All You Need to Know About Inkjet and Laser Printers

Planning on buying a printer but wondering which printing technology is right for you? Then read on.

What’s important here is what purpose you will use this printer for. Will you print frequently or occasionally? Is black and white printing sufficient for you or will you also print colors and possibly photos? First you need to decide if you should get an inkjet printer or a laser printer. Let’s look at the features of these two printing technologies.

Inkjet Printers can be categorized as 3-color inkjet printers, 4-color inkjets and photo printing inkjet printers. The 4-color inkjet printers are the most popular ones in the printing industry.

4-color Inkjet Printers usually hold two ink cartridges (one for black and one for color). Some hold two additional ink cartridges to separate the colors and have one ink cartridge for each color (black, cyan, magenta and yellow).

3-color Inkjet Printers are usually equivalent to the low-end 4 color inkjet printers with the exception of holding only one ink cartridge at a time. So you need to switch the ink cartridge to change between black and color. The 3-color inkjet printers are no longer popular as the 4-color inkjet printer prices are continually dropping.

The photo printing inkjet printers are a bit more complicated than the first two. Many of the 4-color inkjets print photos with good quality and most photo printing inkjets carry the same features as 4-color inkjets with just a few special photo printing features added such as directly printing from the digital camera. Most of the photo printing inkjets use additional colors such as light cyan light magenta, green, and red to provide true photographic quality outputs.

Laser Printers have two different technologies for black & white (monochrome) and color printing. Among the laser printers, monochrome laser printers are the most popular ones in the industry. Generally, laser printers are faster than inkjet printers. Laser printers are quite popular as they offer fast printing, good print quality and low cost per page. They use toner cartridges instead of ink cartridges found in inkjet printers.

Whether it’s for home offices, businesses or home users, I can say that Monochrome Laser Printers offer the best balance between print quality, price and speed. With their prices dropping down to around $200 (personal laser printer) they start to become a good alternative to inkjet printers. As monochrome laser printers’ toner cartridges cost less, they are less expensive to maintain. However if you print color, you may want to go for an inkjet printer.

Color Laser Printers are generally designed for offices where a lot of graphics or photographs are being printed. If you are a home user, probably you will not need a color laser printer. The high-end laser printers are capable of printing good quality photographs but still none can reach the true photo quality of high-end inkjet printers.

Once you choose between monochrome and color laser printer, you can decide whether you need a personal or workgroup laser.

Personal Laser printers are suitable for text and simple graphics. Most of the personal lasers in the market are monochrome laser printers. Because of their high prices, the color laser printers were not attracting personal users. But as some models with prices less than $1,000 have been released, color laser printers are likely to be more popular among personal users too.

Small to Medium Workgroup Lasers are designed for small offices or workgroups within large firms. In addition to the standard features, they have specific features designed for multiple users such as larger input and output trays, duplex (double-sided) printing, sorting, and stapling. They support printing over networks (standard or optional). They also have fast processors and more memory which enables them to handle multiple tasks at good speed. Most of the workgroup laser printers are monochrome.

Whichever type of printer you choose, be sure to get one that has features you will actually use. Do not overpay for a printer with excessive features you are never likely to use.

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.

Brother HL-2140 Personal Laser Printer – Affordable, Reliable Quality

If you are looking for a new laser printer and want to find a good quality but affordable monochrome laser printer, you will want to check out the Brother HL-2140. I bought the HL-2140 about six months ago and I’ve been using it regularly since then. I use the printer mainly for archiving documents and for desktop publishing projects. I have put the Brother HL-2140 to the test over these past six months and it has performed reliably and well.

I selected a monochrome laser printer based on my home office printing needs. I have an ink jet printer for those rare occasions when I need a print with color but for my regular daily office tasks I use a black and white (or monochrome) laser printer. I have been using an older HP Laser Jet 4M for the last decade but it recently had a part go bad and it turns out it is cheaper for me to buy a new printer than to repair the old one. So I went shopping online and discovered the Brother HL-2140. After doing some detective work on the printer, I decided to buy it.

The printer was easy to set up and begin using. From sealed package to first test copy, only 30 minutes had elapsed. The instructions and the CD-ROM software were simple and easy to comprehend.

The HL-2140 printer doesn’t take up much desktop area measuring 14.5 x 6.7 x 14.2 inches (W x H x D) and it weighs 15 pounds. It is mostly made of plastic and while it is fairly firm, I would recommend opening the trays and other printer openings carefully as rough handling may result in breaking of some plastic parts. It’s not made for rugged handling.

This Brother laser printer is fast (prints up to 23 pages per minute) and the paper cassette tray holds enough sheets (up to 250) to keep you ready to print at the click of a mouse. I find the laser printer to be much more economical to use than an ink jet and since I don’t need it for color prints, this Brother monochrome laser printer suits my printing needs very well.

The starter toner cartridge seemed to run out of toner quickly but this is par for the course for consumer printers. I found information online on how to extend the toner cartridge’s capacity and now, hundreds of sheets later, I am still using the original starter toner cartridge.

I paid $80 for the printer during a summer promotion. It can be found online for around $100, at the time of this writing.

I am happy with the Brother HL-2140 Laser Printer. Brother is a well-respected company and I have previously owned some of their other products, each of which gave many years of economical, reliable service in my home office. I am equally pleased with the performance of this printer. I recommend it to anyone looking for an affordable, reliable quality monochrome laser printer.