Compatible cartridge review HP M254dw, M254nw, M280nw, M280nw, 281fdn, M281fdw

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We tested a “remanufactured” magenta 203X together with a CartridgeX brand new build cyan. If you want to jump straight to our top pick, it’s the Refresh Cartridges remanufactured.


Neither would win an award for snazzy branding. The CartridgeX in particular looked nothing like its photo and was the plainest of plain white boxes. It could be argued that the manufacturer isn’t wasting your money on graphic design agencies, I suppose. The remanufactured cartridge box looked “home-grown” to say the least: consistent with a relatively small remanufacturing concern you’d think.


There’s no objective way of judging the quality of what printers produce. See this section of the video to see actual test prints with both the magenta and cyan cartridges in the machine.

We had no qualms about printing stuff off and sending it to customers and potential customers.

Page yield

This is actually the surprising bit with both cartridges exceeding the quoted 2,300 page yield by considerable margins. Not far from double the yield in the case of our top pick. More detail in the video here.

HP 203X yield specification: 2,300 (cyan, magenta, yellow)

Refresh Cartridges yield: 4,222

CartridgeX yield: 3,555


There wasn’t much to choose between these two on price. We paid a pound or so less for the Refresh Cartridges magenta and both were about one quarter of the price of a HP brand cartridge.

Carbon footprint

Being produced “predominantly from re-used components”, the Refresh Cartridges is the clear winner here. Other things being equal, direct re-use is the Gold Standard of low-carbon for a given product.


With an emphatically over-performing page yield of 4,222 and environmental credentials to boot, our vote goes to the Refresh Cartridges Remanufactured.

If you’re not a fan of “secondhand” components, then the CartridgeX still yields 3,555 for about the same price.

Apologies to American readers: we could only find these products on at the time of publication.






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