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Inkjet vs laser printers, pretty important decision to make for your home or small office. So, which one is right for you? The first thing to consider is your printing habits.

what do you mostly print?

I just love their designs and looks. They make other parts of the house looks even better.

Plain text graphics photos or a mix of each?

Second, how much do you print on an average day or week? With that in mind let me give you

some of the pros and cons of each type of printer.

Printing technology basics: Inkjet vs laser

While the most basic definition of printing is the same across both inkjet and laser printers – putting letters and images onto paper – the two methods achieve this result in very different ways.

Inkjets rely on liquid ink, deposited onto the page through a print head that uses dozens of micro-nozzles. It prints by putting microscopic drops of ink onto the paper. Depending upon whether that ink is dye or pigment based, the ink may change the color of the paper, or simply dry as a deposit on the surface of the paper.

Laser printers, on the other hand, rely on toner, which is a powder. The “laser” in laser printing is used to generate an electrostatic charge, which is used to transfer the toner to the paper, which is then bonded to the surface of the page using heat.

These two approaches will affect everything from how big a printer is to how expensive a single printed page is. Both technologies can be found in single-function, or all-in-one, printers, alongside scanning, copying and fax capability. Either one can be a good fit, so long as you understand the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Specs Canon Pixma TS9120 Brother MFC-L2750DW XL
Printer Type Inkjet Laser
Rating 4.5 stars 4.5 stars
Price $149 $329
Ink/Toner Six cartridges Monochrome
B&W Print Time 00:26 00:16
Color Photo Print Time 01:57 N/A
Dimensions 14.7 x 14.2 x 5.6 inches 16.1 x 15.7 x 12.5 inches
B&W Text printing 7.8 cents per page 3.75 cents per page
Color Printing 19.8 cents per page N/A

Inkjet Printers

First, up inkjet printers, inkjet’s are ideal for printing photos as they do a better job than lasers of blending colors smoothly. Something jets have special photo ink that creates subtle shading and contours and special photo paper is available to produce the best results if you have a highly visual business such as real estate or design.

You should consider an inkjet for photo-heavy promotional materials. Jets also allow you to print on a variety of media including fancy cotton or textured stationery specially coated fabrics canvas banner size sheets and some can print on specially coated CDs and DVDs. Jets are also smaller and lighter than most laser printers and are generally simpler to maintain.

Well that’s all fine and dandy but what are some of the cons of ink Jets.

Inkjet Printer Printing Speed

First is speed, compared to laser printers most ink Jets are slow to average performers.

Second is plain paper print quality something jet models produce gray grainy text or oddly colored graphics.

When using plain photocopy style paper, a good tip for printing text on paper is to search out ancient models whose black ink is pigment-based rather than dye-based. Such as Canon Pixma MG3620

Canon Pixma MG3620

The third is paper handling, each jet is designed for a small office or home users with lower capacity input trays of 50 to 150 sheets for office use. Look for a model that has 150 to 250 sheet main tray and a standard or optional second tray and if you print a lot an automatic duplexing feature is recommended for double-sided printing.

And last tricolor cartridges, lower-end ink Jets use tricolor cartridges that contain cyan magenta and yellow inks in a single package. This means you have to replace all three colors as soon as you’ve depleted one of them hence having dedicated cartridges for each color is more cost-effective.

Laser Printer

Now let’s have a look at the laser and LED printers.

Consider laser and LED printers if you need to print perfect text, they create precisely drawn black text. Color text is usually almost as good if you print mostly text with occasional simple graphics, a laser LED printer is the way to go.

Lasers and LEDs print quickly and most are faster than inkjet printers. They are designed to handle high-volume printing easily featuring 150 or 250 sheet input main trays while some features automatic duplexing for double-sided printing.

Lasers and LEDs also print exclusively on any laser compatible playing paper any standard office paper will meet that requirement that’s because these sheets are smooth surface and designed to handle the high temperatures of the fusee mechanism lasers.

And LEDs can have a soul thicker and banner sized media but anything heat-sensitive cannot be run through them. Some laser printers have high-yield cartridge options which promise a lower cost per page than you get with a standard size cartridge.

However, this option is only really beneficial if you print a lot, otherwise, you have an expensive cartridge singing your printer for months. Also designs that separate the toner from the drum may provide cost savings so that’s something worth considering. We recommend Lexmark MB2236adw Multifunction Laser Printer.

Lexmark MB2236adw Multifunction Laser Printer

Inkjet vs Laser Printers: Pros & Cons

Well the first is mediocre photo quality, these printers can handle simple pie-chart level graphics but they struggle to print smooth looking photographic images.

Second would have to be the large size lasers are bigger and heavier machines. Some compact lower-end lasers are available but most standard office models are rather bulky and heavy.

Third in day-to-day management. Monochrome laser printers are easy to manage; however, color printers are more complicated because they have four toner cartridges and four drums. If shopping for your office looks for models that come with software that enable you to control access to color features to help with the cost of managing and buying new cartridges.

Inkjet vs Laser printers: Printer size

One more differentiating factor that printer shoppers may not consider when comparing printer types is size. Obviously, printers vary in size and design, but on the whole, laser multifunction printers tend to be larger and heavier than their inkjet counterparts. If you’ve got limited space on a desk or shelf, it will be easier to find an inkjet to fit in that smaller space.

Inkjet printers have benefited from some significant advances in miniaturization, with features like print heads built into the ink cartridge. Some, like the HP Tango X are so small as to be portable, measuring just 9.7 x 15 x 3.5 inches and weighing a mere 7.5 pounds.

Laser printers, on the other hand, have to accommodate a larger print drum, laser module and thermal element, which all adds to the bulk. Add multifunction features like scanning and copying to the list, and laser all-in-one printers tend to be pretty bulky.

Takeaway: If space is tight, you might be better off with an inkjet printer.

Inkjet vs Laser printers: Printing Cost

And lastly, if you thought that lasers were cheaper to run than inkjets well, that is not necessarily the case lower-end. Lasers with an affordable price might rely on expensive toner cartridges so instead of looking simply at the cost of the cartridge look at the cost per page to get a better idea of how much money you’ll spend over time.

A cost per color per page of three to five cents is average these days anything higher is expensive, anything lower is a good deal. In summary, the inkJets are easy-to-maintain. Printer ideal for printing photos and various documents and can use different paper types. Lasers and LED printers, on the other hand, are perfect for speedy high-volume printing of Playtex or basic graphics and both are available in space-saving all-in-one versions for scanning, making copies or with some models even faxing.

Yes faxing so, there you have it hopefully you’re a little closer to deciding between an inkjet or laser printer for your home or office.


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