In terms of size and shape, you won’t see any marked difference between the OEM toner cartridge and the compatible laser toner cartridge because both units are intended to fit into the cartridge compartment of a particular printer. Thus, allowing it to snap perfectly for easy loading and retrieval. However, there could be differences with regards to toner powder supplied.
In the intent of not breaching pertinent copyright laws, compatible laser toner cartridge formulations must be poles apart from the OEM toner and yet produce the same quality prints for its output.
Nonetheless, the imaging components used for both cartridges are likely similar. Dismantling a cartridge will actually reveal this fact. This has likely to do with economics since you cannot expect a giant printer manufacturer like HP to invest its resources in the manufacture of ALL components used in the production of HP toner cartridges.
Outsourcing is the new game for manufacturers where a qualified supplier that can provide the most affordable pricing for components gets the supply reward. So consider this: The housing, printer components and print engine of HP toner cartridges are all sourced out from Canon. Cartridge design must be compatible with engine design and this explains the abovementioned supplier – buyer arrangement between Canon and HP. In retrospect, the imaging components of toner cartridges are supplied by independent manufacturers who are able to meet the operational standards and efficiencies of the printer manufacturer. As each supplier is proven to specialize on a particular supplied component, expect the ensuing product to have the best reliability rating at the least cost to the printer manufacturer.
So in a nutshell, the specialty parts supplier for OEM toner cartridges like the HP toner cartridges could also be the same source for parts built into the compatible laser toner cartridge. Below are a few of the toner cartridge components that are typically outsourced by printer manufacturers:
- Developer Roller
- Doctor Blade
- Primary Charge Roller (PCR)
- OPC Drum
- Wiper Blade
- Drum Shutter
Even if outsourced components are of the best quality, credit still goes to the various laboratories that provide the technical edge in the assembly of toner cartridges. In conclusion, the imaging components used for the OEM toner cartridge and the compatible laser toner cartridge is likely the same so that no marked difference exists in the size, shape and internal mechanisms of OEM and aftermarket toner cartridges.