25 April, 2024

Inkjet vs. Laser: Which Printer is Better to Buy in 2021

How and where all did it start?

CA Lon, a court official during the Eastern Han period (25–220 CE) in China, has been regarded as the Father of paper-making process. But this paper making spread to the Islamic world first and later to the other parts after the 8th Century A.D. where pulp mills and paper mills were used for papermaking, money making and even packaging.

Once the paper was invented and available, they now required that the imprint on it should work.

Who started this at all?

Johannes Gutenberg, German craftsman and inventor, who originated a method of printing from a movable type of printing press. His work started the printing revolution in Europe and is regarded as a milestone in the second millennium.

What is Printing Ink?

Ink is a gel or a liquid solution that contains at least one color, such as a dye or a pigment, and is used to color the surface to produce text, diagrams, images, caricatures or any design. In, paste form thicker inks are used broadly in letterpress and lithographic printing.

Inkjet vs. Laser printer


Ink Jet: In this type of printer, the printing basis is that they form the characters by minute jets of ink.

As per the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a printer in which electrically charged droplets of ink are sprayed onto the paper. Another type of printer called the Dot matrix printers; uses a procedure by deploying a series of small pins which when struck with ink coated cause the ink to transfer to the paper at the point of impact.

Laser Jet: A laser printer is a printer which uses a focused beam or light to transfer text and images onto paper. The result is a clean copy of the image written on the paper. Laser printers do not use ink as their bases, so they do not have image spreading problems, so are able to print pages faster.

How do they work?

Ink Jet

Tiny openings drop microscopic droplets of ink onto the paper in the printer at a quick speed to form characters. Ink jet machines use a liquid ink produced either by either a colored dye or a liquid that contains solid pigments in suspension.

Laser printers

These types of printers use microscopic ink particles in a powdered form known as toner. Once heated by the fusing unit, the toner fluxes, allowing it to be fused to the paper fibers under pressure. In the Ink jet cartridges, toner is most commonly used in the CMYK colors. Combined colors can recreate the number of color palettes.

Inkjet vs. Laser: Which is better?

Using Bases

Ink jet printers use solution as base, tiny openings drop microscopic droplets of ink onto the paper in the printer are better form characters at quick speed. They are also good at printing photos and color documents. Unlike ink jet printers, laser printers don’t use ink rather they use toner, which is long-lasting

Ink vs. toner cartridges

The difference between ink and toner cartridges is that it is in liquid form, whereas the latter is in powdered form. The toner is long-lasting and can print many prints as it does not easily get heated and dried easily. Also, when, not in use, the cartridge for Ink-jet dries up which is not the case with the laser jet printer.

The Cost Case:

Ink Cartridges are much cheaper than compared to the toner one. A laser printer’s cartridges are quite more expensive than inkjet printer. The investment as stated could get you a very high-end inkjet printer but a very low-end color laser printer with limited abilities. However, if you are looking for ways to reduce you cost, there are number of options one can look for online. Also, you can find free online offers like 123 Ink Cartridges discount codes that help you buy your printer at lower price.

Volume Printing

Ink-jet uses solution which gets easily heated thus does not print a large volume whereas in the case of the laser printer, the powdered printer does not easily heat up, thus produces larger volumes of prints at a greater speed.

Printing Matters

Inkjet as said above are cheaper and can print text documents and high quality colored images, especially photos. But one must ensure the quality before the purchase as they look cheap but can be heavy on your budget in the longer run.

Though laser jet may look initially costly but are actually effective in the longer run as they can print large prints and do not easily go into repair.

Laser Jet Printing Options

Color laser Printing

In this, it uses toner from all cartridges for full color prints. While when going for the gray scale printing, it uses toner from both the color and black cartridges to produce a broader range of black and gray tones. This results in high quality black and white prints. All contents of the document, regardless of color print in black when the “All Black” option is selected.  Advance color settings include the change in saturation, brightness, and tone, or change individual color levels.

Color laser printers are good for everyday color printing but looking at it professionally, I recommend that you go for a photo inkjet printer, if you want high-resolution images.

Inkjet printers are engineered to produce high-quality images with deeper black and tonal variety, so that details are apparent.

Paper Size

Paper size and paper type plus the tray settings help ensure that the printer properly handles and scales the printing job to the paper.

Layout and Formatting

Change how documents or photos are formatted and laid out on the paper, including orientation, adding borders, scaling to a specific size paper, and printing multiple pages on a single sheet.

Settings setup for Portrait for vertical and landscape for horizontal prints can be selected as per requirement as well. Printing on both sides of the page also known as (duplexing) printing is an option which is available especially in the laser jet versions. Back to front and front-to-back printing option is also available. Similarly fit to print option according to paper size is available as well and options for booklet, poster or pages; they also given per sheet option printing for the convenience of the customer.

Advantages and Disadvantages of inkjet printers

Low in cost, gives you high quality of output and capable of printing details. It also prints in vivid color, which is good for pictures. It is rather easy to use, reasonably fast and quieter than the dot matrix printer. And does not require warm up time.

But print head is less durable, prone to clogging and damage.  The cartridge replacement is expensive. It is also not good for high-volume printing. Not fast speed compared to a laser printer. After extensive use, ink bleeding which carries on sideways causes blurred effects. Aqueous ink is sensitive to water, even a small drop of water can cause blurring. If you wish to use a highlighter marker on ink jet printouts, it is not recommended.

So which one to go for!

If you are a professional, go for laser jet printer. But if you require high resolution detailed photos, you can opt for Ink-jet printer. For normal Office use laser jet is of course a good option. Now even people requiring printers at home also are opting for it. But though initially it costs more, but because of the cartridge system in the Ink-jet in the longer run, it will be cheaper compared to the Ink Jet. You should always take expert advice and of course see your pocket when finally deciding.

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