Ink-jet printers have low startup costs and easy availability so it’s no wonder why most households use them for everyday printing. Furthermore, they’re suitable for low volume printing which backs up this traditional choice, while laser printers being ideal for high volume printing are mostly utilized in office settings.
But when it comes to your printing, as with everything in life, things are far from black & white. There is a growing number of laser printers (even color models) with sizes and prices more suitable for home use. With home offices becoming the future, your printer choice should mainly depend on your printer usage.
Think in Advance
When it comes to money, people only seem to think about how much they’ll spend at the moment. Considering the upfront cost, ink-jet printers definitely take the lead, since the cost of the cheapest laser ones is twice the price of the cheapest ink-jet.
But there is also a cartridge cost, which is the main reason why you should beware of cheap ink-jet printers. They use cartridges which can print only a few hundred pages, meaning you’ll have to replace them frequently, leading to a higher cost per page.
You could easily end up spending more on ink cartridges than the printer itself. That’s why Toner Ink experts constantly point out that there is as much variety between cartridges as between printers, and that demands additional attention.
The minimum lifespan of ink-jet printers is 3 years, while laser printers have a lifespan of at least 5, but, of course, that also varies depending on how much you use them.
Everyone will tell you to get an ink-jet printer if you’re in need for some occasional printing at home, but the truth is that ink dries up if not used often. So if your budget is not that restricted you should consider laser printer simply because the toner used by it doesn’t dry up.
But if only the volume of your printing is small, while the usage is regular, ink-jet printers are perfectly capable to get the job done.
The reason why laser printers were originally built for office use lies in their durability, but today the frequent printing of large quantities also happens at home which makes their popularity grow in homes due to economic reasons.
Colors & Quality
There is a popular opinion that laser printers are better for color printing, but this stands only if it’s about everyday color printing. If you’re aiming at high-resolution professional photos, it would be much smarter to find a good photo inkjet printer.
High-quality ones are specially engineered to create vividly detailed photos thanks to the deeper blacks and tonal variety. Additionally, many of them use a more fade-resistant pigment-based ink which works well with a wide range of paper sizes and art paper types.
So if you’re looking for gallery-quality photos you should go with a photo ink-jet printer, but if you’re satisfied with medium quality images that don’t require tonal range and color depth you should stick to color laser printers for the reasons we’ve already mentioned above – you’ll be able to print more pages and your unused ink won’t dry up.
The common perception that laser printers are best for black and white and that ink-jet printers are better with colored images is shaken by the advancement in printer technology that has made photos of some laser printers almost indistinguishable from ink-jet. Laser printers offer more endurance and reliability and, when it comes to text and documents, the monochrome ones are still in the lead.
Since laser printers are built to accommodate the demands of a workplace it’s obvious that they’re engineered to print faster and therefore produce more documents than ink-jet ones, leading to a higher print volume.
They can print from 15 to 100 pages per minute while ink-jet printers can print only 16, but this is an advantage only if you’re looking for this kind of speed.
Busting The Myth – The Conclusion
Regarding the fact that ink-jet printers use ink while laser printers use powder there is a popular belief that smudging is more common with ink-jet ones. Of course, that is a myth because many ink-jet printers now use pigment-based ink that isn’t likely to smudge and the very smudging also depends on the paper you’re printing on.
There are many similar myths that were created in the early days of printing, but the evolution of technology has proven them false. This means there is no right or wrong – there is just a question of what you’re planning to use your printer for.