Comparing Inkjet Printers Vs Laser Printers

We all like to save money when it comes to printers and cartridges but how do you decide what printer to buy in the first place? There are two main options – either an inkjet printer or a laser printer. This article gives some insight into the main differences and similarities between printing with a laser printer and an inkjet printer.

Firstly you need to understand the technology of the two styles of printers. The key difference is the means used to imprint the image onto the paper. Laser printers use a digital process that applies a laser beam and mirrors to project an image of the page onto an electrically charged rotating drum. Using a combination of heat and direct contact, the drum then transfers the image onto the paper. This process essentially burns the image onto your page making it smudge proof and permanent. Inkjet printers on the other hand use electrical impulses to spray the ink out of nozzles onto the page. The ink then bleeds into the paper before air drying.

Proponents of inkjet printers prefer the simplicity of their technology. The initial cost of the inkjet printer is often cheaper than a laser printer and replacement cartridges appear inexpensive. We would like to offer a word of warning however. The yield, or output, from replacement ink cartridges is usually significantly less than laser toner cartridges. This means that you need to look at the cost per printed page to do a true and fair comparison. Indeed, laser printers are typically much cheaper to run over time if you print high volumes. Whilst text output of inkjet printers is very good, it is their ability to print high quality images and photos that makes them attractive.

On the other side of the argument, laser printers offer much faster and greater printing output. This is because a toner cartridge can print between 2,500 to 10,000 pages before replacement. Laser printing is much faster than inkjet printing because, like a computer, a laser printer has an inbuilt memory enabling the image to be stored and accessed very quickly. This means that a simple page of text takes the same time to print as a complex graphic. Inkjet printers however have to spray each individual pixel meaning that large complex graphics takes a long time to print.

When you have decided if you are leaning more towards an inkjet printer or a laser printer you then need to consider other issues such as networking ability, paper tray configuration, media portability, memory, paper paths, optional font capabilities etc. There are many websites to help with your decision process.For example, PC magazine have investigated both laser printers and have several articles exploring printers and printer ink cartridges.

These days you can get some very reasonably priced and highly optioned inkjet and laser printers. We recommend that you consider the cost of the actual printer plus the cost of replacement cartridges over the life of your printer. To do this you need to have a good idea of the type and volume of printing you will do. In general, big business and sophisticated small business/home users choose laser printers whilst small business and the average home user is happy with an ink jet printer.

Laser Printer: The Better Printing Option

Laser printer is a very common term that many of us get to hear today. Almost all offices have switched to laser printers from the traditional ink jet ones. The laser printers have many benefits over the regular ink jet printers which makes them a better printing option in most cases.

Before looking at the laser printer let us first look at the history of printers that we have had till date. The very first printer of sorts would have been the simple type writer. It functions very similar to the printer with the only different being there is no computing interface between the typist and the printing device.

The evolution of the typewriter was the dot matrix printer. This was based on the same concept as a typewriter in that the contents where printers on the paper by impressions hitting a ribbon of ink. Depending on the kind of patterns that hit the ribbon, the corresponding images or text got transferred onto the paper.

The next jump in the printing domain was the ink jet printer. This printer uses a spray of ink to create images on the paper. The first printers of this kind were black and white printers and they could produce a much better and neater looking printouts as compared to the dot matrix printers.

With time, the technology evolved and coloured inks made way into printing. Now it is not difficult to get colour printouts as well as black and white printouts from the printer. So much so that most printers have the option to load multiple cartridges and support both printing options.

The next evolution in the printing technology was the laser printers. This solution was quite different from the traditional printing options that were available. All the previous versions used some form of ink to create images on the paper. The laser printer changed that approach and introduced the option of using electrostatic charges to print and create images on the paper.

Given the accuracy of the laser beams, the print outs from these printers where crisper and of much superior quality as compared to the other forms of printing. The ink jet printers too created great images, but there is always some lag time between getting the print out and the ink drying out. The modern solutions do address this problem and we have some really quick drying inks available. The quality of laser printouts is still superior to other printouts.

The only limitation of the laser printer for a long time was the lack colour printing option. As a result, it was a norm to use ink jet printers for colour printouts while sticking to laser ones for purely black and white needs. However, this is changing now with the advent of color laser printing. Now one can get laser quality printouts for not just banal text but also for vibrant colourful pictures and photos too. While the color laser printers remain premium product today, pretty soon they will become mainstream and general public can enjoy the high quality printing solutions.

Which Laser Printer Is the Lowest Cost Compared to Other Printers?

If you are considering a printers for your next piece of office equipment, you should know that not all product are alike. No doubt your laser printers will cost much less than it would have a few years ago, but you may still be wondering which printer is the lowest cost compared to others.

For years, the only laser printers available was a standalone commercial unit costing thousands of dollars. Fortunately, things have changed dramatically when it comes to the latest laser printers, both in size and in cost. You can purchase a desktop-sized laser that will produce fast, high-quality documents for hundreds of dollars less than the familiar commercial printers you are familiar with. In fact, you can find a laser printer much cheaper than you think. So which laser printer is the lowest cost compared to others?

If you are looking for a monochrome laser to simply print documents and black and white graphics, then consider the Brother HL-2140 Laser Printer. This monochrome printer runs less than $120 and still puts out the first page in under 10 seconds, with 23 pages per minute and a 2400 x 600 dpi.

If a color laser printer better suits your needs, then the Konica Minolta Magicolor 1600W Laser is your economical choice. Still well under $200, this one prints in high quality color as well as black and white. It is small enough to fit perfectly both at home or in the office and prints at 20 ppm black and white or 5 ppm in full color.

You can also find great buys on multi-function printers, allowing you to scan, fax and copy as well as print. Your money saving choice in this category is the HP LaserJet M1319F Multifunction Printer. This is the one-stop does it all printer with lightning speed, color scanning, black and white printing, copying and faxing at up to 1200 x 1200 dpi. This multifunction printer replaces several pieces of equipment in your office for under $375, making it extremely economical as well as highly functional. You can also perform multicopying of up to 99 pages and scale your copies from 25 to 400 percent of original size.

Printers are critical to your business, but so is saving money and with a printer you can have the best of both worlds. A laser printer produces some of the highest quality documents you can find, making them the premier choice of all other printers.