One of the most basic questions to ask when looking at buying a printer is which option is better suited for you… Inkjet, or laser printer? While the answer to this question will be different for everyone based on their needs we have done some research and come up with a pro and con list for both inkjet and laser printers.
These lists include information based on a lot of the questions we get asked when people come into store or call and ask for advice on which printer is best suited for them. One thing we always suggest before buying a printer, no matter what type, is to check out Cost Per Page to make sure the printer you're buying is economical.
Pros and Cons for Inkjet Printers:
- Ink costs are the biggest draw when looking at a printer. Inkjets printers are far more cost effective ink wise compared to a similar Laser Printer. To compare two similar models, the inkjet Brother MFCJ5920DW costs 9.25c per full colour page compared to the HP Colour LaserJet Pro M452dn at 22.25c per full page of colour.
- Quality printing for Inkjets is something that is constantly improving and is performing well with new nozzle technology such as the new Page Wide nozzle technology found on the HP PageWide Pro 452DW or the Precision inkjet nozzles found on the Canon Maxify MB5360.
- Inkjet paper is cheaper then Laser printing paper. There are also more options for printing mediums on an inkjet, from standard paper, cotton canvas, fabric transfers, card paper and envelopes.
- Inkjet’s are more compact in size and can fit easily on a desk or small table taking up less space, this is one of the main reasons they are preferred as home printers, especially for those in apartments or who don’t have a dedicated office space at home.
- Inkjets are far less noisy when printing compared to Laser printers, which is a huge bonus in a shared office space or at home.
- Parts and general maintenance are a lot easier to deal with; they are also far less costly and can be done by you at home.
- As Inkjets are smaller compared to the larger Laser printers, they also have smaller paper trays which can hold anywhere up to 300 pages.
- Laser Printers, while needing time to warm up before printing, they will with certain models print large, multipage documents faster in comparison to a standard inkjet model.
- Inkjet ink is water based; because of this they are susceptible to slightly more water damage if you spill liquids on a page
Pros and Cons for Laser Printers:
- Larger paper trays are another bonus for Laser printers as they can hold up to double the amount of paper an inkjet printer does.
- Printing quality is one of the big reasons people go to Laser Printers. And while no real improvements have been made to the Laser printing system it consistently performs well under a multitude of environments, from a home printer to a large business.
- Generally Laser Printers can print larger documents faster compared to an Inkjet printer.
- As mentioned previously, Inkjets printers are more cost effective with ink compared to their Laser counterparts.
- A very limited range of paper types they can print on, and laser printer paper is normally far more costly than standard inkjet paper
- Photographs and large pictures are a challenge for Laser Printers as they are designed primarily for text based documents as opposed to Inkjets which handle both with ease.
- Sizing is a problem for Laser Printers, they are far larger compared to their inkjet counterparts and take up a large amount of space, which in a small office or home is at a premium.
- Replacing parts and general maintenance on a Laser are more costly and often you need a technician to service the machine.
- Lasers machines are generally far noisier thank an inkjet, which can be a big distraction especially in an open plan office.
Each printer come with their own set of pro’s and con’s, some of which we’ve outlined here for you, and for a long time Laser Printers were the most efficient and cost effective option.
However, in our opinion that is no longer the case when it comes to the three most important factors when choosing a printer, affordability, quality and cost per page ratio. It's always good to see what your printer is going to cost you in the long run by checking out Cost Per Page.
Inkjet printers have changed in leaps and bounds in the past 5 years to the point where they are not only outselling laser printers, but are vastly outperforming them.
Inkjet printers have lower start-up costs and general day to day running costs compared to their Laser Printer counterparts. And while Inkjet technology continues to improve and revolutionize the printing industry, the humble Laser printer seems to have peaked in what it can offer consumers.