When it comes to buying a printer it is necessary to get acquainted with the difference between inkjet and laser technologies. Even though both of these printing techniques are commonly utilized in offices and homes, it is highly likely that because of some exclusive capabilities one of them will be more effective in meeting all of your requirements as compared to the other.

Here the fundamental distinctions ultimately come down to exactly how each technology prints. This, as a result, influences on what a certain printer is capable to do well, how much amount you will have to pay upfront, and how much does it cost to print photos and documents. This post provides you an in-depth comparative analysis that will enable you to make an informed decision.

Inkjet vs Laser: Basic Printing Technology

On the basic level laser and inkjet printers have a same definition that is to put images and letters onto pages. However, both methods accomplish this outcome in ways that are widely divergent. Inkjet relies upon liquid ink that is deposited onto the paper via an intricately designed print head which makes use of a myriad of small nozzles. These nozzles do the printing by spitting microscopic ink drops onto paper. The type of ink, either pigment or dye based, used might change paper’s color or just dry up on paper’s surface.

On the contrary, laser printers depend upon toner that is essentially a powder. It is called laser printer because it makes use of a laser that is utilizes to generate the electrostatic charge on the paper’s surface. This charge assists in transferring the toner right to those spots where it is supposed to print. Heat is used to make toner powder stick to the page. So if you have been wondering do laser printers use ink, now you know the answer.

The two approaches used here significantly affect just about everything from how much it costs to get a single page printed to the physical size of the machine. You can find both technologies in the form of single function or multipurpose printers that come with fax, copying and scanning capabilities.

Laser vs Inkjet: Upfront Costs

The initial cost of printer works as a key factor when making a decision about which one to purchase. Yes, it is true that you are looking forward to get some specific features. However, it is your budget that in most of the cases will make this decision. Inkjet printers are much less costly as compared to their laser tech based counterparts. The biggest reason behind it is that the technology which is used in inkjets is a little less complicated. Therefore, manufacturing them incurs less cost.

In addition to this, you will be surprised to know that most of the manufacturers sell inkjets at a notable loss. They plan to make up this difference by selling ink to users in the future. Just to give you the perspective, at times it is cheaper to purchase a brand new inkjet printer than to purchase a full-fledged ink cartridges’ set!

Laser vs Inkjet: Quality of Prints

The certain characteristics of toner powder and liquid ink influence how compatible they are in order to perform certain kinds of printing jobs. With their pigment and dye based inks, inkjets are particularly well at dealing with colors, especially for photos and images that involve more subtle hues and color shades.

The major purpose of building laser printers is not always to handle printing of images. They rather rely on the halftone dots used for the creation of a limited number of colors on the surface of your documents. Even if you find a laser printer that is capable to handle colors of higher quality for image printing, it is highly probable that you will need specialized papers to get this job done. Laser printers, however, are comparatively more suited to print crisp and clear text.

Ink is prone to smearing. The prints that you take from inkjet keep on drying even once the text or image is printed on the paper. It leads to the problem of blurred documents. On the other hand, laser printer ink utilizes a more complex heat transfer technology. The prints you take from them are absolutely smudge-proof and do not need even a single moment to dry out.

Laser vs Inkjet: Printing Cost

The different cost of toner powder and ink also decisively differentiates both printing technologies. Liquid ink that is used in the inkjets has the reputation of being one of the priciest liquids that are available on our planet. It is a complexly engineered product that is designed to offer flow rates with utmost precision and dry up within moments. As liquid ink used in inkjets renders high margin, that you will be forced to keep on buying over and over again, the printer companies encourage you to continuously come back to them to buy some more.

In contrast, toner powder used in laserjet printer is less costly on the basis of per-page printing expenses. Not that toner is any less carefully manufactured, it is easier to use, store and ship because of the simple fact that it comes in the form of powder. Do not get confused if you observe that a single cartridge of toner is more costly as compared to a liquid ink cartridge. The yield toner cartridges provide is significantly higher than the ink based ones.

Laser vs Inkjet: Size of the Printer

Another discerning element that you might want to consider when comparing different types of printers is their size. Of course, printers vary a lot on the basis of design and size, but in general, laser printer that offers multi-functionality is relatively heavier and larger. If limited space is a determining factor in your case, it would be better for you to go for a printer that comes with inkjet technology. Inkjets usually need smaller space so you would be able to fit them on a small shelf or office desk without much trouble.