Difference between ink jet and laser printers

By Tanya Cvit posted 04-07-2018 02:34 AM

There are so many printers available on the market today but do you know the best to choose? Remember that choosing the right printer can be quite confusing. You need to make a wise decision about the type of printer that will suit your needs, inkjet or laser and also whether a standard or all-in-one version would work better.


Other things to put into consideration before buying a printer are what size of print will be required, quality, stock, running costs, volume and speed. Having a clear picture of what the printer will mainly be used for will help considerably.

If image quality is a top priority, inkjet printers are considered the best option, as they offer a photographic quality print that isn't achievable with a laser. Another benefit to inkjet is that it's possible to print onto a larger range of stock than with laser.

Laser printers are better for larger volume printing. They're faster and cheaper to run than inkjet and good for printing professional looking documents. Lasers are more bulky than inkjets as they have more capacity built in for volume printing.

All-in-one inkjet printers are a good option for small home-based business use. They're bigger than standard models, but extra functions include scanning, copying and possibly faxing. Their laser counterparts are even bulkier and are more suited to office environments than home use. Laser all-in-one versions are expensive to buy than inkjets, but the running costs are low.

The price of the printer is important but not as relevant as the cost of the consumables to keep the printer running. It's often the case that the cheapest printers to buy are the most expensive to run. How many prints you can expect to get from a single set of ink or toner cartridge is usually a lot less than advertised and, similarly, print speeds are much slower, which adds to the confusion.

Once a decision has been made about whether the inkjet or laser is the most suitable, it's possible to look more closely at individual brands to see what is available and compare prices. All lasers are not created equal, and neither are inkjets. The biggest brands aren't necessarily the best choice, and each manufacturer will produce several similar models, with a variety of modifications, in an attempt to suit most users.


One inkjet printer may allow printing onto a variety of stock from the largest format to postcard-size prints. It may be suitable for someone wanting to use their printer for work where the quality of the image is all important, and it doesn't matter if the printing speed is slow.

Compatibility is something that needs to be considered too, especially when printers are going to be connected to Macs or even older style PCs. Before making the purchase, it's worth checking that the printer is going to work with the existing operating system. If not, it should be possible to download and install the appropriate driver form the manufacturer's site.
Now that you know you know the difference between inkjet and laser printers, does it help you in finding the right printer for your office?