There is always a debate on whether to buy an Inkjet or a LaserJet printer. Many home users, as well as office staff, get confused when it comes to making a decision between these two printing technologies. Both printers have their own pros and cons and fit best according to the type of printing jobs you carry out. There are many other factors like the volume of print-outs, speed, cost, and quality of printing that govern the final buying decision. Printer manufacturers, now-a-days offer a plenty of premium features in addition to the basic features available in the latest printers. The innovations in printing devices are so amazing that a novice as well as a seasoned player in Information Technology has to compare the features of inkjet and laser printers before recommending one.
InkJet Printers Vs LaserJet Printers-Key Differences
The printing on paper is done with liquid ink that is sprayed on the paper by tiny nozzles on the ink cartridge. The cartridge moves from left to right and as it resets back to left position, the paper moves forward. The ink cartridge fires a number of dots per inch on a paper. This dots per inch (DPI) is also called the resolution of the printer.
The Laser Jet printer, on the other hand, uses powder as a medium of printing the text or images on the paper. It has a drum unit in the toner cartridge that prints a patterns on the paper on charging and is discharged immediately so that paper does not stick to the drum. Instead of horizontal printing like that of an inkjet printer, the printing is done in the vertical direction in case of laser printer.
The laser printers are faster among the two types of printers since they are designed to meet high volume needs. The LaserJet printers can print up to the speed of 100 pages per minute (ppm). The inkjet, on the contrary, can deliver the speed of 20 ppm. The printing speed can vary from model to model.
If you are a professional photographer or a desktop publisher to print high-end graphics on the paper, the inkjet printers are the best to deliver minute details of the color images. The laser printers, on the other hand, produce sharp and crisp text prints with a cutting edge laser-beam technology. There are some good quality color laser printers in the market which give a stiff competition to photo inkjet printers. But photo inkjet printers still have an edge when it comes to photographic print-outs.
Inkjet or a Laser printer, every kind of printer has its own limitations in terms of the monthly print outs it can deliver. The heavy duty business inkjet printer comes with 750 monthly print volume. Talking about the laser printers, even the entry-level laser printers offer a minimum monthly volume of 1500 pages. So laser printers win here with larger print capacity compared to inkjet printers.
Most of the people who buy printers know just about the initial price of the printer. Yes, the inkjet printers are available at a cheap price compared to laser printers. So the point is that the initial cost of an inkjet printer is reasonably low. But what about the running cost? A single toner cartridge of a laser printer (monochrome) with a cost around $40 can print about 2000 pages whereas a set of ink cartridges of inkjet printer can print only a few hundred copies.
The inkjet cartridges are of small capacity and hence need to be replaced quite frequently. If you need to print text documents more and a few color print outs once in a while, you must go for a Laser printer considering its low cost per page.
Other Differences between inkjet and Laserjet printers
|InkJet Printer||LaserJet Printer|
|Input paper sheet capacity||Low (up to 100)||High( up to 800)|
|Warm-up time||Nil||Yes (15 to 30 seconds)|
|Over-all Size||small to medium||Large|
|Type of paper||supports a variety of paper including glossy paper, chart paper, fabric based etc||Can accept limited type of paper|
|Operation sound||Quite operation||can be bit noisy|
The laser and inkjet printers have their own positive and negative points. If you have a tight budget, you can buy an inkjet printer but otherwise, you can always go for a laser printer since it is fast and cost-effective in the long run.