Should I buy an Inkjet or a Laser Printer?

Inkjet or a Laser Printer
If you're planning on buying a printer for your home or office, you are probably faced with the same dilemma as numerous people whether you should spend your money on an inkjet or a laser printer. The main difference is the way they function inkjet printers use liquid ink that is sprayed onto the paper, while laser printers use toners, which are filled with powder (exact difference between toner and inkjet). As it's always the case, every technology has its own strengths and weaknesses. Both technologies will deliver good quality prints; it's up to you to choose which one suits your need the best. We will try to demonstrate the ins and outs of both technologies, but you will have to make the final decision.

First of all let's talk about the initial costs. Most people believe that laser printers are much more expensive than inkjet printers, even basic models, and it was true five or ten years ago. However, today the price difference between entry models is quite small. Of course, with the basic inkjet model you will often receive the option of color printing, while budget laser printers only have the ability of black and white printing. Cheapest inkjet printers will set you back about $60, while the cheapest laser printers cost at least $100. You should know that cheap inkjet printers usually come with cartridges that are not full, which means you can expect to refill them after a few runs. (read here why costs involved to run an inkjet printer is much higher than laser printer though the price of inkjet printer itself is less.)

As you probably know inkjet and toner cartridges don't last forever, and you will have to change them once you're out of ink. These costs are called ongoing costs and are usually expressed as a price in cents per page. Of course, this only includes the price of ink, not the price of paper. Most inkjet printers have a price per page of 20 cents for both monochrome and color printing. If you are going to print only in black and white, prices go down to about 8 cents per page. With a cheaper monochrome laser printer you can expect the price of 6 cents per page, and if you buy a more expensive printer, the price per page will drop even further.

When it comes to printing speed and quality, laser printers are almost always winners. Even the cheapest models can print up to 20 pages per minute, while cheap inkjet printers will almost never do more than 6 pages per minute. Laser printers also offer a better quality of printing especially in case there are a lot of details and small text is used. Now, this is true when we're talking about monochrome printing; however, with color printing things change quite a lot. In most cases inkjet printers will deliver better quality color prints. Not only that, but color inkjet printers are less bulky and less expensive, therefore more suitable for the home use. This brings us to another factor that is important for some users size. If you have limited space in your home or office, inkjet printers are almost always a clear choice.

So what is the conclusion? Well, if you are mainly interested in color printing, and photo printing you should definitely go for inkjet printers. They can also print on a variety of media for example canvas or specially coated fabrics. Inkjet printers are often smaller than their laser counterparts, and are cheaper to buy. If you can afford a little more money, you're mostly printing black and white documents, and speed is a priority then you should consider opting for a laser printer. With that said, most inkjet printers are considered to be a great choice for home users, while most offices opt for laser printers, mainly due to faster printing.

Note that many printers today also come with additional functions such as scanning, copying and faxing, and they are called multifunction devices. These models are selling more and more every year, slowly taking the throne from single-function models. If you plan on using these additional features maybe you should consider buying one of these multifunction devices, whether they offer inkjet or laser printing. Choose Brother as your brand as that is best when you are looking for multifunction inkjet printers and choose HP as your brand for multi-function laser printers.

Written By : Dusan K., from Serbia(I.T Student)

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Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )

Disclaimer: The suggestions in the article(wherever applicable) are for informational purposes only. They are not intended as medical or any other type of advice