Should I get a Laser Printer or an Inkjet Printer?

If you’re looking for a new printer, either for use at home or at work, you’ll be faced with two choices – an inkjet printer or a laser printer. Inkjet printers use liquid ink that is sprayed through tiny nozzles in the printer to create images. Laser printers, on the other hand, use a toner cartridge with a fine powdered ink and a heated fuser to print images. Each has its own pros and cons as each has its own printing method.

The Costs

The initial costs for purchasing either printer are about the same. Even in the case of multifunctional printers – that can also scan and photocopy pages – the price of the actual unit doesn’t change very much.
But, as we all know, the real cost of a printer isn’t only in the initial costs. The other components that you’ll need to run the printer is where all the real costs lie. When weighing up your options remember to check the price per page for printing costs. This can be done by taking the price of an ink cartridge and dividing it by the number of pages that you can get from the cartridge. You may find that the cartridge costs of one printer are far higher than that of another printer.
Also remember that a larger laser printer may have additional costs tied to it as they sometimes require an additional fuser cartridge in order to print, and may need some parts replaced semi-regularly.

Print Speed and Quality

If you’re going to be printing a lot of black and white pages of text, the speed of a laser printer is unbeatable. Even with lower-end models, you can expect about 20 pages per minute. An inkjet printer will be considerably slower here, with only about 6 pages per minute. The quality of the text prints will be about the same though.
When it comes to colour printing – from photographs to charts and graphs – an inkjet printer will serve your needs better than a laser printer. Inkjet printers are better at reproducing all that subtle colour gradation in photographs that make them appear to be a higher quality. A laser printer will often show banding or lines in colour photograph prints.

Choose the Right One For You

IF you’re buying a printer based only on its price, the choice is an easy one. If you don’t mind paying a little bit more upfront for the printer and if most of your printing will be black and white text documents, a laser printer is the way to go. On the other hand, inkjet printers tend to be more versatile, which could be a big factor depending on your needs, however you’ll end up paying more as time goes by on the running costs of the printer.

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