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Admittedly I normally go for ink that isn't branded, or at least branded by some of the larger names simply due to cost however I opted to go for the HP colour bundle from HP on this occasion to test out any real differences. Anyone who has ever brought ink will be familiar with the "Prints x more pages!" rhetoric that crowns most advertisements, so I decided to put that claim to the test.
General Quality of Print: - I have to admit that I did not see any real difference in the branded ink in comparison to other cartridges I had bought cheaper (on places such as Amazon) in standard text documents, which to be fair I expected given the simplicity of the print job. However, there was a noticeable difference in the general quality of the printing when it came to both simple and complex images with the HP ink clearly tackling the print job better and more importantly to a greater standard.
Durability: - I actually found that the HP ink tended to last longer than unbranded ink cartridges, whether that's because they are "more concentrated" or just have more in the cartridges I am unsure, to my knowledge there wasn't any swings in mass so one must assume the HP ink was more concentrated. In any case, towards the end of a cartridge, I've found that the ink tends to drip out at a somewhat sporadic rate leading to print jobs that are acceptable but not brilliant. This is not something I experienced with the HP ink. The print job was consistently of a good quality and standard right to the last drop of the cartridge where I finally gave into the warnings of low ink levels and replaced it.
To conclude, weighing up branded HP and unbranded cartridges... go with HP! I will from now on at least, there is very little wavering (if any) in the general quality of the print and the cartridges do actually last longer for various reasons. Good stuff HP!