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All About ISO and IEC Standards in Print

Alongside Printerland's commitment to provide the best service in the industry, our manufacturers are equally committed to providing quality, reliable products to meet the expectations of our customers' satisfaction.

As such, these brands all support industry standards including those set by the International Organisation for Standarization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

By following standardised methods for the testing and reporting of aspects such as estimated page yields and print speeds, the aim is provide a fair comparison of performance across brands in order to provide users with accurate indications of expected product performance.

Cost of Ownership

One of the most important considerations when purchasing a new printer is the ongoing costs of operating the machine and replenishing the consumables over its lifecycle.

We always advise our customers to talk to one of our trained printer experts for buying advice. They understand that choosing a printer can be a daunting task and they are always willing to help ensure you purchase the most suitable device for your printing requirements. They can be reached free of charge on 0800 840 1992

Many factors affect the per-page cost of your print output, including but not limited to the following:


  • Page coverage
  • Page size and margins
  • Image types
  • Printing mode
  • Number of cartridges used during the printing process
  • Environmental conditions (for example: temperature, humidity, altitude)
  • Network set-up, connection types and speeds
  • Document size, format and type
  • Media type used


Variations within these factors can lead to significant differences in actual performance when compared against the estimated page yields provided within the product descriptions by the manufacturer.

The standardisations introduced by the ICO and IEC have helped alleviate inconsistencies and provide transparency for customers by giving reliable information at the point of purchase.

By having a single reporting standard, customers can be confident in the accuracy of comparable yields across products.

How are the reporting standards achieved?

Traditionally, printer and MFP equipment was typically tested by using an assumed "5% area coverage" per print without necessarily taking in to account the factors given above and therefore could not guarantee factual results when comparing between products, particularly across differing brands.

The most recent testing methods provided by the ISO and IEC provide set parameters and conditions in which tests should now be carried out.

An example of the test parameters used is provided below:

What Does 5% Coverage Look like?

We have created an example guide to show you what is meant by 5% coverage, along with some other examples of higher coverage documents. Click on the image below to open the PDF.

Printers and Cartridges


Standard Test Page

Printer Set-up

Environmental Conditions

'Toner Out' Conditions

  • Printing stops if a 'toner out' message is issued and the printer no longer prints
  • If the recommendation is to shake the toner, this is performed a maximum of two times
  • If the printer does not stop printing at 'toner out', testing is stopped as soon as fading bars appear.
  • If a printer has toner out sensing but fading bars appear even after shaking, testing is stopped.
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    This calculation is based on current pricing which is subject to change over time and excludes the cost of additional long life components such as drums, fusers or other maintenance items.

    *Page yields are declared by the manufacturer in accordance with ISO/IEC standards or occasionally estimated based on 5% coverage. Yield will vary greatly depending on image, area coverage, print mode and environmental conditions.

    *Page yields are declared by the manufacturer in accordance with ISO/IEC standards or occasionally estimated based on 5% per page coverage. Yields will vary greatly depending on image, area coverage, print mode and environmental conditions.