With the increasing dependency on technology, printers have become an essential need for every home. Instead of rushing out every time you need to take a print, it’s better to go for a one-time investment and get yourself a printer.
Editor’s Note: Before buying a printer, you should know your requirements, like what to print, how much to print in a month, and what the total budget that you can capitalize on is in the printing process.
So, here in this article, we’ll discuss the two very popular printer types – Inkjet and Laser, and find out which one will be beneficial for home purpose.
Table of Contents
What is an Inkjet Printer?
These printers spray microscopic ink droplets on the paper to get the print. These devices can be used to print a variety of document types, but are especially preferred for printing high-quality colored photos. Inkjet printers are relatively smaller in size.
What is a Laser Printer?
Laser printers use toner powder, which melts on paper to create a print. These are larger in size as compared to the inkjet printers, but more budget-friendly. Laser printers can print at a much faster rate and don’t need separate drying time.
How to Decide Which Printer is Good for You?
Now that you’ve known the basics of these two types of printers – let’s study each of them in detail by comparing them based on the below-mentioned factors.
#1. Technology Used
As already stated, inkjet printers rely on liquid ink, which gets thrown on the paper through multiple microscopic nozzles present inside the device. The dye-based inkjet ink changes the color of the paper and efficiently handles color mixing. The pigment-based ink is equally competent in offering various shades but dries quicker than the dye-based ink.
A laser printer, on the other hand, makes use of toner, which is basically a powder. Electrostatic charge is generated inside the printer by a “LASER” that helps to transfer the toner on the surface of the paper. Now, with the help of heat, this toner gets melted on the paper surface, thus printing the required document.
#2. Print Quality
As already mentioned, the two types of printers use absolutely different kinds of inks for printing, and that is what creates quite a difference in print quality.
When you choose to print a high-quality picture, without any confusion, go for an inkjet printer. The use of liquid color in this printer can create perfect shades as the mixing happens smoothly. Every shade can be brought to life by the liquid ink of the inkjet.
On the other hand, for printing photos from a laser printer, you need special laser-printer ready photo sheets that will aid in the color mixing process. But laser printers are the best option when it comes to printing a text document, as it offers clear and sharp text on paper.
Inkjet-printed text documents can bleed slightly, and the sharpness will be affected to some extent. Moreover, being printed with liquid ink, inkjet-printed papers can also get smudged, as it takes a few minutes for the wet ink to dry up.
So, as you can see, your choice of printer will always depend on the purpose you want to use it for. Quality will also depend on the type of document you wish to print. So, depending upon your requirements, you can check a list of top printers for home use and get the right one for yourself.
#3. Printing cost
While getting a printer, you will always feel that inkjet printers are much cheaper than laser printers. But in the long run, the story does not remain the same.
The ink used in inkjet printers, that is, the liquid ink is reckoned as one of the most expensive inks, as it is specially engineered. Investing more and more on inkjet ink is expected to take your overall printing budget way higher than you actually plan unless you own a photo studio. So, for home use, this printer is undoubtedly a costly choice.
Nevertheless, you have laser printers to save you from this budget hike. The initial cost of this printer might be more than the inkjet counterparts, but the use of toner powder ink minimizes the overall cost in the long run.
Though individual toner cartridges are costlier, it can print more pages than a single cartridge of liquid ink. So, if you see in detail, the per-page cost of an inkjet-printed paper is way higher than a laser-printed one.
Moreover, the liquid ink tends to dry up quite fast. So, if you are not using your inkjet printer for a long while, then be prepared to pull out a dried cartridge, even if full. It is a big loss if seen from the monetary point of view, as you would have to reinvest in ink. Of course, you might not require to print every day at home, but losing ink due to drying up is extremely saddening.
So, if you are not going to use your printer frequently, then opt for a laser printer as toner powder ink can be stored for a good amount of time without getting dried up.
#4. Printer Size
If you are conscious about the look of your room and want to avoid bulky printers like these, then you can go for inkjets, as they are much smaller than the laser printers. If you have got a space crunch, then laser might not be a good option for you.
Laser printers have a large print drum inside it, along with a thermal element and laser module that increases its overall weight and size. But by virtue of miniaturization, inkjets possess a smaller build so that it can be easily accommodated anywhere.
So, as you can see, whatever you choose is entirely based on your need. If you need good pictures and have a high budget per page, but tight space, go for an inkjet printer. But if you have a low budget, and you are going to print infrequently, but can manage to offer a bigger space for your printer, then go for a laser.
Generally, inkjets are more like a commercial printer because of its price. For home-based usage, the laser printer does the job pretty well, without causing much trouble. So, before purchasing a printer, analyze your needs and then decide what’s best for you. Stay tuned to our tech blog for more such comparisons!