Which is better: inkjet printer or laser printer?

When looking for a printer, whether for home office or for work, one of the questions in your mind will likely be: should you go for an inkjet printer or a laser printer?

One of the main differences between inkjet and laser printers is that inkjet printers use ink cartridges while laser printers use toner cartridges. Due to the price point, inkjet printers are usually favoured by home office users. Laser printers, on the other hand, are normally considered as an investment for corporate offices.

To help you make a decision on which printer to go for, here is a quick comparison of both printers.

Inkjet printers

Inkjet printers are generally more affordable, smaller in size, and work well for printing both text documents as well as high quality images, such as photos. There are three types of inkjet printers: a basic document printer, a photo printer, and a multifunction printer (all-in-one printer-scanner-fax-copier).

The pros:

  • Most inkjet printers are relatively small, making them a good option for home offices or smaller spaces.
  • Overall, inkjet printers are cheaper to buy, which means lower cost upfront.
  • Ink cartridges are almost half the price of toner cartridges.
  • It is quick and easy to replace ink cartridges in inkjet printers.
  • Inkjet printers are a great choice if you need to print photos or coloured documents. They are known for producing pictures with amazing quality, almost comparable with a professional photo printer.
  • Inkjets can also print on other paper types, such as glossy photo paper and textured paper.

The cons:

  • Ink cartridges are expensive, especially when you consider the fact that their cartridge yield is quite low, at only a few hundred pages before the ink needs to be placed.
  • Because ink runs out so quickly, it means inkjets have a higher cost per page when printing, compared to laser printers.
  • Although inkjet printer speeds have improved over the years, they are still slower than laser printers, especially when printing multiple pages.
  • Inkjet printers low paper capacity, as their trays fit only 50 to 100 sheets – not ideal for heavy users.

Laser printers

Laser printers may cost more upfront and use more expensive toner cartridges, but they are usually preferred for high volume printing. There are two types of laser printers: a basic document printer, and a multifunction printer.

The pros:

  • Laser printers are more durable and reliable, and can generally last longer than inkjet printers.
  • Although more expensive to purchase, toner cartridges are cheaper in the long run as they have a higher cartridge yield, up to thousands of pages.
  • Laser printers can work much faster, and are able to print between 15 to 100 pages per minute (ppm), compared to inkjets which print about 16 ppm.
  • Laser printers have very good print quality, making them the better option if you need crisp and clear details or if you print smaller fonts.
  • Laser printers have higher paper capacity, with some models able to store up to 1,000 sheets.

The cons:

  • Laser printers are usually more expensive upfront, compared to inkjet printers.
  • Laser printers are bigger in size, which means they may not be suitable for small spaces.
  • Laser printers can be loud and noisy when in operation.
  • Although laser printers can produce pretty good coloured documents, colour toner cartridges are very expensive.

So, is the laser printer better, or should you go for the inkjet? As you can see, both printers have their fair share of advantages and disadvantages, and your choice would depend on these questions:

a) What do you need to print?
If you find yourself needing to print photos or coloured documents with images all the time, inkjet printers may be the better choice. However, if you mostly need black-and-white, text-only documents, laser printers will work very well.

b) How often and how many documents do you print?
Laser printers are known to be the workhorse because of their high print volume. If you need to print large amounts of documents often, it is worth investing in a good laser printer. On the other hand, if you print less than 500 pages per month, an inkjet printer may be sufficient.

c) And of course, how much is your budget?
Inkjet printers and ink are generally cheaper to purchase, making it affordable for someone who just needs to grab something basic fast. However, don’t forget the ongoing running costs, which include ink cartridge refills. While laser printers and toners may be expensive upfront, they last much longer.

If you still have trouble deciding, get in touch with Inks and Toners! Our team will be able to recommend a model or a solution based on your specific needs and requirements. Talk to us on live chat, or call 1300 855 112 today.