Ink Tank vs. Ink Cartridge: Which One You Should Choose?

Ink tanks vs. ink cartridges, you may think that these are different names for the same thing. But a big No, they aren’t. Both printers perform a decent job for printing but use different reservoirs of ink. As the name show, Ink tank printers use a tank that can hold up ink and supply continuous printing up-to thousands of pages, while Ink cartridges use cartridges, that are required to change when run out of ink, to print the images of high-end quality and their ink can also dry up when not in use. So, for choosing the printer that is best suited to your needs and requirements, it’s important to know the difference thoroughly before you make a choice between Ink tank and ink cartridge printers.

Today, In this article, I am going to unpack the strengths and weaknesses of each, that will help you decide which one is best to invest in for either your home or business needs of printing. So, let’s dive in!!.

Recommended to read: Inkjet vs Laser Printer

Ink Tank vs. Ink Cartridge

Quick Comparison: Ink Tank Vs Ink Cartridge

FeaturesInk TankInk Cartridges
Inbuilt Print HeadNoYes
Integrated Ink SystemYesNo
Risk of Ink DryingNoYes
Running CostInexpensiveExpensive
Upfront CostHigh Upfront CostLow upfront cost
Maintenance RequiredLowHigh
Quantity of Print1000 of pages per tank refill300-400 pages per cartridge 
Printing QualitySuitable for mixed printing such as printing of documents, posters, projects as well as photographs. High-quality text and image printing on all printing papers and fabrics

Detailed Comparison of Ink Tank vs Ink Cartridges

After the quick comparison, here’s the detailed comparison of both ink tank and ink cartridge printers which will clearly let you know which one is better and why.

Highlighted Features: Ink Tank vs Ink Cartridge

For the deep comparison of  both Ink tank and Ink cartridges, let’s have a look towards their highlighted features so you get to know which one is better and can fulfill your requirements.

Ink Tank: There’s no inbuilt print head in ink tanks. They utilize a variety of individual color tanks, plus a black ink tank. The ink within the ink tanks can be topped up as needed from an ink bottle. They can be directly supplied to the printer via an “integrated ink system”. Printers that have ink tanks are referred to as ‘continuous ink tank printers’. There’s no worry of drying or wastage of ink in such printers because they require you to fill the tank with ink based on your printing requirements.

Ink Tank

Ink Cartridges: These have an inbuilt print head. They are small boxes of liquid ink that are created separate to the machine itself and then need to be placed within the printer for printing. Some printers require separate cartridges while others use a single cartridge with black, magenta, yellow, and cyan ink. Once a cartridge runs out of ink, they are replaceable or refillable. There’s a fear that ink in cartridges can dry up which renders the cartridge useless. Then, the entire cartridge needs to get replaced, which is an expensive thing to do.

Ink Cartridges

Print Quality: Ink Tank vs Ink Cartridge

Both, Ink tank and Ink cartridges printers can do decent quality printing. But for the sake of comparison, Ink Cartridge printers can print smooth and detailed text and images on all types of printing papers either glossy or matte, and even on fabric without any issue. While, as Ink Tank printers use liquid ink so they don’t print ideal photos purely although results are decent. They are more suitable for mixed printing such as printing of documents, posters, school & college projects as well as photographs.

Print Quality Ink Tank vs Ink Cartridge

How Many Prints Can They Put Out?

Ink Cartridge printers can print an average of 300- 400 pages off a single cartridge, but sometimes if the printing quality demands are high, they print less. On the other hand, Ink Tank printers hold a large capacity of ink tanks (70 ml in most printers). So, they can print 1000 pages or even more. 

Pricing: Ink Tank vs Ink Cartridge

If you’re an economical person and want to buy everything on a budget, then this point of comparison really matters to you. The price of Ink cartridge printers is lower in comparison to ink tank printers. But, the cost of replacing ink cartridges is much more expensive than refilling ink bottles. You roughly need 4 cartridges for a single printer, and prices can be high or vary, depending upon the model of printer or capacity of the cartridge.

On the other hand, as Ink tank printers have high upfront cost but, they save a lot after. Because they have an integrated ink system which supplies continuous ink and ultimately lowers the running cost of the printer . Also, the refill ink bottles are really inexpensive. Mostly ink tank printers  have the tanks built outside its chassis which make filling up of tanks an easy peasy job.

Pricing Ink Tank vs Ink Cartridge

Which One Is Better either Ink Tank or Ink Cartridges?

The answer of the question, which one is better entirely depends upon your choice, your requirements you desire for your printer and most importantly the budget you have. But still if you are confused and can’t decide which one is better than I’ll suggest you to go for a ink tank printer as it adds value alot for printing, decorating your home with posters, printing your children school and college projects, forms and an occasional article. But if you want a high-end photo printer then ink cartridges printers should be your choice.

Best Recommended Ink Tank Printers to Buy

If you are thinking of investing in a new printer then I recommend you to invest in the printers mentioned below. I have tested them with the help of my team so as to save you from any hassle of finding a durable and best printer in the market. But, make sure you are clear with your choice and requirements.

1. Canon Pixma G3000: All-In-One WiFi Ink Tank Color Printer

Canon Pixma G3000
SpecificationsCanon PIXMA G3000
Form factorAll-in-one
Product dimensions44.5 x 33 x 16.3 cm
Weight5.8 kilograms
Operating systemCanon PRINT Inkjet / SELPHY App (for iOS / Android), Windows
Printing technologyInkjet / ink tank
Max print speed monochrome8.8 ppm
Max print speed color5 ppm
Included ComponentsPrinter, CD DVD Tray, Power Cable and USB Cable, Ink Bottles

Reason to Buy:

  • It can Print, Scan, and Cop.
  • It comes with a total 6 bottles of ink, 2 Additional Black ink bottles and 1 set of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black Ink bottles.
  • It can print 7000 pages with high page yield ink bottles, without any fear of high cost and running ink supply low.
  • It has a compact body, and you can also check the levels of remaining ink easily at a glance.
  • It has Built-in wireless LAN connectivity that  allows you to print from Pcs, laptops, mobile phones and tablet computers, wirelessly.

Reason to Avoid:

  • The printer is expensive to buy, but it has rock-bottom running costs.

2. Epson Ecotank L3252: Wi-Fi All-In-One Ink Tank Printer

Epson Ecotank L3252
SpecificationsEpson EcoTank L3252
Form factorAll-in-one
Product dimensions43.5 x 40.8 x 24.4 cm
Weight5.6 kilograms
Connectivity typeWiFi, USB, App
Printing technologyInkjet
Sheet size21 x 29.7
Included ComponentsPrinter, CD DVD Tray, Power Cable and USB Cable, Ink Bottles

Reason to Buy:

  • It’s an all-in-one printer – print, scan and copy. 
  • Easy wireless connectivity through Wifi and supporting mobile app. You can also use USB with it. 
  • Fast printing speed. It can print 33 pages per minute. 
  • It is ideal for home and small business usage, as it can print more than 300 pages per month.
  • The box include printer, CD / DVD Tray, power cable and USB Cable, Ink Bottles

Reason to Avoid:

  • The purchasing price is high.
  • Installation may take some time.


Clearly, In the battle of Ink tank vs Ink cartridge printers, the winner is Ink tank as they can churn out in excess of 1000 of pages and even more depending on the capacity of ink, they can store. But still as a matter of fact, which system will be more efficient and cost-effective for your printing largely depends on your usage, requirements and budget. I have also recommended some of the best Ink tanks printers above, made an investment in any of them today for either your home or business’s printing job, and you’ll never regret it.