Sunday, 15 March 2015
Inkjet vs. Laser Printers – What’s the difference?
The price divide between inkjet printers and lasers printers used to be vast but as technology has progressed, you can now get a quality laser printer for a few hundred dollars. Both technologies can dish out great prints. Each type has its own strengths and weaknesses. Choosing one over the other is a matter of what you intend to print and how often you'll be printing.
How they work
Inkjet printers spray ink onto the page through tiny nozzles that create microscopic dots. As such, using specialized inkjet paper mitigates possible bleeding, helps control drying times and allows for professional quality color prints.
Laser printers work by using heat to fuse powdered ink to the paper which results in smudge-proof, zero drying time prints. But, the sharp, crisp edges from a laser – don’t allow for the same gradients of color an inkjet can produce.
When it comes to printing black and white text pages, laser printers excel at this in both speed and text print quality. For normal sized fonts (12pt and larger) both technologies will output similar quality prints. However, if you’re printing requires smaller fonts then lasers are far superior to inkjets. This is because the laser technology fuses the ink which lends itself better to the minute curves and dots of smaller text.
For color printing, either full page photography or graphs or anything in between, you’re better off with an inkjet printer. As mentioned earlier, inkjets are able to reproduce subtle color gradients in images while laser printers can produce banding (i.e. extraneous lines of color produced when a page has to pass through multiple times to print each color and the page fails to line up precisely.)
You can purchase a basic laser or inkjet printer for nearly the same price. However if you’re looking to print in color, then your price point on laser printers is going to go up. For an all-in-one printer for your home, inkjet printers are your best bet. However, if you’re a screenwriter that needs to print enormous volumes of text – then a laser printer may be the better choice for you.
Additionally, you should note ongoing costs that you will incur from paper consumption and ink or toner cartridge replacements. Laser cartridges far outlast inkjet cartridges. If you print a lot of black and white documents, a laser printer can save you a lot of money in this department.
If you can afford to pay a little more upfront and you'll only be printing black text documents, a laser printer is a convenient solution. However, if you’ll be printing a wide mix of images and documents in your home or small business - then an inkjet printer is the way to go. The choice is yours.