Inkjet vs. laser printing: Which should you choose?

Inkjet or laser? The time for a new printer has arrived, but with so many options to choose from, even the experienced buyer might feel overwhelmed. The first question you must ask yourself, before being distracted by all the fancy features printers come with these days, is whether you want to buy an inkjet printer or a laser printer?

The difference between inkjet and laser printers

Firstly, let’s establish the primary difference between an inkjet and a laser printer. An inkjet printer uses spots of liquid ink dropped onto the paper to create a digital image, while a laser printer uses a toner cartridge filled with fine powder that is electrically charged and then bonded to the paper using heat. Knowing how each one works, and what their strengths and weaknesses are, is the first step to deciding which one to buy.

inkjet or laser

Things to consider when choosing between inkjet and laser printers

What will the printer be used for: Inkjet printers are a good choice for the home or small businesses that don’t need to print large quantities. They are also the best choice for printing high-quality images and photographs. The laser printer is best for printing high volume black and white documents.

Print quality: While advancements have been made with both types of printer, they are generally considered to have different strengths when it comes to print quality. Inkjet printers are usually the preferred choice when it comes to printing photographs, as the result is better toned and more natural. While laser printers excel in producing perfect, sharp black text and colour graphics.

inkjet or laser

Print speed and volume: Laser printers are designed to print at a fast rate, producing a high volume of prints, and can print up to seventy pages per minute. Inkjet printers, traditionally, print at a slower rate, however, advancements in technology have seen inkjet printers with the capacity to print as fast as laser printers. Laser printers, however, are quicker to start up and can print immediately, while inkjet printers take longer to get going initially.

Cost: Inkjet printers are considered initially as the cheaper option to buy, while laser printers start off at a higher cost, although laser printers are seen to have a longer lifespan. However, the costs continue with the replacement of inks and toners. Ink cartridges in inkjet printers need to be replaced more frequently than toner in laser printers, which can print a significantly larger number of pages. An additional cost that may need to be considered with a laser printer, is replacing the drum unit that transfers the toner powder onto the paper.

When making your decision between an inkjet printer and a laser printer, you need to weigh up the pros and cons of each printer. While inkjet printers may be smaller and cheaper, it may not produce sharp quality text documents at high volumes, and the paper trays have lower capacities than laser printers, which could be frustrating for the high volume user. On the other hand, however, laser printers are more expensive but have a lower cost per page, but are not as suitable for printing complex graphics as inkjet printers.

The key to deciding which printer to buy lies in its use. Once you’ve decided what you want to use it for and how much you will be printing, your choice will be much easier. Whichever printer you decide to buy, The Inky Shop has you covered when it comes to buying cartridges for your printer. The Inky Shop boasts the finest quality ink and toner cartridges, so make sure to stop by one of our stores, for all your printer consumable needs. Find out more about the products and services we offer here.

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