Epson’s version of Confuse-A-Cat:
This article is intended to present you with basic information about various Epson inkjet cartridges you may need for your specific printer. In this article, we will look at the T068, T069, T088 series inks. They all look like the same cartridge, but hidden underneath are different ink volumes that can save you money.
When Epson releases new printers, they usually do so in bunches, and in those bunches Epson likes to use the same ink cartridge series. The T068, T069, and even the T088 (to some extent) series inkjet cartridges, all work in the same printer bunch. That bunch includes:
the Epson Stylus CX4400, CX4450, CX5000, CX6000, CX7000F, CX7400, CX7450, CX8400, CX9400Fax, CX9475Fax, NX100, NX300, NX400, C120, WorkForce 500, WorkForce 600, WorkForce 30, and WorkForce 40 inkjet printers.
These cartridges all share the same physical shape, but carry varying amounts of ink.
Your Cartridge Choices:
What? Did not know you had choices?
T068 series cartridges 11ml ink:
Price: $15-$20 per cartridge.
The T068120 ink cartridge is what Epson refers to as the “heavy user” cartridge, or high capacity. This T068120 does contain more ink than it’s sister cartridges like the T069/T088 series. However, Epson says you will get 50% more prints with this cartridge vs. the less full T069120 black cartridge. Nowhere does Epson mention the amount of ink their cartridges contain, which makes it harder to compare the cartridges that are offered. We wanted to know exactly how much in was present, so we sucked it out with a syringe. 11ml of ink folks, that’s it. That works out to $1.81 per ml, or $6850.85 a gallon. or The T068 cartridge series comes in black T068120, cyan T068220, magenta T068320, yellow T068420.
T068120 will work in the following printers: C120 MUST use 2 of these cartridges, Stylus CX5000, CX6000, CX7000F, CX8400, CX9400Fax, CX9475Fax, NX300, NX400, WorkForce 500, WorkForce 600, WorkForce 30, WorkForce 40 inkjet printers.
The T069 series cartridges 7ml ink:
Price: $10-$12 per cartridge
The T069120 ink cartridge is what Epson ships you with the printer (in most cases). Epson refers to it as the “moderate use” inkjet cartridge. You may have seen this as an option on the sticker inside the printer that tells you what cartridges to use in your printer. It is important to note that if you can find these cartridges for half what the T068 series cartridges cost, buy two (2) of these and you get more ink for your money. Comes in black T069120, cyan T069220, magenta T069320, and yellow T069420.
T069 series will work in the following printers: Epson Stylus CX5000, CX6000, CX7000F, CX8400, CX9400Fax, CX9475Fax, NX300, NX400, C120**, WorkForce 500, WorkForce 600, WorkForce 30, WorkForce 40 inkjet printers. ** C120 CANNOT use the T069120 black. Can use the color T069 series.
The T088 series cartridges 3ml ink:
Price: $8-$13 per cartridge
The T088 series of cartridges are a joke. They are the same shape and size as the above mentioned cartridges, but they contain a measly 3ml of ink. If you own a printer that uses these cartridges exclusively, get rid of it (CX4400, CX4450). If you don’t have to purchase these cartridges, don’t.
Designed for the low end consumer models Epson Stylus CX4400, CX4450**, CX7400, CX7450**. ** Sold exclusively through big box retail.
The image below was obtained by (1) cracking open the cartridge case, (2) removing the black tape that covered the viewable clear plastic coating. This procedure turned out to be very difficult; it took us several tries. These cartridges do not use a sponge to distribute the ink. Rather, Epson uses a multi-chambered system that sends ink to the nozzle from two different chambers, and as you will notice not all the chambers contain ink. This makes refilling almost impossible, and not very desirable. Notice all the air-space you also pay for with the cartridge.
T088320 Cracked Open Ink Cartridge:
T088 Series ink cartridges. There is a ton of empty space in this T088 series cartridge. This cartridge is a joke! Look at all the empty space you are paying for! This cartridge registered as empty on the Epson print monitor.
T069420 Cracked Open Ink Cartridge:
Again, rough to get the black tape off so we could take pictures of the inside of the Epson ink cartridge. Notice all the air-space. This cartridge could hold more ink in that large empty chamber right? This cartridge had a very small amount of ink left.
T068120 Cracked Open Ink Cartridge:
Only the T068 series puts ink in every available space, with the exception of one, but that space is not filled on any of the cartridges. This cartridge was about half full of ink when we cracked it open.
So as you can see, it pays to know the ink volume of each cartridge that is available for your printer. If you are looking for a cartridge you can refill, these are not them. Very hard to get into, and resetting the internal chip is impossible. So the next time you go buy cartridges, make sure you know what you are getting. As you can see, the cartridges are all the same physical size, Epson just monkeys with the ink levels.