Article updated March 8, 2023
What is the best kind of printer? An inkjet or a laser printer?
The answer depends on what you're going to print. If you want to print on things other than regular paper, like photo paper, velum, iron-on transfers, etc., you should use an inkjet printer. But a laser printer is the best way to print pictures and text on paper for the least amount of money.
Laser printers and inkjet printers are very different machines that use different technologies and meet different printing needs. But before we choose between laser and inkjet printers, let's look at the different kinds:
This is your "basic printer," and it works well for printing text documents and low-resolution graphics. Document printers can be inkjet or laser, and they can print in color or black and white.
Photo Printer: Do you mostly print color photos with a high resolution? Most high-end photo printers are inkjet printers, which make colors look brighter and sharper and make color transitions smoother.
All-in-one or multifunction printer: Do you need to print, copy, scan, and fax? Most likely, you need an all-in-one printer. Multifunction/All-in-One Printers can be inkjet or laser, and they can print in color or black and white.
How Inkjets and Laser Printers Are Different
Inkjet printers work best for small documents with a lot of images, such as photos and school projects. But a laser printer is the only way to go if you need a printer that can handle a lot of text-based documents.
Laser printers are powerful, high-tech machines that use a complicated laser printing process to make high-quality prints at fast speeds.
How to Print with a Laser Printer
- Here's a typical example of how laser printing works:
- Changes in the electric charge inside the toner cartridge move the toner powder particles. This is how laser printing works.
- First, an electric charge is used by a laser to draw the image on a drum imaging unit.
- The image is then transferred to the paper by toner powder particles sticking to the drum. The image is then melted onto the paper by the fuser.
- The process is more complicated than inkjet printing, but the results are higher efficiency, better print quality, and faster print speeds.
- A laser printer can print up to 100 pages per minute, but an inkjet printer can only print 16 pages per minute at its fastest. Laser printers are better than inkjets in terms of how fast they print and how many pages they can print in a month.
Inkjet printers use a simpler, less complex printing method in which tiny dots of liquid ink are sprayed onto the paper.
Inkjet printers see the images they print as a series of dots, while laser printers see them as geometric shapes.
The Real Cost of Ink vs. Toner
Inkjet printers used to be much cheaper than laser printers, but as technology has improved, they now cost about the same. Now, laser printers and inkjet printers both cost about the same to buy.
When you buy new ink or toner for your printer, you find out how much it really costs to own. Because replacement ink is so expensive, the cost per page of running a laser printer is usually much lower. With high-capacity toner cartridges, the cost per page can drop to just a few cents.
Toner cartridges, both black and color, may seem more expensive than ink cartridges at first, but they last longer, don't dry out, and are a better value overall.
Make sure you visit InkJets.com for the best prices on compatible and remanufactured ink cartridges.