In 2020, more and more people work in home instead of work in office. Obviously, homeoffice will be a tendency our further working life. Being a very important office working device, more printers will be employed in homeoffice. Then, it is important to know the difference between laser and inkjet printers and what functionality you are looking for. The basic differences between inkjet and laser printer ultimately boils down to how much you pay and save for the features offered.
1. On an average, inkjet printers are less expensive than laser printers, but cost more to operate. If you only print occasionally in your work, an inkjet printer would be the better choice.
2. In general, inkjet printers are great for printing photos while laser printers excel in printing good quality documents. Depending on which type you are most likely to print regularly, you can decide which one you need.
3. If you are looking for compactness, generally, inkjet printers take up less room than laser printers.
Printing technology comparison
It is reasonable to assume that there cannot be much difference between printing in one type of printer over another – after all, the technology simply aims at putting letters and photos on the fed papers. However, the two types of printer achieve it in different ways.
Laser printers rely on toners. Toners are basically powders. The laser used in a laser printer generates an electrostatic charge that gets transferred from toner to powder and bound to the paper surface through heat.
An inkjet printer relies purely on liquid ink. The ink gets deposited on the pages through a print head with several microscopic nozzles. The printing is achieved by putting microscopic ink drops on the paper, and depending on whether the ink used is pigment-based or dye-based, it will dry up upon getting deposited on the surface.
The difference in printing technology alone is enough to decide how big, expensive, and useful a printer is. You can find printers that offer both technologies in a single function. These are typically all-in-one printers that also offer scanning, copying, and faxing.
Cost factor – Upfront versus long-term operation
Inkjet printers are cheaper than laser printers because the technology behind an inkjet is slightly less complicated and hence easier to manufacture than laser printers. Moreover, inkjet printers are sold at lower rates because the manufacturers can make profit from the cartridges, which are very expensive, and sometimes, it is possible to buy a new printer at the cost of a full set of ink cartridges.
Laser printers, on the other hand, are expensive and rarely priced under $200. Even budget basic printers for home use rarely are lesser than $150. However, in the longer run, laser printers save more money per print. If you rarely ever print and find more use in scanning and faxing, you can get an inkjet printer which is very affordable.
Quality of prints
Inkjet printers come with dye-based and pigment-based inks and are great for handling colour, and hence suitable for printing photos and images.
Laser printers are not particularly adept at printing images or photos and rely more on dots to create the print. Even models that are designed for high quality photo prints usually require specially designed paper.
This makes it less convenient to print on regular paper. But, laser printers excel in printing text that is sharp and clear. Inkjets tend to bleed slightly, resulting in the letters not looking as sharp as intended. Laser printers use a heat transfer method that results in prints that are smudge-free.
It is a well-known fact that the liquid printer ink cartridges sold for inkjet printers are extremely expensive.
This is because it is a carefully engineered product that depends on precise flow, perfect consistency of mixed colours, and quick drying. Generally, inkjet printers print at 5 to 10 cents per black-and-white print and 15 to 25 cents for a colour print. Laser printers use toners that are easier to store, ship, and use. Toner cartridges may be more expensive than ink cartridges but offer hundreds of prints.
As a result, you could print black and white documents in 5 cents while a colour print rarely exceeds 15 cents. Toners can also be more easily stored for a longer time without any adverse effect than an inkjet. This is particularly important for those who might use a printer infrequently.
Inkjet printer’s cartridges can dry out completely over time, leaving you with a useless cartridge that has printed only a fraction of documents it was designed to print.
With a large print drum, thermal element, and laser module fixed inside the device, a laser printer is often large and bulky. If a compact printer is what you are looking for, you will benefit from inkjet printers.
Irrespective of which type of printer you decide on buying, be sure to research brands, user reviews, and understand the specifications and match it to your demands and requirements for best results.