Which is better?
Which type of printer is better for you depends on your printing needs. Laser printers are generally more expensive, but they produce more sheets, per dollar, than inkjet printers do and they’re less wasteful when compared to inkjet printers.
That being said, laser printers take time to warm up and can be considerably more expensive.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each:
- Best for ink-heavy printing, like images and photographs.
- Do a better job of blending smooth colors than laser printers.
- Low starting cost, and ink cartridges are cheaper than toner cartridges.
- Inkjet printers can print on all different types of paper, including glossy, and can even print on some fabrics.
- There’s no real warm-up time needed.
- Inkjet printers are usually smaller than laser printers and are generally easier to maintain.
- Ink cartridges can be refilled and reused.
- They’re not great if you plan on printing a lot.
- Generally slow compared to laser printing.
- Inkjet ink is water-based, so it’s susceptible to fading and running.
- Automatic ink cartridge cleaning wastes a lot of ink.
- They’re generally fast.
- Less expensive when printing in high volume.
- The black text they produce is sharp and near-perfect.
- Often more expensive to purchase upfront than an inkjet printer.
- They work faster but take a while to warm up.
- Cleaning toner leaks is frustrating and time consuming.
- They can’t print on any type of paper and anything sensitive to heat can’t be used.
- Laser printers are usually bigger and heavier than inkjets.
Which one is right for me?
At the end of the day, it’s all going to come down to your needs. If you’re the average home printer user who prints the odd document here and there and maybe an image now and again, go with an inkjet printer. It’ll be cheaper up front and cheaper when you go to replace ink cartridges. You can even get them refilled or buy “remanufactured” cartridges.
If you’re going to be printing a lot and need your prints fast, then go with a laser printer. Or, if you have the extra cash on hand and are in need of incredibly crisp and perfect black text and high-quality graphics, go laser. Your startup cost will be more, but you’ll stretch your dollar further.