Page yield is the approximate number of pages that can be printed with a particular cartridge. Yield is uniformly determined across all printer cartridges by specifications laid out by the international standard for organization (ISO), an independent international body that develops industry standards for products. The ISO established page yield standards for the printing industry in the early 2000s as a way for consumers to reliably measure and compare cartridge page yield across printer manufacturers. With all major printer manufacturers held to the same testing and reliability standards, consumers can compare competing products and make an informed purchasing decision.
Cartridge page yield is based on 5% page coverage, an ISO standard wherein 5% of the page is imprinted with ink. For example, a short email is roughly 5% page coverage, so if your toner cartridge offers a yield of 1,000 pages, your cartridge can print approximately 1,000 short emails. Since everyone’s printing habits are different, the actual page yield can vary from user to user. Other factors, like the type of document you are printing and the print quality setting can affect the page yield. If you are printing a full page of text or color photos, your coverage will vary greatly and the cartridge page yield will be significantly less. ISO standards are similar to the miles per gallon (MPG) that is associated with your car. They are great for comparing the fuel efficiency across car models, but since driving habits are different from driver to driver, the actual mileage you’ll get from your car can differ considerably. The same thinking can be applied to cartridge page yield and your printer!