Who wins the toner cartridge war — HP 26A or HP26X?
What’s the difference between HP26A and HP26X toner cartridges anyway, and which is best for your printer?
Let’s dig deep and find out!
For starters, the HP 26A and 26X share many similarities.
Both are black toner cartridges designed to work with the HP 400 series of LaserJet Pro Multifunction printers.
You can install either of these toner cartridges in your HP 400 series LaserJet printer and get excellent, high-quality printouts.
The Difference Between HP 26A and HP 26X
The difference between HP26A and HP26X toner cartridges is capacity.
The HP26X is a high-yield cartridge filled with nearly three times the amount of toner powder inside. That means the HP26X can print many more pages before running out of toner.
What Printers Accept HP 26A and HP 26X Toner Cartridges?
Both HP26A and HP26X toner cartridges will work in the following HP Laserjet printers:
- HP LaserJet Pro MFP M426fdn
- HP LaserJet Pro M402dn
- HP LaserJet Pro M402dw
- HP LaserJet Pro MFP M426dw
- HP LaserJet Pro MFP M426fdw
- HP LaserJet Pro M402dne
- HP LaserJet Pro M402n (Check out our Laserjet Pro M402n Review here!)
- HP LaserJet Pro M402d
- HP LaserJet Pro MFP M426dn
Both HP 26A (CF226A) and HP26X (CF226X) toner cartridges offer:
- Quality printing
- Bold and sharp text
- Professional-looking graphics
- Fast and reliable printing without affecting the quality
- Higher page yield
- Consistent performance
- Safe for your printer
- Help protect the environment
A Closer Look at the HP 26A
Also known as the CF226A — and in more formal circles as the HEWCF226A — the HP 26a is a black toner cartridge with a respectable page yield of 3,100 pages.
Therefore, at 5% page coverage (the average print), you will be able to print 3,100 pages with this 26A cartridge.
The HP 26A is a standard capacity black toner cartridge with a page yield of 3,100 pages.
A Closer Look at the HP 26X
By contrast, the CF226X, commonly known as the HP 26X — and the HEWCF226X by hardcore printer geeks — will print a whopping 9,000 pages before running out of toner.
Let’s compare by price. You can get the HP26A at Toner Buzz for $125 and the HP26X for $199.00.
The HP 26X is a high-capacity black toner cartridge that has a page yield of 9,000 pages.
Cost-Per-Page: HP26A vs. HP26X
You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to do the math. The HP 26X delivers nearly three times the printed pages for less than double the price.
Let’s break it down by cost-per-page. We’ll keep the numbers simple since actual cost-per-page factors in paper cost.
Printing 3,100 pages at $125 per cartridge results in a cost of just over $0.04 per printed page.
Printing 9,000 pages at $199 per cartridge results in a cost of just over $0.02 per page.
High-Yield Cartridges vs. Standard Yield Toner Cartridges
Standard-yield toner cartridges cost less money upfront than high-yield ones, but they print fewer pages. The result is a higher cost per page for standard yield cartridges than high-yield cartridges.
Printer manufacturers fill high-yield cartridges with much more toner powder. Therefore, you can print more pages with a high-yield cartridge, which drives down your cost for each printed page to mere pennies.
However, if your office budget is tight and/or you don’t print many pages, save a few dollars and purchase the HP 26A standard yield cartridge.
Which Should You Buy? HP26A or HP26X?
If you can spring for the extra $74, you get a much better value buying an HP 26X cartridge.
The HP 26A and 26X both deliver clear, sharp graphics and text. But you’ll get more for your money with the HP 26X.
It’s essential to stick with genuine HP toners for your HP LaserJet printers. Don’t be tempted by the lower prices of compatible or remanufactured toner cartridges! You’ll be disappointed with the print quality results, and your cartridges run a higher risk of malfunction.
Get those toner cartridges to last longer by storing them properly. Clean your Laserjet monthly, and don’t forget to clean your printer rollers three or four times each year. Nobody likes a streaky printout!