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.

Must-Have Checklist – Choosing a Laser Printer For Your Business

Choosing the right kind of printer for your business can be challenging. Obviously, you want the best quality printing available; after all, the kind of printing you do does reflect on your business. You want the documents your business prints to be around for the long haul, which is why you should consider a laser printer verses an ink jet printer. Here are some reasons why…

o The print lasts longer than ink jet print…sometimes years longer;
o The print does not deteriorate over time;
o There is no risk of smearing (as there is with ink jet printing);
o Volume printing on an ink jet printer is neither efficient or economical; previously outsourced print jobs can be done “in house” with a laser printer;
o When printing camera-ready artwork, the image is significantly clearer than with an ink jet;
o When considering your return-on-investment of a laser printer vs. an ink jet printer, the laser printer is more economical, because:

1. The per page cost is less with a laser printer;

2. They require less maintenance than ink jet printers;

3. The “lifespan” is greater than that of the ink jet;

Finally, consider this scenario. Your client’s contract is printed with an ink jet printer. As you do with most of your important documents, you file it for future reference. Several months later, you retrieve that contract because there is a clause you need to review; only to find that the document, and all of the important information on it, is slowly disappearing, chip by chip, rendering it almost illegible.
While laser printers have been traditionally more expensive than their inkjet counterparts, savvy business owners recognize the extra expense as a worthwhile investment. Now, before purchasing a laser printer for your business, ponder the following:

o Assess your specific business printing needs. Resolution (dpi), print speed (ppm) and paper media compatibilities are the three primary categories by which laser printers are ranked. Yet, specific circumstances – like networking and printer sharing – may require specific demands: upgraded memory, rendering chips and printer server capabilities;

o Budget – Determine how much you/your business is willing to spend to get the printer that meets the majority of your needs;

o Research laser printers online. This is a free, accessible way to compare “like” printers, in your price range, side by side. Search web sites comparing different brands and models of laser printers in all price ranges. (This is also a great way to stay abreast of trends and technology!);

o Printer Ratings – While you are “comparison shopping”, as suggested in the step above, look for each printer’s rating. (Most web sites use a rating system for consistency in their evaluations);

o Features and Functions – Compare the functions and features (as determined in assessing your business printing needs) of the laser printers you are considering. Key comparisons include image quality, printer speed, and network capability. These categories will give you a good idea of the printer’s quality and its ROI for your business;

o Read Reviews – Read customer reviews on each laser printer you are considering. Look for “real time” blogs, where you can ask specific questions from laser printer owners. (The best way to research online customer reviews is by typing in the brand name/model of the laser printer into a search engine.)

o Search the Stores – Call different electronics stores to find the best price on the printer you want. Ask about coupons, volume discounts, etc. Depending on the size of your business and how many printers you need, dealing directly with the manufacturer can be the best way to find package deals on more than one laser printer. Compare these results with prices you found online, as sometimes the online deals are more competitive.

Now that you are “equipped” with what to look for in a laser printer for your business, go out and get it! You will be glad you did!

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.