Initially, there was a significant difference between an inkjet printer and its laser counterpart, but with time, that gap has shrunk to the point that it is occasionally challenging to distinguish between the two. The majority of people still use inkjet printers since they are more affordable and almost all of them can print in color. Since inkjet printer quality has increased over time, there is currently little difference between them and laser printers in terms of printing quality. Because of this, small and home businesses can use inkjet printers without worrying that their documents would appear sloppy or cheap.
The laser printer is capable of printing much faster and usually produces better quality image, it is far more expensive as compared to the Inkjet version. Laser printers are usually used for black printing but there are colour laser printers available now.
With that in mind, it’s also important to remember that the usual rule of thumb for printers is “the less expensive the printer, the more expensive the running cost.” The amount of printing being done on the printer, though, may have an impact on this. Using an inkjet printer would be more cost-effective if there was less printing activity. An inkjet printer’s initial cost can be quite seductive, but consumers who purchase them frequently are unaware that ongoing costs will have a significant impact on their choice and should be taken into account.
An illustration would help you better understand this. Let’s have a look at a Canon i320 bubble jet printer. Normally, it doesn’t cost more than £30, obviously depending on the discounts offered by your business. A cartridge typically costs around £10, and it prints 170 pages on average. Even if you only print 7 pages every day, that equates to 2100 pages printed annually. This results in an additional annual cost of about £135. About four times as much is spent on cartridges as there is on the printer itself in the first year. This is why when purchasing a printer, the additional expense needs to be considered.
Inkjet printers come with some added problems that need to be looked at and taken into consideration.
- To begin with they are not as fast as the Laser printers. This is one reason why Inkjet printers are not recommended when printing needs to be done in large volumes.
- They are known to throw up cartridge error messages even though the cartridges might be working just fine. This is not to say that Inkjet printers are always problematic but these are just a few errors that do crop up once in a while.
- The print can also start going haywire sometimes and it may start printing in endless loops.
- It is often difficult to minimize and regulate the amount of ink being used in the Inkjet printers.
- There is a difference in quality of an Inkjet print and a laser print. Often the laser print is of better quality.
It is for these reasons that the laser printers sales have taken of in a very big way in spite of being a more expensive buy.
Inkjet printers, which are more suited to the needs of a small or home business where they do not need to print as frequently in terms of volumes, do have some advantages over laser printers, though.
Color laser printers have been around for a while, but until recently, they were horribly expensive. According to a recent research, approximately 1.85 million color laser printers were sold last year, a significant increase from the year before. The color page printers are being purchased by a lot of offices. If you don’t need to print flyers or brochures in huge quantities on a regular basis, this is not advised.
There are a few other advantages that come with a laser printer, for example:
- Using a duplex unit: This would enable the user to print back to back. This is particularly useful for creating brochures and leaflets.
- Add a paper drawer: This would reduce the number of user interventions and in turn reduces the printer errors
- Assigning different paper trays for different drafts can be used to print different documents without messing about with the tray each time.
- An Ethernet or a wireless network card can be added to the printer to attach it to a network. This functionality can be availed in the laser printer.
This is merely a summary of the advantages of using each type of printer. This is intended to assist the consumer in weighing the benefits and drawbacks before purchasing a printer.