Inkjet Vs Laser Printers: Which Should You Buy?


While shopping for printers, most of the people get confused which printer technology they should buy i.e. laser or inkjet. If you have no clear understanding of both technologies then you would end up in the same situation.

Both printers are useful and help you out in different ways. To make a better decision, you should know your needs. Then buy the one which can cater your needs the most. Therefore, we have discussed both technologies here so you can decide which printer type is suitable for you.

What is an Inkjet Printer?

Inkjet printers use inkjet cartridges which contain liquid ink. inkjet has multiple inkhead nozzles. When a paper passes through the roller, these nozzles spray microdroplets of ink onto the paper and image or text is produced.

Inkjet printers are suitable for printing bulk tasks easily. Furthemore, the inkjet printers are suitable for printing images as it uses three ink cartridges i.e cyan, magenta and yellow which can produce any colored image perfectly.

What is a Laser Printer?

Laser Printer involves electric charges for its operation. Its ink is in the form of toner powder. While printing, the toner is charged electrostatically and then these toners are transferred to the paper. With the use of heat, the toner stays permanently by developing a bond to the paper.

Laser printers are bulky and they help to fulfill the large printing requirements of the office. They have a high capacity of holding papers and some additional advanced security features. Moreover, these printers are best if your office requires you to print monochrome prints in bulk.

Comparison Of Inkjet Vs. Laser Printers

To give you a more vivid picture about the type of printers and which should you buy, we have compared the features of both printers.

1. Print Quality

If your work requires more monochrome printing then laser printers are suitable for you. On the other hand, if you need colored images and photo prints then inkjet printers can outperform laser prints easily. Their nozzles mix the colors and spray colors precisely resulting in the clear and vivid picture prints.

Moreover, the laser printers can produce images upto 1200 dpi whereas the inkjet resolution starts to 1200 dpi and extends upto 5000 dpi.

2. Cost Per Page

To determine the exact amount every printed page charges, you need to find out the price of ink tanks and printers. If an expensive printer enables you to handle cheap ink cartridges then the total price of every printed page will be lowered.

The laser printers involve big-budgets and their cartridges also. But the number of printed pages they provide with single ink toner, especially monochrome printed pages, is far more than inkjet cartridges. That’s why you will get cheaply priced printed pages with laser printers.

No doubt inkjet printers are cost-efficient printers and their ink tanks are also inexpensive but they will give you 200 printed pages with a single ink tank. So in order to meet your need, you will be required with more ink tanks which will increase the amount of per printed page.

3. Printing Speed

Inkjet printers are swifter and work more efficiently than inkjet printers. Due to this efficiency, you can get more printed pages with a laser printer than inkjet printers. You would be surprised to know that a single laser printer can give you 20 to 25 printed pages in 60 seconds. On the contrary, inkjet printers can only produce 5 to 10 printed pages at the same time.

Now some inkjet printers have gone modern. They can produce faster prints than their contemporary laser printers with the use of Paper wide technology.

The printing nozzle of old fashioned inkjet printers had to cover the paper width. The Page wide technology has reduced this effort. Now printer nozzles don’t need to cover the whole paper width and still they can spread the ink on whole paper.

That’s why their speed has increased and inkjet printers can now print upto 15 to 20 pages per minute.

4. Printer Size

The laser printers are larger in size because they need to accommodate large drums and thermal elements. Whereas the inkjet printers are getting smaller in size day by day. You can choose the one according to your available space. There are also portable inkjet printers which you can use during travel.

5. Page Yield

The laser printers beat up inkjet printers in terms of page yield. An average laser printer can print 2000 pages with a single cartridge whereas the modern laser printers can give you up to 10,000 page yield.

Conversely, the inkjet printer can give you an average yield of 200 pages while the top-quality inkjet printer can give you a paper yield of 1000 pages.

6. Paper Compatibility

In terms of paper compatibility, the inkjet printers excel. Inkjet printers can handle multiple glossy, vinyl, plastic or fine papers and give you high resolution images. Whereas, the laser printers can handle only standard white papers. Laser printers use heating technology that’s why it’s limited to certain types of paper which are heat resistant.

Final Verdict

Hence we want to show that both printers have their own opportunities and obstacles. So, it totally depends on your office requirements what you should actually buy. Mostly the cinematographers and photographers need to handle image resolution and editing tasks. For them, inkjet cartridges are recommended.

Whereas, most of the office documents are black and white. So for corporations which require printing bulk documents in black and white, simple laser printers are suitable. Though they are expensive, ultimately they provide you with a low cost per page.