Laser Printer vs Inkjet Printer
When you decides to buy a printer, the next question comes in to your mind is which printer to buy; Laser Printer or Inkjet Printer, which suits my purpose? What’s the difference between Laser and inkjet printer? These are common dilemma of people when they plan to buy a printer. Knowing the difference between the two will help you choose the right one to match your requirements.
Laser printer is faster and the quality of laser print is high compared to inkjet print. Laser printer uses the technology similar to xerography in printing high resolution text and graphics. It uses data sent from a computer to turn a laser beam on and off rapidly on to an electro statically charged light-sensitive drum. The drum then attracts toner to the areas not exposed to the light. Then the toner is fused to a paper over a belt by heated rollers. Colour laser printers use 4 colour toners; cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK).
In an inkjet printer an array of microscopic nozzles are used to fire a stream of ink drops on to a surface. Tiny electric heating elements behind each nozzle or mechanical pressure using piezoelectric crystals behind the nozzles help the nozzles eject the ink drops rapidly on to the surface. Three or four different colour inks (CMY or CMYK) colour models) in used in colour printing.
There are three main types of inkjet device. In the continuous inkjet printer a continuous stream of electrically charged ink drops are fired toward the surface. The desired image is created by deflecting unwanted drops into a gutter. The drop- on- demand inkjet printer fires ink only at the points of the surface necessary to create the desired image. The phase change inkjet printer uses solid ink that is heated so that it leaves the nozzle as a liquid but returns to the solid state as it reaches the image surface; a major advantage is that it does not need special paper for good results as other inkjet devices do.
With the technological advancement inkjet printers can now print reasonably good quality images and photos.
However, the toner in laser printer is more durable than ink dyes in inkjet.
- Good for office with heavy use and large volume of printing
- Printing speed is high
- Print quality is high and last longer
- Initial cost is high, but operational cost is much less when comparing monochrome printers
- Colour laser printers are often bulky and quite expensive
- Printing cost per page is less; with large volume printing it will drop further
- Bulky compared to inkjet
- Networking facility can connect to any computer on the network, printer can be shared
Laser printers are ideal for office use where large volume of good quality printing is required.
If you need a printer for black and white prints only, then this is better suited to home use also.
- Good for home use where low quantity of printing is done, also you can buy colour printer at low price
- Printing speed is low
- Low resolution printing, however, for normal text printing with text size 12 or above quality is not much different from laser
- Cost per page is high, but if it is only black and white printing the difference is not much
- Cost calculations generally do not include the cost of paper.
- For good quality image or photo printing, you need to use special inkjet papers, if an ordinary paper is used you can see blurring (fuzzy edges)
- The colour inkjet cartridges have to be replaced frequently
Inkjet printers are ideal home use; low volume good quality text and graphic colour printing at less cost.
Latest colour inkjet printers can produce better colour images than laser printers. Inkjet printers are able to reproduce subtle colour gradation in images where laser printers will display banding.