Inkjet printers print by spraying microscopic droplets of ink on the paper. An ink cartridge feeds the moving printing head which sprays droplets of ink the ink. A laser printer, on the other hand, uses a toner containing ink in powdered form. A laser beam deposits the toner to the paper while hot rollers run over the toner to create an image. People often get confused about whether to purchase a laser printer or inkjet printer for home use. A comparison between the two types of printers based on their negative and positive points will help in making an informed decision.
When it comes to photo printing, inkjet printers score over laser printers. This is because ink cartridges used in inkjet printers contain pigment and dye-based ink which reproduces the subtle colour and shades on the paper effectively. The liquid ink of various colours also mixes well, leading to clear photos.
Laser printers lag behind inkjet printers in terms quality of photos but produce better quality prints of texts and graphics as compared to inkjet printers. The letters in text documents can get smudged in case of inkjet printers, but this problem is rare in laser printers.
Thus, inkjet printers are the best for photo printing while laser printers should be chosen by people requiring a high volume of printed documents.
Laser printers have a higher printing speed as compared to inkjet printers. The printing speed of laser printers usually goes up to as much as 100 pages per minute. Inkjet printers, on the other hand, can print up to 16 pages per minute. Consequently, the number of prints that laser printers can churn out in a month is much more as compared to inkjet printers. Thus, laser printers are designed for office use while inkjet printers are designed for home use. But if you work from home and need loads of documents frequently, then a laser printer is the best bet.
Inkjet printers can print on many types of paper, such as textured paper and glossy paper. Even fabrics can be printed using inkjet printers. This is not the case with laser printers. Laser printers cannot print on all kinds of papers. They can only print on heat-sensitive paper or printing material.
Ink Cartridge vs Toner Cartridge
Inkjet printers use ink cartridges. The page yield of a single ink cartridge is usually between 135 to 1000 pages. Laser printers use toner cartridges. The page yield of a toner cartridge is generally between 2000 and as much as 10,000 pages. Thus, the laser printer is superior as compared to page yield. However, this is not a major factor nowadays because ink refill bottles are available for filling ink cartridges in inkjet printers which have eliminated the need to replace empty ink cartridges. A refill bottle has enough ink for thousands of pages.
Ink cartridges dry out if not used for a long time. Toner cartridges last for a longer time. Thus, inkjet printers are suitable when you need to print frequently.
The price of a laser printer is much more as compared to an inkjet printer. But the per-page cost of printing with a laser printer is cheaper as compared to an inkjet printer. This is because the page yields of toner cartridges are much more as compared to ink cartridges and do not need to be replaced frequently.