Inkjet Vs. Laser Printer: a Definitive Comparison

Inkjet vs laser printer: which one is better? Here’s our overview of the main differences between laser and inkjet printers. We hope this will help you make your pick.

Laser and inkjet printers have been dominating the market for a long time now, including modern wide-format printers. Hence, you may have a very valid question: which one to choose, inkjet vs laser printer? To answer this question, you need a proper understanding of the mechanics behind both, as well as their pros and cons to compare.

Let's start with the basics. 

An inkjet printer producing a fine-quality colored print

What Is a Laser Printer?

Let’s start with the first contender in our inkjet or laser printer comparison: laser.

A laser printer has a toner-coated drum that is positively charged by a wire. The laser in the laserjet printer negatively charges those areas of the positively charged drum that it comes in contact with. The negatively charged portion is a replica of the desired printed image. The drum coats the inserted page with the toner copying the digital image on the paper.

This mode of operation is the basic difference between laser and inkjet printers.

What Is an Inkjet Printer?

Next in line is the inkjet printer.

An inkjet-type printer creates a color image via the spraying method. It has jets (small nozzles) in the printhead that spray ink on paper to form various letters and images. Fine-quality inkjets are produced by Canon, HP, Brother, and other such companies.

Thus, an inkjet printer differs in mode of operation from its competitor printers that use toner.

What Is the Difference Between Laser and Inkjet Printers?

So, which is better: an inkjet or a laser printer?

Before we can conclude a winner, let’s do a thorough printer comparison.

The main difference between laser and inkjet printers is the mechanism they follow. A laser printer uses a toner which is a mostly fine polyester powder to replicate the image, whereas inkjet houses nozzles for injecting ink on the sheet of paper.

An average inkjet printer cost ranges from approximately $30 to $100 (comparatively cheaper). In case you were wondering how much is a laser printer, the usual price is set around $200 and higher (for basic models), making them relatively more expensive. But in the long run, standard toner cartridges of laser printers can print 2500 to 4000 pages. A high-capacity toner cartridge prints 10,000 to 12,000 pages. Whereas a standard ink cartridge with almost 11ml of ink has a page yield of 220 pages, and high-capacity ink with 16ml of ink cartridges yields 350 pages.

This means that you will be buying new ink cartridges frequently. Inkjet printers are inexpensive, but their maintenance and supplies cost very high, so the printer comparison of cost is more tricky than it seems.

Inkjet printers usually reproduce 3 10 13 PPM. But a laser printer has a speed of 14 PPM or higher. It is usually 25 to 50 PPM for a standard laser printer, making laser printers faster. So, is a laser printer better than an inkjet in terms of speed? Yes!

Laser printers are preferred in large organizations, whereas inkjets are considered home-friendly. Inkjets have a maximum range of 5000 dpi (dots per inch); in contrast, the laser can produce graphic output at 2,400 dpi and text at 300 to 600 dpi. Hence, inkjets get one score for producing high-quality output.

Now, on to the resolution of this discussion of which is better: laser or inkjet?

A premium inkjet printer plotting a high-resolution colored image

Which Is Better: Laser or Inkjet?

Are laser printers better then?

If you need to do regular bulk printing, then think for a second about how many ink cartridges you will have to replace weekly. If you’ll be persistently using your printer, then go for an economical laser one.

It is unfair to mark one as the superior one because both have their merits. There is no conclusive answer to “which is better laser or inkjet," it all depends on what YOU need/want!

Inkjet or Laser? Metro Repro Offers a Selection of Both!

Inkjet vs laser printers has been ruling the markets for a long time. Both laser vs inkjet printers have their pros and cons but have long stood their ground. The final decision depends on the consumer, their budget, and their needs. Whatever your decision is, we at Metro Repro will help you pick the best and most solid product with a consistent output.

Get in touch today, and let’s discuss your needs. 


Author: Metro Repro