. This label ensures the authenticity of the ink cartridges to protect the buyer from other compatible ink cartridges that are not manufactured by Epson.
There are some information printed on the side of the package, including the expiry date, the country where the ink is manufactured and various codes. It's recommended to use the cartridge before the expiry date for best printing results. Epson manufactures ink cartridges at various places around the world, the one that I purchased recently is made in Indonesia. The folded paper inside the packaging gives the product details and some safety instructions.
The cartridge is vacuum packed in a plastic packaging. The ink container ia made from a sturdy, light-grey plastic material with a black and white label attached to the top and front sides. The cartridge details are displayed on the label and there is a warning saying that it should not be removed. On the bottom right side, there is a QR code link to Epson. The back side has a ribbed surface with the EPSON logo at the centre. The cartridge features an ink supply hole at the base and a green IC chip on the side.
~ ~ Availability & Price ~ ~
The T1291 single pack ink cartridge can be purchased directly from the official Epson website for £12.53 with free First Class delivery in UK. From my experience, Amazon has the cheapest price around the internet for the manufacturer's original product. I ordered mine from Amazon.co.uk and paid £10.56 with free delivery. Another alternative is the CartridgePoint website that sells online genuine ink supplies in good prices.
~ ~ Summary ~ ~
The Epson Stylus T1291 black ink is a good quality ink with the great advantage of the quick-drying, smudge-resistant and fade-resistant DuraBrite Ultra technology. In terms of durability and price, I found this ink cartridge a cost-effective printing solution.
- Epson Stylus models: SX230/ SX235W/ SX420W/ SX425W/ SX430W/ SX435W/ SX440W/ SX445W/ SX525WD/ SX535WD/ SX620FW
- Epson Stylus Office models: B42WD/ BX305 Series/ BX320FW/ BX525WD/ BX535WD/ BX625FWD/ BX630FW/ BX635FWD/ BX925FWD/ BX935FWD
- WorkForce models: WF-7015/ WF-7515/WF-7525
Thank you for reading!
This review may be posted on other sites in the future.