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What is the Basic Difference Between Laser Printer and Inkjet?

Updated on Sep 10, 2021 by Jessica Parker
inkjet vs laser printer

The most basic question to ask when choosing a new printer is whether you should get a laser printer or inkjet printer. The results of laser and inkjet printers are both good if you buy the right model. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, which will be helpful to you in making your decision. Read our blog on the inkjet printers in order to better understand and learn about them. Our blog on Canon vs HP printers will also help you choose a printer as per need.

Laser Printer vs Inkjet

Inkjet Vs. Laser Printer: Process

Inkjet printers work on liquid ink, which is deposited onto the page with the help of a print head. The print uses many micro nozzles and the ink droplets transfer to the paper. The laser generates an electrostatic charge to transfer toner in laser printers. This power is bonded to the surface by heat.

Inkjet Vs. Laser Printer: Price

The cost difference between the two printer types is one of the most important factors. Inkjet printers like the Brother L2350DW are less expensive than laser printers. Their technology differs from one another. Laser printers are complex devices and are therefore more expensive to manufacture. Inkjet printers tend to have a higher cost for ink replacement. The cost of printing black and white text on inkjet printers is around 5-10 cents per page. You can expect to pay up to 25 cents a page for color prints. Laser printers use toner cartridges, which are more affordable. A laser printer can print black and white documents for less than 5 cents per page. The colored prints do not cost more than 15 cents per page. It is also easier to store toner cartridges, as they do not dry out when left out. 

Printing Technology

The fundamental definition of printing is the same for inkjet and laser printers. The placement of letters and images on paper — the two systems do this in quite different ways.
Inkjet printers like Canon TS302 use liquid ink that is deposited on the paper by a print head. This contains dozens of micro-nozzles. It prints by splashing small ink drops onto the paper. Depending on whether the ink is dye or pigment-based. The ink can either affect the color of the paper or dry as a deposit on the paper's surface. On the other hand, laser printers like HP LaserJet Pro M404n use toner, which is a powder.

Upfront Costs

Price plays a significant role in printer purchasing decisions. It's possible that you want certain features. The choice usually depends on your budget. The cost of inkjet printers is lower than that of laser printers. There is less complexity in the technology, and it is less expensive to manufacture. Aside from that, most inkjet printers like Brother MFC-J497DW makers offer them at a loss. Buying a new printer is sometimes less expensive than buying a full set of fresh ink cartridges. Laser printers are rarely available for under $200, and even the most affordable ones cost $150 or more.

Inkjet Vs. Laser: Print Quality 

Inkjet printers are good for printing photos and images. This is due to dye and pigment-based ink. Laser printers require compatible papers for the best graphics. The Lexmark C3426dw laser printer does a better job printing text than an inkjet printer, as ink may bleed with the latter. Smearing and drying of ink generally takes a few seconds. The Canon Pixma Pro-100 uses the heat-transfer method to produce crisp, clear text.

Printer Speed

The printing speed of inkjet printers is slower, around 15 pages per minute. Laser printers, on the other hand, can print at speeds of up to 100 pages per minute. A laser printer’s faster speed makes it more suitable for use in an office setting.

Inkjet Vs. Laser: Printer Size

Compactness and portability are important while buying a printer and should be considered. Laser printers are generally larger and heavier. A small printer like the Canon Pixma TS6320 Wireless Printer is easier to fit if you have limited space. Laser printers have a large print drum and multifunction features that makes them bulkier.

Key Takeaway

Inkjet printers are a better choice for occasional printing due to their low upfront costs. Inkjet printers are better for graphics and laser printers are better for text. An inkjet printer is usually smaller and more compact than a laser printer. Our hope is that by comparing these parameters, you will be able to make an informed purchasing decision. 

Our blog on most reliable printer lists top printer brands that offer high-quality printers, reading through will help you choose the best one as per needs. For more buying options, head over to BestViewsReviews. We rate and rank the best inkjet and laser printer based on their quality, performance, and durability.

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