Why it pays to know the difference between inkjet and laser printers

Published October 12, 2021, 9:17 AM

by MB Technews

Differentiating the two printer types can help buyers make the right choice.

For consumers who are in the market for a new printer, picking which type best suits their needs — be it for work from home, for their kids’ schooling, or their small business — can be a task both daunting and confusing. It often comes down to choosing between an inkjet or a laser printer for many ordinary computer users, two of the most sought-after models available today.

“Taking the time to study the different types of printers out in the market can help determine what is best for your needs,” shares technology editor Art Samaniego. “One way is to visit known tech blogs, read reviews from reputable sources, and ask people in the know. By doing this, you can avoid unnecessary mistakes while getting the most out of your money.”

Indeed, to get the most value out of your hard-earned printer purchase, it pays to know the difference between the two, and yes, one type of printer is not quite like the other.

Inkjet Printer vs. Laser

In simple terms, an inkjet printer makes use of replaceable ink cartridges, wherein small nozzles, also known as jets, are positioned throughout the printer to spray ink droplets onto a sheet of paper. Typically, hundreds of nozzles are involved in the releasing of thousands of ink droplets. It takes many ink droplets to form a single printed character.

It often comes down to choosing between an inkjet or a laser printer for many ordinary computer users.

Meanwhile, for laser printers, it is static electricity or the electric phenomenon in which charged ink particles are transferred from the machine directly to the paper that comes into play. In this case, a laser printer cleverly manipulates static electricity to attach a laser toner, a powdered ink that’s more grain-like than regular ink, to a sheet of paper. This is the science behind laser printing technology.

The technology behind inks and toners is not the same. Inks are used in inkjet printers, while toners are used for laser printers. There are significant differences in the output of both printers, and the choice between getting either an inkjet printer or a laser printer boils down to the user’s needs.

What kind of printer should I get?

Now that we have spelled out the difference between inkjet and laser printers, we can further help consumers in their quest for the perfect type of printer they need.

If, for example, you need to print high-quality color images such as full-color flyers, then an inkjet printer is the way to go as they have better tonal variety and are better at blending various colors. Moreover, inkjets can also print on a variety of papers, including glossy photo paper.

However, if the primary requirement involves printing high volumes of black and white documents, say manuscripts, then laser printers are better suited for the job, which can do so at a much faster rate, with more pages, at a given time, resulting in better efficiency and cost-per-page.

Do not be swayed

As the printer market becomes more competitive, copycat, look-alike products are becoming a dime a dozen. Not only that, it is easy to be drawn by attractive but misleading statements, with brands harping ‘Laser-like’ characteristics that are far from actual laser quality printing. So, just as you shop around for that new printer, do read up, research, study, and keep our handy guide in mind. Lastly, Do not settle for just look-a-like. You deserved a reputable laser-quality print without spending a lot.

 
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