out_435

Or is it just low?

| Determined to test the limits of my printer's "Ink is running low" warning message, I ignored it for several days to find out what would happen. Today I found out. A new message appeared, "Ink may have run out."

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Warning: Ink is running low

By contrast with the rather bland warning about possible low ink (left), the new warning was in alarming shades of yellow and orange.

"If you're so smart," I demanded to know, "why are you uncertain? Don't you know if the ink has run out?"

The printer had stopped in the middle of a print job to display a delphic warning: the ink may have run out, but I could continue printing by pressing OK, and then should change the cartridge when printing was finished. But, if the ink really was out, then "the printer may be damaged" by continuing to print. Translation: It's not my fault if you ruin the printer.

I suppose that makes sense. If I'm printing a single page and it stops in the middle to warn me that the ink may be out, I could probably safely press OK to finish the page. On the other hand, if I just started a 100-page print job, I should probably change the cartridge right away.

empty cartridge
"Ink may have run out"

This also presented an opportunity to compare the condition of a cartridge where the ink was "out" with ones that are said to be "low." Frankly, it didn't look a lot different. The "cotton-filled" section of the reservoir still looked about half-full of ink.

One thing's for sure: the "low" warning is a very early warning. It warned me about that black ink for almost two weeks before it finally ran "out."

Last updated on Jul 15, 2016

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