Inkjet Printer vs. Laser Printer: Which is better?

  • By reComparison Contributor
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Difference between Inkjet Printer and Laser Printer

Computers are a part of people’s everyday lives and are very useful at work and at homes. We use our computers for research and information gathering and we also use these programs for making reports and correspondence among other things. But our work will never be complete without having a finished product. This is where the printers come in. There are two types of popular printers right now namely inkjet and laser printers. Printers can provide us with the finished product, print out a coupon, driving directions and can reproduce our paper work at a very fast pace. A lot of people wonder which printer is the best with regards to performance, durability and economy when it comes to the ink that they use. Read below to find out.

Cost of Printing

An inkjet printer is far more expensive than that of the laser printer when it comes to the ink used. This is because inkjet printers use liquid inks and they consume too much of it when printing. Unlike the laser printer which uses a toner (similar to that of photocopying machines) which is composed of powdered inks which are also more economical to use.

Printing Speed and Output

A laser printer can print a page in as fast as a couple of seconds. When the printer warms up, and the document is sent to the memory of the printer, it works like a photocopier reproducing copies in favorable speeds. An inkjet printer on the other hand prints slower because it will take a lot of time for the ink to go back and forth the paper and the ink on the print out still needs to be dried. When it comes to the readability of the text, laser printers print texts more accurately because even the small details are captured. With an inkjet printer, the output is good for larger fonts but when it comes to small ones, it can be a little blurry because of the ink used. For printing photos, the laser printer can print in grayscale with lesser details. The inkjet printer on the other hand can print rich colors because of the printer’s option to incorporate colors other than black. With the right paper for this printer, you can print photos like a professional.

Convenience

When we talk about convenience, inkjet printers stand out. This is because these printers are cheap and they require less maintenance. Inkjet printers are also made to have sleek designs which perfectly fit any office space. On the other hand, laser printers are quite expensive and most of these units are very bulky. Installing these printers require a bigger space in your desk.

Summary

  • Inkjet printers have more expensive inks compared to laser printers.
  • Laser printers print faster when it comes to text documents while inkjet printers print beautiful pictures and graphics.
  • Laser printers print a more detailed text graphic compared to inkjet printers when it comes to printing small fonts.
  • Inkjet printers come in sleek designs while laser printers are bulky.

Which printer is better for home use?
  • Inkjet Printer
  • Laser Printer
 
 

Discuss It: comments 5

  • Guest
  • pow pow wrote on May 2010

inkjets are good for colour images and laser is good fo black and white .

  • Guest
  • SFeingold wrote on November 2010

Both can be used for color and for black and white. Modern laser printers are not necessarily bulky. The advantages of laser are speed and cheaper consumables, even for color printing. Laser printers also produce more durable prints (toner is waterproof) and much higher quality draft-speed text.

Inkjet printers, on the other hand, are still superior to laser printers in one big way: photo quality prints. Even inexpensive inkjets nowadays will produce FAR superior photo quality prints to any laser out there. They are not real competitors in this arena...nobody buys inkjets for volume printing, and nobody buys laser printers for photo/fine art printing.

With inkjets, especially cheap inkjets, the ink is ludicrously expensive even though the printer itself may be very cheap. The closer you get to the high end inkjets, the cheaper the ink is per unit volume. Going from 10 mL to 200 mL cartridges, for instance, will drastically reduce your cost per print. For under $1000 dollars now you can buy both a laser printer AND an excellent wide format inkjet.

If speed, text quality, and occasional office type graphics are your main needs then by all means go with a laser printer. If you need to print photos or make fine art prints, a laser printer will leave you incredibly disappointed. You can spend $100,000 on a color laser printer and still not have the prints approach the quality of photo prints made on an $800 inkjet. They are for two different worlds.

A typical home user with no need to make photo quality prints, or one that can live with the lower quality in light of the other advantages, will be best suited with a laser printer. Even color laser printers are relatively inexpensive now, and the initial premium is well worth it for the much cheaper consumables. If fine art or photo printing on a wide variety of media is more important to you, there is no choice but an inkjet.

Although it should go without saying, a decent photo-quality inkjet can produce far sharper text than a laser printer. Granted this is with photo paper and photo-quality print settings, therefore slow, but there is no inherent limitation on inkjets in this arena; it's merely a compromise. Nobody wants to wait five minutes for a page of high quality text. Aside from speed, laser printers have another advantage in this arena: because of the way they produce prints (melting toner onto the paper), printed text is ever so slightly raised above the paper - you can feel it with your fingers, and it is also somewhat glossy. This can give a high quality, professional look to your printed text that you don't get with the flat, lower contrast text produced by an inkjet used for normal printing tasks.

If you managed to read this, I hope it was helpful in making a decision! I have spent many years using both photo inkjet printers and various B/W and color laser printers across the price spectrum. This article struck me as lackluster and not entirely accurate, so I wanted to throw in my $0.02. Take care!

  • Guest
  • HP Printer Ink wrote on November 2011

In my opinion inkjet printer is much cheaper while the laser printer is much nicer in quality outputs in printer compare to inkjets.

  • Guest
  • UkTonerCartridgea wrote on April 2012

Hi, nice Question,but the Inkjet Printer and Laser Printer ,laser printer is good in quality of working and print the document.laser printer is the new technology for our work easier.

Thanks

inkjet printer ink

  • Guest
  • Cannon ink wrote on January 2013

It is truly a nice and useful piece of information about difference between inkjet printer and laser printer. I am satisfied that you shared this useful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

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