Inkjet cartridges are extremely popular: most computer users are familiar with inkjet printers, as they provide relatively high quality printing and can be used in a variety of industries. The principle which inkjet cartridges use is very straightforward and easy to understand. Inkjet cartridges are reservoirs of ink which connect to a series of small nozzles called the print head that are used to create very small dots of ink. In a single color such as black, the nozzles can be used to form text. The colors in the inkjet cartridges can also be combined to form a color image.
Most color inkjet cartridges follow the Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key, or Black (CMYK) color model. The four colors are held in separate reservoirs, sometimes within a single cartridge and sometimes sold individually as separate inkjet cartridges. They can be mixed in specific amounts to form hundreds of potential colors, creating lush and evenly toned color images on a wide variety of papers. When a user prints a document, the data sent from the computer to the printer includes the specific CMYK formula for each pixel in the image and the print head replicates it with hundreds of tiny nozzles that fire simultaneously.
Many manufacturers make inkjet cartridges with a built in print head. The reason for this is that the print head is one of the most heavily used parts in the printer: by including it with inkjet cartridges, manufacturers ensure that the print head is replaced frequently, permitting high print quality. The print head forces ink out by using either heat or vibration. Thermal print heads vaporize the ink, turning it into a small bubble which is forced out of the nozzle and onto the paper. Vibrating print heads force ink out with movement.
Print quality can vary widely with inkjet printers, as most users are aware. Several factors can influence print quality, beginning with the resolution. The higher the resolution, the higher the image quality, because the resolution refers to how many dots per inch (DPI) the printer can produce. Images which look grainy or ragged are produced on low DPI printers. The paper used can also affect quality, because low grade paper tends to allow ink to disperse on the paper, blurring the edges of the dots. High quality printer paper does not permit this, meaning that each dot remains crisp and distinct.