If you’ve ever thought of buying HP ink cartridges for the printer for your home office or in general, then keeping up with the different types and models and determining what to get can be a tricky task.
In the process, one prominent question and something you likely will ask yourself eventually on your quest to find one that suits your needs the best is:
What is really the difference between a laser and an inkjet?
Pros and cons exist for both, but in the end, one might be a better option for you than the other.
InkJet are typically cheaper than Laser ones. Although, they come with a few drawbacks as well. Inkjet can sometimes smudge or produce streaks on the printed page, and they also use more ink when printing documents.
Laser, however, is more pricey to purchase, but because they use less toner per page – as opposed to ink – they wind up being more economical over time. They are also faster at printing documents than InkJet.
But why are laser printing machines more expensive, and how can they be faster?
In layman’s terms, the laser builds an image of the document one line at a time using a laser. An inkjet drops tiny droplets of dye onto the page, taking longer to build the image. So although you might be paying more upfront for a laser, it is likely to be cheaper in the long run.
The faster printing speed of a laser is also due to its design; most lasers have multiple drums and toner cartridges which allows them to print several pages at once. Inkjets typically only have one or two cartridges which limit how many pages can be printed at once.
So if you are looking for a long-term economical option that prints quickly without any smudging, an apparatus with the laser function would be your best bet.
Now that you know the difference consider asking yourself what your needs are. Do you really need one over the other?
Apart from Laser and inkjet, let’s cover two needs. You’re either going to go with a monochrome or a color printing machine.
What is a monochrome version?
A monochrome appliance prints in black and white. Many small businesses and home offices only need a monochrome because they don’t print many color documents. If you need to print photos or other colorful documents, you’ll need to get a color version apparatus.
That said, monochromes have come down in price in recent years and can be a cost-effective option for those who don’t often print in color. Plus, monochromes are typically faster than color ones.
Ultimately, the decision of whether to get an InkJet or Laser really depends on your needs as a consumer. Conduct a breakdown and determine which type of device is best for you – taking into account things like speed, price, and sustainability (both financially and environmentally).
What about printing with color?
If you need to include color often, then you’ll need to buy a color version. A color appliance comes in two varieties: inkjet and Laser.
They usually use printer toner and regular printer ink cartridges. Sometimes tri-color and other times individual capsules. The inks used in color machines can be more expensive than monochrome inks, but the printers themselves are less expensive.
So there we come in the territory of needs again. If you’re going to invest in some office appliances that you intend to have for a long time and use intensely, then you should definitely consider what those needs are.
So to summarize the key points, here are the pros and cons of both alternatives:
– Inkjets are usually smaller and lighter – making them ideal for a bedroom or home office where space saving is valued.
– Great at producing photo-quality prints and picture-heavy articles since inkjets produce a better result with more vibrant colors than laser.
– The price of an inkjet is less than most lasers.
– No warm-up time is needed before printing.
– Can print on a variety of paper types, including glossy photo paper, textured art paper, and fabrics.
– Can accommodate larger paper sizes.
– Dye refill kits can reduce the cost of printing.
– Dye is expensive, especially for users who print on a regular basis and that constantly become obligated to refill with more cartridges because ink cartridges can only print a few hundred pages.
– Much slower than lasers.
– Low-capacity paper trays of 50 to 100 sheets, which can be frustrating for a user who prints a lot.
– Low monthly duty cycle (the maximum amount of prints possible in a given month without causing damage to the machine).
– The colorant can sometimes smear and takes longer to dry than toner powder.
– Since it is a liquid, the dye will dry out over time if it’s not used regularly.
– Most lasers write out much quicker than their counterparts. This might not be a strong selling proposition for those with a casual day-to-day printing need, but with high-volume users, the difference will be noticed.
– Lasers produce sharp text. If you’re a high-volume user that only requires text documents, Laser is the way to go.
– Higher monthly duty cycle means they are better prepared to handle high-volume jobs.
– Visit to see a side-by-side comparison that conveys lasers as the winner over inkjets, especially if you print very often and you’re not writing out documents that have complex imaging in them.
– Toner, on average, is cheaper in the long run for high-volume printing machines. This is due to the capsules being able to print out thousands of pages in comparison to ink cartridges.
Toner stores colorant more effectively than tincture. This is because toner powder is plastic-made material and, for this reason, won’t dry out in the same manner as colouring and can instead last untouched for months on end.
– Can handle simple graphics, but complex images and photos are a challenge.
– Although there are some compact lasers on the market, they are generally bigger and heavier than inkjets.
– Lasers can’t handle the same variety of paper that inkjets can.
– The cost upfront for a laser usually is higher in cost than your normal inkjet.
What are you going to purchase now that you are armed with the knowledge of what you should buy in case you’re ever in need of a printer?