Are you looking to buy a new printer for your home or office? A quick search online would provide you with hundreds of makes and models to choose from. In fact, there are different kinds of printers out there, which begs the question: what is the difference between inkjet and laser printers?
Inkjet and laser printers are the two most commonly used printers in homes and offices. Each one comes with a set of features that differentiate it from the another—something that you ought to know before buying one. Long before there were laser printers, there already was inkjet printers, but both types evolved in the last few years.
Before we dig deeper into what sets them apart from one another, let us first take a close look at what they really do.
It should be clear from the very name of this printer that is that it uses ink for printing. The process uses very small jets that spray ink in the form of tiny dots. The cartridge moves around the paper and prints the ink.
Since inkjet printers use ink, they are not that great when it comes to printing on low-quality papers. In this case, the paper absorbs the ink, and if it is not of good quality, there is a big chance that it may absorb a bit too much of it. As a result, the printout appears blurry. As such, it would require you to use smooth, high-quality papers.
Instead of ink, laser printers use toners for printing. This toner is a charged powder that, when it comes into contact with the paper, fuses into it. Basically, it involves a drum and static electricity. This electric charge guides the drum to print whatever is needed to be printed on the paper.
This drum, which looks like a rolling pin, is charged according to the image to be printed. The toner sticks to the drum first and is then copied on to the paper. Afterward, it passes the fusers in the printer, which provide heat that helps the toner fuse into the paper.
Because of this intelligent printing mechanism, laser printers are able to print on virtually all types of papers. The resulting print is not smudgy or blurred and, unlike with inkjet printers, they do not even need to be air-dried first.
Now that you know each of these printers work and what distinguishes them from one another, let us move on to the other, more specific factors that differentiate them. In this way, you can easily decide which type of printer would suit your needs and preferences the most.
Here are the factors that determine how inkjet printers differ from laser printers:
When we talk about printer costs, there are two types of expenses to consider: buying costs and running costs. In terms of pricing, laser printers are more expensive than inkjet printers. In fact, some models can be way too expensive in comparison to inkjet models.
The running costs mainly involve cartridge replacements. In this area, laser printers also prove to be more costly than inkjet printers because toner cartridges are more expensive than inkjet cartridges. However, inkjet cartridges last shorter than its counterpart. Therefore, in the long run, there would not be a significant difference between the two in terms of running costs.
Today, you can also purchase remanufactured cartridges that can bring the running costs down further. However, this option is still not as popular as people assume it might compromise the quality of the print.
If you are not going to use your printer very often, then the inkjet printer will definitely have cheaper buying and running costs in comparison to laser printers.
If the rate with which the printers print pages is a major concern for you, then you would want to know which one of the two performs faster. Due to the difference in their printing mechanism, the laser printer is able to print faster than inkjet models.
In addition, you should also take into the account the time each type load pages. Laser printers are better able to print a large load of documents in one go, whereas an inkjet printer might need refilling fairly sooner.
So, when it comes to speed, the laser printer is the clear winner.
Inkjet printers are smaller and more portable, and therefore, do not take too much desk space. Laser printers, on the other hand, are usually large and heavy, making them less likely to be easy to carry around as well. For these reasons, inkjet printers are more popular for home use.
If the print quality is an essential factor for you, then you would need to look into this in detail. Laser printers come on top when it comes to the quality of prints. They are known to produce precise, high-quality prints even on the most mediocre-quality of paper.
On the other hand, inkjet printers do deliver a good-enough print quality, but it is best only if the paper is smooth. With inkjet printers, there is also a big chance of smudging especially if you use low-quality paper.
Then again, the print quality depends on the models you are buying as well. There are inkjet printers that are better than other models and can produce impeccable prints. One more thing to consider is that inkjet printers are better than laser printers when it comes to graphics printing. However, laser printers are still more preferred for printing simple text documents.
Let us make it simple for you now that you understand what is the difference between inkjet and laser printers. If you have a tight budget, the inkjet printer is the obvious choice. It will have lesser upfront cost as well as lower or same running costs as its cartridges are pretty affordable.
If your printer is often used, as in the case in most office settings, then a laser printer would prove to be more effective for you. The fact that it prints fast is also beneficial if you have hundreds of pages to print at once.
For both these printers, there are ample varieties and name brands to choose from. They last a pretty long time, provided that they have a quality make. In the end, it all comes down to two things: your budget and the purpose you need it for.