Laser Printer Buying Guides

If you are looking to purchase laser printer, here are some features of laser printers which would be helpful to those who are purchasing laser printer or those who need information about laser printers.

Laser printers give the highest quality text and images among the printers. Laser printers got different model. Some of them are perfect for small businesses and home offices. Some reliable low-cost models are also available that are perfect for everyday personal printing.

Some of the features of Laser Printers are

Resolution, Quality, and Color: –

The standard resolution of leaser printer is 1200 dots per inch (dpi). For everyday printing, including small DTP jobs this type of laser printer is well-suited. But still some laser printers have a resolution of 300 dpi. Resolution enhancement technology is used in such laser printer with a resolution of 300 dpi because such printer causes rough edges on the images. RET are used to smooth the rough edges.

Color laser printers are more expensive as compared to black-and-white versions and require a great deal of printer memory to produce high-resolution images

Speed: –

As far as speed is concerned Lasers printer is the fastest among the printer. One can get full-color results as fast as 3 to 4 pages per minute (ppm), and black-and-white output as fast as 25 ppm. But it needs time to warm up the fuser to operating temperature when the printer is turn on. It generally takes 5 to 30 seconds to warm up the printer. But now laser printer with “instant on” fuser is available. This instant on fusers has been design to reduce the warm up time of a printer

Paper handling, size and capacity: –

Most laser printers use letter-size, cut-sheet paper. Supplementary paper trays or feeders can be added to increase the capacity.

Laser printers can print on a variety of papers sizes, types and weights, such as transparencies, labels and card stock. They can also handle non-traditional media like envelopes. But papers, such as iron-on transfers, are not suitable for laser printers, as the heat used in the transfer process could damage the paper and gum up your printer.

A laser printer with duplex printing can print on one side of the paper, then turn the paper over and print on the other side. Most laser printers, however, use the simpler manual duplex printing.

PCL or postscript:-

PCL – “Printer command language” is the standard printer language for HP’s and most other laser printers. PCL is used for printing letters, database printouts, spreadsheets and simple graphics. A laser printer that uses only PCL can be upgraded to Postscript by installing a software driver provided by the manufacturer of the laser printer.

Laser Printers

The ‘Model 3800’ by IBM was the first laser printer, introduced in 1975. Very soon, the ‘ND 2 by Siemens and the ‘9700’ by Xerox also came out. The technology of laser printers was revolutionized by the introduction of the LaserJet in 1984, by HP. After that, the prices of laser printers have continued to drop.

A laser printer uses a laser beam to print images of supreme quality. This is done by first producing the image on a photosensitive drum with the help of a laser beam, and then transferring the image onto paper using a usual printing process.

Accuracy, economy and speed are the major advantages of laser printers. This is because the laser can move very fast and print with a better speed than an ink jet. And since a laser travels in a single line, it is more precise, thereby avoiding the spilling of ink. Even though laser printers are more expensive than inkjet printers, their toner is cheaper and long lasting. It is because of this that laser printer is used more often in offices.

Cost can be a disadvantage of laser printers, as they are expensive compared to mechanical printers. The maintenance required by laser printers can be very costly. Also, the quality produced by laser printers is very book-like, and hence they can also be misused.

Before one decides to buy a laser printer, there are a few features that should be kept in mind. These include the speed and printing capability (24 ppm for a workgroup printer), the standard resolution, which is 600 dots-per-inch, the printer languages and the paper handling of the printer. The top brands of laser printer include Hewlett Packard, Lexmark and Xerox.

Disadvantages of a Laser Printer

There are very few disadvantages to owning a laser printer in general but one of them is definitely the cost. The money that you could spend on a very high-end inkjet printer will only buy you a very low-end color laser printer with limited capacities. Color laser printers with multi-functions such as a copier and a fax all in one are even more expensive. However a middle of the line black and white laser printer is comparable to the price of a top of the line color inkjet printer.

Another disadvantage is the cost of the cartridges inside a laser printer. Sometimes the cartridges cost almost as much as the printer did which is why many people throw the entire printer out and buy a new one after the cartridge expires in year or two.

The cartridges for laser printers are several times more expensive then the cost of the toner cartridges for inkjet printers. However they do last longer especially if you remember to set the printer in black and white printing mode when printing black and white and only using the color mode when it is really needed. Another way to make an expensive color laser toner cartridge last longer is to keep the printer in low quality mode unless you are printing out the final document.

If you live in a hot or humid climate a laser printer may not be the ideal solution for you. This is because running these machines can make a room very hot. The fuser inside them, which is the device that melts the plastic granules that constitute the powder that makes up the toner onto the paper, heats up to as high as 200 degrees Celsius.

Another limitation of a laser printer is that they only really print on certain kinds of paper. If you want to print out photographs then a laser printer is not for you as they are not yet capable of printing high-resolution images. Also you cannot put photographic paper through a laser printer. For the best quality images you need to buy a bubble jet ink printer that can transfer an image onto photographic paper. The color quality that you get with a bubble jet ink printer is just as good if not better than the color quality that you can obtain with a laser printer. A high-end color printer that produces quality color images can cost as much as $3,500 to $10,000 whereas you can get a good quality ink jet printer for about $200.

Another disadvantage of laser printers is that many of them are limited by the amount of memory that they are sold with. This can sometimes limit the number of fonts that you can use. To expand the memory of your color laser printer you usually have to buy a small RAM board. This is the only reliable way to install memory so that the color laser printer can utilize a number of fonts.

The more expensive a laser printer is the faster it is. The affordable models only print out about four pages a minute. Top end models print out about twelve pages a minute but they are not really affordable for the individual.

Laser printers, especially the color laser printers, can also be heavy and take up a lot of desk space or room in the office. At the time of writing there was also no such thing as a portable laser printer. The reason that a portable laser printer has yet to be invented is because a battery does not yet exist that is small enough to provide laser printer functions with enough power so that it can be taken on the road.