Inkjet vs Laser: Which Printer Is Right For You?

Deciding which printer is right for you can seem tedious because of all the available printer options out there.  Despite the numerous options, you will be better able to narrow the selection if you have answers to the following questions:

  • What type of printing will be done on the printer? i.e. black or white text images, color images or a mixture of both?
  • What is your budget for buying the printer?
  • What is your monthly budget for consumables ( replacement ink or toner, paper )
  • How frequently will you be printing
  • Are there any special considerations like space, compatibility with a type of software etc?  That needs to be taken into account. 

Identifying what type of print jobs the printer will handle will be a primary determinant in the type of printer selected.  If most of your prints works will be color images, then an Inkjet printer will be a better option as the technology underpinning it is optimized for showing subtle differentiation of different colors.  For those that will be exclusively printing only photographs, there is the photo inkjet printer to cater for this need.  This recommendation does not mean there are no available color LaserJet printers.  They are available.  But inkjet printers are optimized for color images.  

Conversely, if the prints jobs, are to be mainly black and white text images, then you cannot go wrong with choosing a LaserJet printer.  A LaserJet printer is the workhorse of small and big offices. This is due to the higher speed of printing and their lower cost per page compared to Inkjet printers. 

Inkjet printers typically have a lower cost of purchase then LaserJet Printers. But the cost of replacement ink cartridges is higher. Leading to a higher cost per page.  An inkjet printer is ideally suited for home use if the printing will be infrequent. For volume printing, the cost of consumables for an Inkjet printer will add up pretty quickly leading to a higher cost of ownership over the lifetime of the printer compared to comparable LaserJet Printers. 

A LaserJet printer is optimized for volume printing and has a monthly duty cycle that allows you to print a large number of print jobs.  A LaserJet printer also has print speeds which are several times faster than an inkjet printer which is a significant advantage to office workers. 

Most InkJet printers are usually smaller in size than a LaserJet printer.  So if you have space limitations an inkJet printer would be the preferred option. 

In summary, the identified need the printer will solve, the budget available, as well as any other constraints, will determine the right printer selection.  How to choose the right printer page gives more details to consider in selecting a printer. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *