Which Printer is Best? A Crash Course on Inkjet vs. Laser Printers
There are so many printers out there and so many different opinions... to say it's a little confusing would be an understatement! Take our crash course on inkjet vs. laser so you make the right choice for your printing needs.
- Can be monochrome (black only) or black & colour
- Use toner cartridges filled with plastic powder that adheres to paper with heat and pressure
- Won't dry out, not affected by extended periods of inactivity
- Designed to print quickly & reliably
- Medium or large in size, not generally portable.
- Black & colour
- Use ink cartridges filled with water-based ink thermally printed onto paper
- Can dry out or clog up in dry climates and due to inactivity
- Versatile and come with a large variety of features
- Range from small & portable to large in size.
INVESTMENT & LIFETIME COST
- Usually a higher initial cost but can pay off over time
- Lower cost per page (especially for black only, colour can cost more)
- Cartridges usually more expensive to buy but last longer and print more
- Compatible toner cartridges are less expensive and lower cost per page even further
- HP and Brother are the most popular laser printer manufacturers. Going to other brands may limit your ability to find less expensive catridges and replacemnt parts
- Often a lower initial cost
- Cartridges need to be replaced more often
- Higher cost per page for black only but colour inkjet can cost less than colour laser
- Check if the cartridges can be refilled to save more money and be more eco-friendly. Ink tank style cartridges refill best and are often most economical. Check out Brother and Canon for many tank style options.
- Don't get a printer that's sensitive to cartridge date stamps (won't accept a cartridge once it's past an arbitrary 'best before' date)
Get the full story by comparing cartridges based on ink or toner volume and page estimates, not cost per cartridge. Inexpensive cartridges often have less ink or toner and cost more in the end!
- Maximum resolution of 600 x 600 dpi
- Great for documents, school work & basic colour printing
- Not capable of high resolution photo printing
- Resolution of 9600 x 4800 dpi and up
- Great for documents, school work, basic colour printing and high-resolution photos
- A printer with more colours will give vibrant photos with better colour accuracy and depth
Paper quality makes a difference in your printing, no matter which printer you have.
Bottom line? Don't let a great deal on a printer sway you from carefully choosing what you need and being sure you know the full costs of what you're getting into. If you still have questions, feel free to get in touch with us. We're happy to help you find the best printer for your needs and give recommendations where we can.
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