The biggest query that consumers face while trying to buy a printer is: Inkjet Vs Laser printer, which one is better? If, like me, you were one those people and are seeking a firm answer to this age-old question, then wonder no more. We decided to go in-depth to compare and finally figure out, which is the best printer to buy, inkjet vs laserjet.
There isn’t one determining factor for it as each type has its own pros and cons. But, if they go head to head on similar features, which one is going to come out on top? Are laser printers better than inkjets, or is the other way around?
If you’re interested in buying a specific printer for your needs, then check out our Printer articles on Time4Buying.
Main differences of Inkjet and Laser printer:
Here’s the basic rundown of the key features/differences between the two most popular types of printers “Inkjet vs Laser printers that we will look at in this article
- The Technology: What’s really going on behind the scenes?
- Price & Cost-effectiveness: Which one is cheaper to buy and is the same one cheaper to operate?
- Print quality: Which printer is better for photos and images vs which is better for documents etc. Is the print monochromatic or colored?
- Size: Which of the both will conveniently fit in your space.
- Print Volume : Which printer is better for high volume prints?
- Preference: It finally boils down to your requirements; What specs and features are you looking for and which printer can better fulfill those requirements.
1. Inkjet Vs Laser Printer – The Technology
The technology might not seem relevant to the average user as it does not matter how they get there as long as they achieve their desired results. Laser printers, However, the technology used in both printers determines the main factors that come after, the price and the quality use “electrically charged” toner, which is powdered ink, to transfer the image or text onto the paper and is made permanent by heating it.
Whereas, inkjets deposit liquid ink onto paper (and sometimes even other materials) as microscopic drops of ink through several micro nozzles.
2. Price & Cost Effectiveness of an Inkjet Printer and a Laser Printer
To a buyer, perhaps this is the most important factor when buying literally anything, and printers are no exception. So let’s find out the cost-effectiveness laser color printer vs inkjet.
On the first look, almost all inkjets seem a lot cheaper than laser printers; they are almost less than half the price! And that is between colored inkjet and monochrome (black and white) lasers. The price difference only increases if you compare both types in colored printing.
However, the operational cost is where you make up that difference. While the initial price of inkjet is lower, the cost of a laser to operate is a lot less, especially if you just need plain-text printouts. Buying the ink cartridges for inkjets can sometimes be more expensive than the printer itself because the printing technology might be less complex and cheap, but the ink is pretty expensive. This also adds up to a higher print cost per page. Plus laser printers yield more printouts per refill than inkjets, which means that they also last longer. Toners also last longer in storage while the ink cartridges often dry out if not stored properly.
3. Inkjet or Laser Printer, which has the better Print Quality?
Inkjet Vs Laserjet, which produces better quality results? Well, this would depend on what your printing requirements are. Do you print more text-based documents or are you into colored photos and images. Your use of the printer determines the answer to the above question.
Inkjet is known to produce better quality images. Since their inks are pigment/dye-based, they do better at printing coloured photos because it can better handle the range of shades required to print colors. Also, as the operational cost of inkjet is higher, you do not want to waste all that money on printing out text documents that have no use for colour.
Laser printers, on the other hand, print out higher-quality text documents and papers. Even if you have a coloured laser printer, it will not produce images of the same quality as inkjet. Which is why it focuses on monochromatic printing more. The operational cost is lower so the printer will go a long way if you just print out black & white documents.
So if you want high-quality image results, expensive isn’t always better. You’d be happier investing in an inkjet. But if you want a good quality printer for office or work use, the laser printer is the way to go.
4. Size & Design Comparison of an Inkjet Printer with a Laser Printer
Printer size might seem irrelevant to many consumers, but it is still important for some. The same is the case with its design. Some consumers want a printer that is not too bulky and fits in their creative/workspace. Also, some don’t want an eyesore for a machine.
Inkjet has somewhat perfected the miniaturization of the machine. As the mechanism of the printer is less complex, it doesn’t require a larger size to accommodate it. So inkjets often weigh less and are smaller in size as well.
Laser printers, however, are more complicated and therefore require a larger space. Especially as some include the features of scanning, copying, and faxing, which require even more space and therefore larger builds. This is mainly because laser printers are built keeping an office space in mind so they have more functions that add up to their size.
5. Which provides a higher Printer Volume? Laser or Inkjet Printer?
If you require high volume prints, like for office or commercial use, then you’re gonna have to rely on Laser printers because when it comes to quick prints in larger volumes, inkjet is not going to be a reliable option and for many reasons; printing with inkjet is expensive and slower so it is going to cost you a lot of money and time. Also, inkjet is not used to printing in larger quantities.
Whereas laser printers are cheaper and faster to print with. They might be expensive to buy and are mostly monochromatic, but laser printers are better equipped to handle high volume prints.
6. Your Preference of printer, Laser or Inkjet?
Keeping the above features and functions in mind, you can decide which printer is better. Whatever suits your needs and fulfills the requirements, is the better printer for you. There are also other functions that both printers have, but that varies from brand to brand and does not depend on the type of the printer. So you can even incorporate them in your decisions, like print speed and auto duplexity, etc.
As mentioned above, both types have their pros and cons, the determining factor becomes your preference and your choice.
FAQs of Inkjet Vs Laser Printer
Q. Which printer is better for home use?
If you use your printers infrequently and often print out documents, assignments and even coloured pictures, your best choice is an inkjet printer. It is more affordable and compact and preferred for home use, especially if you’re a teacher or a student.
Q. What are the advantages of a Laser printer?
- High quality prints
- Low print cost per page
- Less noisy than inkjet
- Fast prints
- Toner lasts longer
Q. What are the disadvantages of a Laser printer?
- Larger in size; takes up space
- Very expensive
- Expensive to repair
- Toners are expensive to replace
Q. Why buy an inkjet printer?
There are many advantages to buying an inkjet over other printers:
- The initial cost is lower so it is budget friendly and you can literally buy one under a $50
- It is more compact and takes up very little space, especially if you need one for your home
- Adequate print speed and quality
- Ink cartridges are also affordable
- Perfect for occasional or infrequent use
Q. What is the downside to buying an inkjet over laser?
- Slightly more noisier than a laser printer
- Slower than laser
- Print cost per page is higher
- Cartridges need to be replaced more often than toners
Q. Which printer would be best for frequent use?
If you mostly print out documents or you need a printer for an office space, then a monochrome laser printer is the answer. The initial price might be higher, but the toner lasts long, it barely makes any noise so to not disturb the people around and it produces high quality results. You can even go for a coloured laser printer if need be.
Comparing both types does help widen one’s perspective and make it easier to decide which printer we want in our homes or offices or studios. But one other thing to remember is how frequently you’re going to print. With that in mind, you can decide what price works for you, what functions work for you and even what size you need! You can also learn more about Inkjet Vs Laser printers, or any other printers.
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