The Laser Printer Vs Inkjet Debate: Which Is Right For You?

When looking to purchase a printer, buyers can be confused and overwhelmed. The printer market is enormous and the choices practically endless. One of the first decisions anyone must make when looking for a printer is if they want a laser printer vs inkjet printer. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are a few of them.

Inkjet printers have long been the staple of the home office. They are generally small and take up little space. Inkjet printers work by ‘spraying’ the ink onto the paper. The major producers of inkjet printers are Canon, HP, Lexmark, and Epson. Some advantages of inkjet printers are that they are quiet and that they have a fairly low cost per page. In addition, they print photos well.

Not just for businesses any longer, laser printers have come down in price as their technology has advanced. They are now affordable for home use, especially monochrome printers. They print by projecting the image of the print job onto the drum which attracts in and rolls it onto paper. Major producers of this type of printer are Brother and all the brands mentioned above. The major advantages of these printers is their fast accurate text printing capability. Here are a few things you should think about when deciding to purchase a printer.

Cost of the printer: Inkjet printers are much cheaper than lasers, though the cost of monochrome laser printers is dropping. But beware as often manufacturers sell the printer cheaply and then cash in on replacement ink cartridges.

Cost of ink/toner cartridges: Inkjet printer cartridges are expensive and generally have to be replaced much more often than also expensive laser toner cartridges. Be sure to check the cost per page of ink before purchasing a printer.

Monochrome or color: Color laser printers tend to be considerably more expensive than color inkjet printers. Also remember that there are four toner cartridges and four drums in a color laser, adding to the size of the unit and the cost of maintenance. Unless you plan to print a large amount of color documents, an inkjet is probably better.

The type of print jobs you plan to have: If you plan to print photos, get an inkjet. They are much better at shading and will give you a good quality photo. The other type of printers struggle with photos but are great at text. If you will be printing a lot of black and white texts, a monochrome laser printer will be faster and higher quality. It will print more clearly and crisply.

Knowing the advantages and disadvantages of inkjet and laser printers will aid you in making a good decision. Laser printers are suitable for printing text and excel at blank and white documents. Inkjets are great a printing photos but tend to be slower. Inkjets are cheaper to purchase but may cost more in the long run as the ink cartridges are expensive. Before you buy, do your research, and you’ll be a happy consumer.