Both laser and inkjet printers can produce high quality print-outs but your choice will depend on what you use your printer for, how often you use it and what kind of environment you use it in.
The main advantages of laser printers are their speed and precision, and they are very economical compared to inkjet printers. Laser printers can print between 12 and 46 pages per minute (PPM) and are measured in dots per inch (DPI) – most printers come as 600 or 1200 DPI but high-end ones can reach up to 2400 DPI. Most businesses opt for laser printers as they can churn out pages very quickly and in bulk – they use similar mechanisms to a photocopier, which is why they have the ability to print so quickly.
Laser printers are more economical than inkjet printers because over time you get more print-outs for your money compared to inkjet cartridges, which are considerably more expensive. Inkjet printers will never be able to print out quality text like a laser printer can but they are far better at printing photo-quality images. Laser printers used to be very expensive but in recent years they’ve gone down considerably in price and you can pick one up for around £100. They also have the ability to hold large amounts of paper, and often have more than one tray.
On the other hand, inkjet printers won’t set you back as much as laser printers, and they have many advantages depending on what you want from your printer. Inkjet printers can print on all types media, including photographic paper, craft paper, and their image print quality cannot be beaten. Inkjet printers are used to print high quality images but unfortunately they can be expensive to run. New cartridges can be pricey. If you use an inkjet printer for home use, you can save money on your cartridges by refilling them, instead of buying new ones. Many cartridge refill companies offer refills and remanufactured cartridges that produce high quality print-outs, often matching the quality of major brands like HP toner cartridges, Lexmark, Canon and lots more. As well as saving yourself lots of money, you will also be doing your bit for the environment as you won’t be using up the raw materials used to make brand new cartridges.
If you enjoy printing photos, it will be worth spending the money on a more expensive inkjet as they will allow you to print photo-quality images and newer models now have built memory card slots so you can print straight from the memory card without connecting your camera to a computer or laptop.
As a general rule, business offices tend to opt for laser printers because of their speedy printing, precise text and value for money. Inkjet printers are usually kept for home use as they are versatile and can be used to create photo-quality print-outs. It’s important you assess what you will be using your printer for and how often you’ll use it, as this will depend on what variety of printer you should go for.