A single color printer cartridge just contains one specific ink color, like a cyan, magenta or yellow ink cartridge. Printers that use single color cartridges are often better at producing photos than tri-color cartridges since all three individual cartridges work together to create a print. They are also can be more cost-effective when it comes to replacement! You can replace each individual cartridge as needed, so if you are low on yellow, you just need to replace the yellow cartridge. Printers that use individual ink cartridges typically work with printers that have the printhead built into the machine. If you print frequently, this may need to be replaced eventually, so it’s worth keeping in mind when considering the total operating cost of your printer. The HP 902 series and Epson 702 series are two individual ink cartridge examples.
A tri-color printer cartridge contain all three colors (cyan, magenta and yellow) in the same cartridge. Tri-color cartridges have an integrated printhead built into the cartridge, so every time you replace the cartridge you are replacing the printhead. They are usually a bit cheaper than individual ink cartridges but will need to be replaced immediately if one particular color is running low, which can be inconvenient if you print a lot. HP and Canon are the two most common printer manufacturers that offer tri-color cartridges, like the HP 64XL series or Canon CLI-246XL series.