Despite the fact that we live in an increasingly paperless society, everyone needs to print hard copies from time to time. Fortunately, there is no shortage of options when it comes to printers. The downside is that there are a ton of printers on the market. They are all printed, but vary in price, size and type. The two most common printers consumers encounter in the wild are inkjet and laser. Which is best for your home or office? Read on to understand the basic differences between these types of printers and explore your options.ContentsColor or black and white?Print qualityRunning costFeaturesIn conclusion
Note :As we mentioned above, there are very many printers on the market. This article is intended to break down the basic differences between printer types, not to recommend any specific model.
The first thing you need to identify as a consumer in the market for a printer is whether or not you should print in color. Generally speaking, inkjet printers are for people who need color, while lasers are for those who only need black and white. The consumables (ink cartridges) used by inkjet printers are viscous liquid ink. Liquid inks mix well, allowing vibrant colors to be reproduced accurately. On the other hand, laser printers use a dry powder called toner. Although there are color laser printers, they are not as common as black and white lasers. This is because dry toner does not mix well, resulting in less vibrant color printing.
Lasers, on the other hand, do not suffer from any of these problems because they do not use a liquid-based consumable. This means lasers can produce sharper text with the added benefit of not having to worry about smudging.
Often the number one concern for most people in the market for a printer is cost. Anyone who's ever owned a printer knows that the printer itself is usually pretty cheap. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for consumables. It's no surprise that printer manufacturers don't make their money on the machines themselves but rather on the ink. Unfortunately, figuring out which printer is the cheapest to use isn't exactly easy. There are a number of factors to consider when trying to determine which printer has the best ink efficiency.
Inkjets typically use four separate ink cartridges (some models even have more). These four cartridges must be present in the machine or it will refuse to print. For example, if you want to print a black and white document and your yellow cartridge is empty, you won't print until you replace that yellow cartridge.
Lasers, on the other hand, only use one toner cartridge (if you are using a monochrome laser). At first glance, it would seem that lasers are more value for money since you only have to buy a cartridge; however, this may not be the case. Generally, toner cartridges are significantly more expensive than inkjet cartridges. However, things are not always as they appear, as toner cartridges usually have higher page yields.
Since different printers use different consumables, the easiest way to determine which printer has the lowest running cost is to run the numbers. All printer cartridges state their estimated page yield. This tells you the estimated number of pages that can be printed with a particular cartridge. Take the cost of the cartridge and divide it by the estimated yield to get the cost of printing a single page. This information can help you decide which printer has the lowest running costs for your needs.
For most people, this category won't be as important as things like running costs and print quality. That being said, it's important to determine what kind of features you need for your new printer. Typically, inkjet printers combine a host of other features into a pretty neat package. These multifunction printers can scan, copy, connect to Wi-Fi and, in some cases, even fax. Despite the added features, inkjet printer prices still lean towards the affordable. Unfortunately, the reason for this is that printer manufacturers derive most of their profits from cartridge sales.
If you don't need all the bells and whistles, there are inexpensive laser printers on the market that just print. Of course, you can find laser printers with the same kind of features as inkjet printers; However, these are usually marketed towards a desktop type.
Whether you go inkjet or laser really depends on what you want to print and how much. Inkjet printers offer a more comprehensive package with additional features and the ability to print in color; However, there is a catch. While inkjet printers themselves are affordable, the ongoing cost of cartridges can really add up.
Laser printers are a good option for people who really only need to print documents. Color printers are fairly bulky machines that aren't really meant for personal use. Additionally, color lasers cannot produce the same color print quality as inkjets. That being said, text from a laser is sharp and won't rub off. In addition, laser printers can print much faster than inkjets.
Long story short, you need to do your homework when it comes to buying a new printer. Don't be fooled into settling for the one with the cheapest price, as there are a number of other factors to consider.
What are you looking for in a printer? Are you in the market for one? Which do you think you'll go for, inkjet or laser? Let us know in the comments!