Am I at the mercy of big ink?
March 16, 2013 1:50 AM   Subscribe

Canon Pixma printer purchased in US, specified ink cartridges not available in Asia where I live, BUT there is a different model number that looks exactly the same. Can I use it?

Incredibly prescise question, but I've seen askme work wonders before. I have a Canon Pixma 490 purchased in US. Specified ink is CL-210XL (black) CL-211XL (color). Those are not available here in Hong Kong where I live now. BUT, there is a CL-810XL /CL-811XL that look EXACTLY the same save the model number. Canon customer service, both in US and here, say I can't use those and have to buy a new printer or have ink shipped from US. Can anyone say definitively I can use this ink? (Yes, I bought some by mistake--because it looks exactly the same--and can't return it.)
posted by dust of the stars to Computers & Internet (2 answers total)
Best answer: Huh. So apparently there's some Pixma 496's and 486s and stuff that use the CL-810 instead of CL-210 cartridges. The printers ALSO look exactly the same as yours. And apparently the actual ink is the same, or at least you can use the same refill kit.

It looks to me like these are all the same basic printer / cartridge but the asian version. This might be due to regulatory differences - or it might be so they can vary prices by region, same as DVD region encoding allows.

If I were you, I'd just give it a shot. If something is actually wrong with the voltage or whatever the most likely problem you would have is that the heaters or piezo elements would burn out, but those are on the actual replaceable cartridge, right, so who cares?

Another reasonably likely failure mode is that the printer asks the cartridge its model number and capacity and so on, and the printer won't recognize the wrong type of cartridge.

And in the unlikely event that it does fry the printer? If you're willing to buy used, you can replace it for like $60.
posted by aubilenon at 2:20 AM on March 16, 2013

Yeah you know these piece of shit printer manufacturers lock their customers in with microchips on their cartridges. So blowing up your printer aside, you may very well get an error message from the printer saying it doesn't recognize the cartridge. Not because the CL-810XL doesn't work with your printer, but that maybe it hasn't been coded to work with your printer.

What would be the reason for this? I don't know. Perhaps to prevent arbitrage. Maybe they sell the 810 in Asia cheaper than the 210 in the US.

Can you bypass this error? Probably. By resetting or disabling some feature on your printer. Since this issue comes up a lot with third-party refills, I'd google it. You'll get plenty of hits.
posted by phaedon at 2:36 AM on March 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

« Older What is the name of this item of clothing that...   |   How do I kick him out of my head once and for all? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.