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The Dell Syndrome

Written By: Barry Shultz

From information I have gathered from different sources I have come to the conclusion that Dell cartridges are exactly the same as Lexmark cartridges EXCEPT for the cap.

For owners of Dell printers this should be cause for celebration. Now bear in mind that I have not confirmed any of these findings with my own tests. However, the information does come from people who claim to have actually tried and successfully used a Lexmark cartridge in their Dell printer.

Before I begin I want to compare some pricing for the Dell and Lexmark cartridges that we are referring to. These prices were accurate at the time of this study.

Dell Web Site
Black (310-4142) $26.99
Color (310-4143) $29.99

Lexmark Web Site
Black (82) $29.99
Color (83) $34.99

Saples.com
Black (82) $32.99
Color (83) $38.99

Officemax.com
Black (82) $29.99
Color (83) $37.99

I have included prices from Staples and OfficeMax for Lexmark cartridges because the whole purpose of this article is finding an alternative to ordering from Dell’s web site which is very inconvenient if you need the cartridge yesterday.

Apparently Dell has a monopoly on these cartridges. I did a Google search for Dell cartridges and I couldn’t find anybody EXCEPT Dell selling them.

If you will notice the prices from Dell are cheaper than the rest but if you take into consideration shipping then it pretty much evens out.

Ok, on to the procedures.

There are two ways to do this. You can modify the printer itself or you can modify the cartridge.

This procedure works with the black and color cartridges.

To modify the cartridge you must remove the cap from your existing Dell cartridge. Depending on the amount of glue it should come off easily with a carpet razor knife or a box cutter. You will need to buy a new Lexmark cartridge. Look for #82 (black) and/or #83 (color).

Remove the cap from the Lexmark cartridge and install the Dell cap that you removed earlier on the body of the Lexmark cartridge. Expect to get some ink on your hands.

Glue the Dell cap on the Lexmark body using super glue, airplane glue or a hot glue gun. Hot glue is probably better because it will be easier to remove the cap to re-use later.

You should now be able to use your new Lexmark cartridge in your Dell printer.

The second method is to modify the printer. Some people may get a little queasy with this but both methods work. If you have a problem with this method just use the cap method.

In your printer there is a “half-round” plastic protrusion that prevents you from using a Lexmark cartridge. By simply removing the piece of plastic you will be able to insert the Lexmark cartridge into your Dell printer.

Start by purchasing your Lexmark cartridge(s). Insert the Lexmark cartridge in your printer. It WILL NOT go in all the way, don’t force it.
Carefully peer into the printer, you may need a flashlight, and take notice where the plastic protrusion is preventing the Lexmark cartridge to go back in further. I am told it is fairly evident and you should have no trouble seeing it. It is a “half-round” protrusion at the top rear of the cartridge.

Once you see the plastic protrusion you can either remove the screws that hold it in place or remove it with a pare of pliers or wire cutters. I can’t take responsibility if you kill your printer but if you are careful you shouldn’t have any problems.

Do the same with the color cartridge and your Lexmark cartridges should now fit in your Dell printer.

About the Author

Barry Shultz is the author of Atlascopy News, and President of Atlascopy, Inc. Atlascopy specialized in affordable alternatives to the high cost of printer supplies. Sign up for the Atlascopy Newsletter and get 10% coupons every week in your email. http://atlascopy.com/signup_new.htm
Go to Atlascopy to save a bundle on your printer and refilling supplies.
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