Laser Printers Vs. Inkjet Printers: Which Is Best?

If you are looking for a printer, you are bound to come across laser printers and inkjet printers. It can be difficult to decide which printer is the best to buy. However, there is no need to worry as once you finish reading this, you will know which option is better. The pros and cons of both the printers are discussed here. Despite their similar look, the printers operate in distinct ways.

Liquid ink is sprayed through the microscopic nozzles onto the sheet by an inkjet printer. On the other hand, a toner cartridge which is filled with fine powder and has a heated fuser is used by a laser printer to offer comparable results. Each of the options has its own strengths and weaknesses.  

What is the Initial Costs?

A basic inkjet or laser printer can be bought for about the same price. However, an entry-level inkjet printer can be found for a bit less. Now, if you are on the lookout for a budget multi-function printer that can scan images, print, and photocopy, you should not expect much difference in terms of price. The most affordable laser printer will cost you close to $130.

Meanwhile, an inkjet printer will only cost $60 to $70. It is important to note that the budget inkjet printers only come with a starter cartridge which is not a full ink tank. Thus, it would need to be refilled earlier. It means that you will pay less initially but more later on. Although price might seem like an important factor, it should not be the only factor you consider. When you compare the two printers, you will notice that inkjet printers cost less.

What is the Operating Costs?

Next, you also need to consider the ongoing costs of the printer you select. Printers require fuel to function. But, it is the cost and frequency at which it needs to be refueled that has to be taken into account. Printers need to be fully supplied with appropriate items such as ink or toner and paper as you continue to use them.

The operating cost of the printers tends to be quoted in cents with respect to each A4 page. Therefore, you will need to calculate the cost by dividing the number of pages a tone cartridge or ink produces by the price of the cartridge. The former will be provided to you by the manufacturer. Keep in mind that the cost does not include the cost of paper. However, it is a fixed cost which is why it does not need to be factored in.

Typically, inkjet printers are known to cost 20 cents per page. It includes both color and black cartridges. If you require printing in black, you can expect the ongoing print costs to be around 7 to 8 cents for each page. Low budget black and white laser printers cost 6 cents per page on average. The price per page would drop rather quickly if you spend more on laser printers. This has been possible since the emergence of ink tank printers.

The inkjet printers boast an internal ink capacity which can be easily topped up as required instead of having to rely on conventional cartridges. It is best to opt for an ink tank-based printer when on the lookout for a home office printer since it offers the best value for money in the long run. 

Moreover, larger laser printers come with additional ongoing costs, unlike inkjet printers. An additional fuser cartridge is commonly required by such printers or a maintenance kit for the replacement of parts.

Printing Speed & Quality of Text

When comparing laser printers and inkjet printers, it is impossible to overlook printing speed and quality of text. Laser printers lead the pack for their unbeatable speed. It is one of the reasons why huge offices are home to laser printers. However, it is true for printing of black and white text pages.

Even if you select a low-end cheaper monochrome laser printer, you can rest assured that it will offer a print speed of up to 20 pages a minute. Unfortunately, inkjet printers are on the slower end. Their budget-friendly models can barely print more than 6 pages of black text a minute. It is due to this fact that it more common for home users to use inkjet printers as compared to office users. 

When printing a 5-page document, the difference in speed which not be such an issue unless you need to print a hundred pages. As for text printing quality in normal print sizes of around 12pt or more, you can expect similar results in both inkjet and laser printing solutions. But, if you need to print small fonts, laser printers are far superior to inkjet printers. 

The fusing technology of lasers covers all the minute details and dots of small text that would be otherwise be left by inkjets.

Colored Printing and Color Quality

If you require color printing, inkjet printers are the better option. It does not matter whether you need to print a simple pie chart or a full-page color photograph as an inkjet will offer impeccable results. Color laser printers can be quite expensive and bulky which is why they are not used in small offices or at home. 

When comparing color images, a color inkjet printer would provide better results than a color laser printer. The truth is that inkjet printers are fully capable of reproducing subtle color gradation in pictures unlike laser printers which display distinct changes in color saturation. Anyone who is more likely to print pictures or any other images will find this to be a crucial factor.

Why size have to do with it?

In addition to the abovementioned factors, size is something that cannot be overlooked for obvious reasons. Everyone wants to get a printer that can seamlessly fit into their lifestyle without them having to go through the trouble of trying to make it fit in. 

For those of you are require a printer that is small enough to fit underneath a desk, an inkjet printer might be just what you need. However, if you do not require any coping or scanning, a single-function laser printer is the way to go. But, otherwise inkjet printers tend to be more portable.


Once you have gone over the above, you will be able to decide which printer to get. If buying based on the price, a refurbished printer could give you a lot of printer for less. Generally, a laser printer offers a more convenient solution if you do not mind paying a little more and require the printing of black text documents.

Although factors such as speed, print quality, and size are equally important when evaluating which printer technology to opt for, convenience reigns supreme. To decide which printer to get, you should focus on the pros and cons that you can best work with.

If you are looking for volume, the disadvantages of laser printers should not be such a huge concern. On the other hand, if you want something economical or are concerned with quality rather than quantity, inkjet printers are the perfect option. Thus, it all comes down to what you are looking for.

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