When you read what the yield of a cartridge is, you will see a number of pages the cartridge is enough to print. For instance, HP CB540A toner cartridge has a declared yield of 2,200 pages, while the Canon PG-540 ink cartridge is capable of printing 180 pages.
But printed pages differ from one another. For the purpose of cartridge yield measure, almost all printer manufacturers base their black ink/toner cartridge yields on 5% coverage. This means only 5% of the whole page is covered with ink or toner. 5% coverage implies basic type with no bold characters, no graphics and no pictures.
CMYK toners for color laser printers and copiers base their cartridges yields on 20% to 35% coverage (5% to 7% per color). In reality, if a document had a 100% fill, there would be 400% coverage. Tri-color inkjet/toner cartridges base their page yield on 15% coverage (5% per color).
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