Printers, with their unrivaled ability to create visuals that liven up every document, presentation, and idea and to make them stand out among the crowd, have become an essential tool in every professional and personal life. Offering you the freedom to print from anywhere and on multiple sources of media, printers have truly helped expand the horizons of the home-working, freelancers, students, and corporate enterprises. However, with so many models, types, brands, and upgrades – each boasting its unique set of benefits, it can be a mind-boggling task to choose a printer that’s just perfect for your needs.
To assist you in your search for the ideal printer, we have narrowed down for you the two types of most types of printers that are available in the market- Inkjet and Laser. In the following sections, we will discuss the two types of printers individually and outline exactly how they are different and what makes each of them unique.
Laser Printers – What Are They
Laser printers are the true epitome of technological advancement and innovation. Being among the most modern, precise, and fastest methods of printing, experts commonly agree that laser printers are the most appropriate printers for big firms that need top-quality results and fast print runs. For instance, laser printers can easily churn out as many as 30 pages per minute (PPM), at the same time, delivering an exceptionally high image quality and crisp text.
Speaking of resolution, Laser Printers are capable of producing resolutions ranging anywhere between 100 to 1200 x 600 dpi. They are also capable of printing on a range of source materials like plain paper, card stock, labels, envelopes, transparencies, and more. On top of everything, Laser Printers are also capable of enhancing your photos, making them look great, and providing you with an extra-professional look.
How do Laser Printers work?
Laser printers have many components, but the most important ones that offer the printing functionality are:
1. The Toner Cartridge: The Toner cartridge is essentially a container that holds the toner (consisting of colored particles). The source of the toner is generally a resin, which is hardened through a specific colorant. The coloration is applied onto the paper while it is being delivered in the form of a charged beam of light. The resins are called print developers; the voltage is then applied, which changes the resin into toner particles.
2. Laser Beam Drum: The Laser Beam Drum is also known as the Exposure Assembly, and it is responsible for the image creation. The drum is made of Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA), which is photo-sensitive and is hit by high voltage. This transforms PVA into AgNO3, which acts as a developer.
3. Electrostatic Copy Board: The Electrostatic Copy Board is a thin, light substrate, which attaches the toner to the paper. The board is also essential in the preparation of the graphics for the toner.
4. Fuser Unit: This unit is essential in the process of transferring the toner onto the paper. The unit evenly presses the paper and the toner together to create a permanent bond that will withstand the normal handling and will not smear. Experts argue that the Fuser Unit is what makes the laser printer more expensive than the inkjet printer.
The charge corona wire is a wire having a couple of cascading points through which voltage passes. The points are highly charged (usually around 20,000 to 30,000 volts of negative charge), and the wire being negatively charged sends the charge to the ink on the paper.
The fuser unit, which is the most abundant unit in a laser printer. It is filled with nanoparticles (25mg) that, when heated to 425 degrees Celsius, fuse the toner particles to the paper, creating a permanent bond. The heat causes the toner particles to vaporize, and then the paper is passed through the heated fusing unit, where the resin fuses with the paper.
The laser, which is responsible for writing or printing the letters and images on the pieces of paper. The laser is rastered and moves left to right and top to bottom like standard printers.
The drum unit is spinning, whereas the paper is coming in from the top, sits on the fuser unit for a few seconds for drying, and then is printed on by the laser, which causes the fuser unit to start operating. The paper is passing through the fuser unit, the charge on the drum is decreased(this is uncharged corona wire that is used to charge the drum, so the drum has a negative charge), and potential energy (the paper) has a positive charge, and this just strips the toner off the drum and transfers it to the paper. Then the paper goes through the toner transfer unit, and this unit incorporates the toner particles onto the paper. The image is then complete and is sent down into the output, where it is given to you or sent to the next printer.
10 Important Features of a Laser Printer
Now that you know what and how laser printers work, you may want to know about the advantages of having a laser printer in your life. Well, there are many advantages to owning laser printers. However, that’s something that we’re going to discuss now. So, check out the following ten important advantages of owning a laser printer:
1. Improved Image Quality:
What is the most important aspect of printed materials? It is definitely related to image quality. And, in this regard, laser printers completely triumph over inkjet and other types of printers. Laser Printers are capable of producing very sharp and clear images. This is because laser printers actually deposit toner onto the imaging drum. Results speak for themselves. If you compare a page from a laser printer with an inkjet, the difference will be very apparent.
2. Low-Cost Printing:
As a business and even as a creative professional, you will always want to save as much money as possible in order to improve your business and make incremental savings. That’s where laser printers come in. The good news is that laser printers, while expensive, are inexpensive when it comes to printing, which means you’ll end up saving your own fortune. This is one of the main reasons why laser printers are popular these days.
3. Easier to Use:
Even though laser printers may seem technical or intimidating to use, they are actually very easy to use. In fact, anyone can operate a laser printer without having much knowledge about it. They don’t have much-complicated settings or options. And, that is another major reason why people love laser printers these days. Since they don’t require a lot of settings and options, it is easier to use them and get going with them.
Laser printers are far more efficient than other forms of printers. For instance, inkjet printers require you to replace the ink cartridge after printing only a few ink-heavy pages. However, with laser printers, you don’t need to replace toner cartridges or any other part of the laser printer. In fact, laser printers can easily last for more than a couple of years without requiring any replacements. This is the reason why Laser Printers are perfect for office use and even for business purposes.
5. Faster Printing:
When it comes to printing speed, Laser Printer beat other printers, hands down. This is another reason why other office printers prefer to go for Laser Printers. Laser printers are generally able to print up to 30 ppm (pages per minute). On top of that, they can also print on a variety of different types of media, including thick and thin paper, transparencies, envelopes, labels, and many more. This is yet another reason why Laser Printers are so perfect for office use.
6. Improved Reliability:
Unlike inkjet printers, laser printers have a longer service life. In the long run, they can be used for a longer period of time without the need for any repairs or recovery. Furthermore, it doesn’t matter if you use them too much; their functioning won’t reduce, either. Not only that, but laser printers are equipped with a laser, which is something that separates them from inkjet printers, and it’s also something that makes them quite reliable and enduring.
7. Prints on Almost Any Type of Paper:
Another great advantage of a laser printer is the fact that you can print your printing jobs on pretty much any type of paper. For instance, you can easily print on cardstock, transparencies, and envelopes. Furthermore, unlike inkjet printers, laser printers don’t need ink to be replaced on a regular basis, which is quite convenient and cost-efficient.
8. Saving Toner:
Most laser printers use toner instead of ink, which means that they can store more toner than ink. Furthermore, they don’t emit harmful vapors that might affect the health of people working in the same environment. So, you can’t only contribute to the environment by using a laser printer, but you can also save a lot of money. However, one of the most important advantages of toner-based printing is the fact that replacement toner cartridges are somewhat inexpensive.
9. Low Maintenance:
And, if you compare laser printers to an inkjet printer, you’re going to find out that laser printers are much easier to maintain and that they are also a lot easier to use, too. There are very few moving parts in laser printers, and very few moving parts mean that they are less prone to getting jammed. So, owning a laser printer without any complications is definitely not a big deal.
Finally, one of the major advantages of using a laser printer is the fact that you are going to make a lot less noise when using one. So, even in an office environment, it won’t disturb others around you. So, when it comes to noise, you can rest assured that laser printers are far better than inkjet printers.
Inkjet Printers – What Are They
While laser printers are the ideal solution for businesses and professionals who print a lot, inkjet printers remain the preferred choice for the average home and office. If you’re looking for a printer that’s easy to use and affordable, you can count on inkjet printers to get the best results.
An inkjet printer works by using piezoelectric non-contact printing technology to print on paper or other types of media. This printing technology uses tiny dots of ink, which are ejected on demand. And though the printing speed on this type of printer is limited to approximately 11-15 pages per minute, inkjet printers offer higher quality and color depth than laser printers making them perfect as an everyday printing solution.
How do Inkjet Printers work?
Here are the basic components of an inkjet printer:
The Ink Cartridges: The ink in the cartridges is stored in a sponge. The laser basically burns the image into the printer, and the printer cartridges apply little dots of ink to the paper.
The Print-Head: The print-head controls the movement of the ink through the printer. It directs the ink through the print-head nozzles, which then directs the ink onto the page. The nozzles are very small, and that’s why the print-head has thousands of nozzles. As the print-head passes over the page, it sprays fine jets of the ink onto the page. The more nozzles that are on the print-head, the higher the quality will be in your print.
The Input Tray: This is where the paper goes into the printer.
The Toner Cartridge: Toner cartridges are filled with toner, and the laser first allots some charge to the surface of the drum. The toner is then attracted to the negative charge on the drum, making sure there is even toner distribution on the drum. The drum is then passed through a magnet that causes the toner to be attracted to the drum and paper.
The Transfer Corona Wire: The transfer corona wire is a wire with some electric charge. The corona wire supplies the toner particles, which are on the drum, with some negative charge. Next, the paper is run through the transfer corona wire, and this causes the toner particles to become charged negatively.
The Transfer Rollers: The transfer rollers are rollers that the paper goes through. Next, the paper is passed through the fuser, where heat and pressure are applied to fuse the toner particles onto the paper. At this point, the paper looks grey because there is not toner on it yet.
The Fixing Unit: The fixing unit is when the heat from this unit melts the toner, fusing it to the page. The paper is then passed through the delivery rollers, where it is released into the output tray.
Inkjet printer prints by spraying tiny droplets of ink onto a piece of paper. The ink is stored in the cartridge, and the print-head draws the ink out of the cartridge and then squirts it onto paper, forming the letters and images. Inkjet printers are very fine and accurate with how they distribute ink, but they’re the slowest of all printers. As a result, printers do not produce a lot of documents quickly.
10 Important Features of An Inkjet Printer
While there are many benefits of a laser printer, there are also many advantages of an inkjet printer. So, let’s get to know them.
1. Excellent for Photo Printing:
Many people love to go for laser printers, but there are also many people who believe that inkjet printers are much better for printing photos. Especially, if you want to print photos on anything other than paper, like fabric (for making a shirt, bag, photo blanket, etc.), then inkjet printers can easily do that and, in fact, there’s nothing that can beat them on this regard. Inkjet printing produces much better photo quality than laser printing.
2. Suitable for Lightweight Print Jobs:
If you’re printing only the occasional document or a little bit of photography a month, a basic inkjet printer could be just what you need. Even though inkjets have been replaced by faster, more high-quality laser printers in most homes and businesses, they’re still just as popular today as they always have been. They’re very easy to use and reload and use less energy than newer printer models. Meant for use in light office environments, inkjets are cheap, and easily navigated, and lack the extra trappings offered by more complex laser printers. Aside from photos, inkjets can also print on things like greeting cards, crafts, labels, envelopes, fabric, and more.
Due to its versatility, an inkjet printer is easy to use. What do we mean by this? Well, an inkjet printer can print out almost anything, including business cards, posters, flyers, greeting cards, and much more. In fact, with the right software, you can even print out 3D objects using a photo inkjet printer. However, there’s good news for you if you are looking to get a laser printer to replace your inkjet printer.
4. Prints on a Wide Range of Media:
Laser printers have the widest range of media support, but those who own an inkjet printer can also print on a wide range of media, including banner paper, stickers, photo paper, paper, vellum/transparency, and many more. In fact, even if you own a photo inkjet, you can print on a wide range of media, too. It is just that it won’t be as wide as a laser printer.
Inkjet printers are much cheaper than laser printers, and you can even get a decent inkjet printer from as low as around $50 to $100. And, if you keep your inkjet printer going, then the cost of inkjet refills are also going to be much cheaper. Now, if you’re only going to print out or need only a few prints per month, then it’s only going to cost you a few dollars each month. So, inkjet printers are going to be a lot cheaper for you.
6. Easy to Set Up:
Setting up an inkjet printer is not hard at all. You just need to get your printer, connect it to the computer, install the drivers, and you’re good to go. Now, even if you’re a novice in the world of computers, setting up an inkjet printer will not be a difficult task for you. So, if you’re looking for an inexpensive printer that can deliver good value for the money, then an inkjet printer might just be the right one for you.
7. No Color Depletion:
Another good aspect of using an inkjet printer is the fact that you won’t have to worry about color depletion. This is because inkjet printers use ink to generate colors. And, it is true that you might have to replace the ink every now and then, but you won’t have to worry about toner depletion. So, using an inkjet printer is good, especially for personal use.
8. Errors are Easier to Identify:
On the other hand, if you have used both a laser and an inkjet printer, then you probably know that lasers are really easy to identify the problems. And, even if you use the printer for a long time, you can assume that it is doing fine. However, if you use an inkjet printer, then you might have to deal with the problem of an empty inkjet cartridge, which is not as good as when it comes to laser printers. Although there are a few exceptions to this.
9. Longer Life Span:
If you’re wondering which printer will last longer, then it is inkjet printers. Laser printers tend to have a shorter life span. In fact, many people use laser printers for only a couple of years, and then they get rid of them for newer versions. However, there are a few exceptions. Laser printers can last longer if you take good care of them. But, even then, they seldom last for more than 5 to 7 years or so unless you use them for light work.
10. More Appropriate for the Student:
The last but not least benefit of using an inkjet printer is that it is more appropriate for the students or people who are not in a professional environment. For example, what do we mean by this? Well, a good high-quality laser printer can easily run you hundreds of dollars. So, it is really inappropriate for people who don’t really have a stable income or are students or aren’t in any sort of professional environment. However, inkjet printers are much more affordable and perfect for students or people who don’t work in an environment where high-quality printing is needed.
Laser vs. Inkjet – 10 Important Difference Between Laser Printer & Inkjet Printer:
1. Printing Technology:
The laser printers have been around for a couple of decades now and have since then improved considerably. These printers have replaced the older technology, which used to be a physical print on paper, and this greatly changed how the printers work. The laser printers have become the preferred type of printer in offices and homes today for the more robust printing technologies that they use. Functioning based on toner, which is a powdered substance that is transferred to paper by electrostatic charges, the laser printers are faster and more responsive when printing a document. The laser printers can print much faster than any other printer technology due to the fact that they are continuous (unlike inkjets) and can retrieve the documents from memory immediately.
The inkjet printers, on the other hand, are one of the oldest types of printers, invented in the late 20th century. A printer of this type uses liquid ink, which is dispensed from micro nozzles or cartridges onto the paper, in order to print. There are many different kinds of inkjet printers today, from desktop models to all-in-ones, USB and Wi-Fi enabled printers, but the working method is more or less the same. The latest models of inkjet printers are capable of high-quality printing and color printing. If you’re looking to print, and that in bulk, then the laser printer technology is the best option for you.
2. Upfront Costs:
Inkjet printers and laser printers come with their own differentiated features, and both have their ups and downs in a bid to satisfy the needs of their target users. Although the latest release of Laser technology could have inkjet printer technology beat, these printers differ vastly in their convenience. However, laser printers can come at a higher cost than the average inkjet printer. A mid-range laser printer can cost from as low as $150 to $600, while the inkjets are usually between $80 and $200. If you are a small business or a professional with a home-based business, then inkjet printers are certainly a good investment, but if you’re running a large-scale business, then a laser printer is what you need. So, when it comes to upfront costs, the decision will subsequently boil down to your budget and printing needs.
Winner: Inkjet Printer
Laser printers are designed and engineered with a sleek design that doesn’t take up too much space. Even if you find one that does, it can be mounted or kept on a table in your office. Inkjet printers, on the other hand, take up more space, and you certainly need more of it to accommodate how much ink they require to run. They are bulky and need to be handled with care, so getting one may not be the best idea unless you have ample space for them to fit in and have enough help to handle them, and even then, you have to be picky about the model you pick. If you are fine with limited features, then you can easily find a compact inkjet printer, but if you are looking for a full-featured one, then you will have to be ready to give up some space.
Winner: Laser Printer
4. Cost per Page (Cost per Print):
An average cost per page for laser printers is 2.2 cents, while for inkjet printers, this figure jumps up to 7.3 cents. Meaning, although laser printers have a greater upfront cost, which is more than what an inkjet printer will ever cost, they are a lot cheaper in the long run. Since they are straight-through printers, they could print faster, which means they can print more documents per cartridge of toner, making it cheaper to run. The inkjet printers, on the other hand, can be a bit of a task in terms of cost, and they also cause problems in the long run. Further, the ink carriages have quite a limited lifespan and are very delicate as well; they can also become damaged over time.
Winner: Laser Printer
5. Print Speed:
Laser printers are faster, some as fast as 35 pages per minute, while inkjet printers can only print at a speed of 15 ppm. If you are looking to print in bulk, a laser printer may be the best option, as it can print much faster than an inkjet. Another disadvantage of inkjet printers is that the noise produced makes it sound like the engine is going to burn out. You don’t have to worry about this with laser printers because their efficient design and robust print engine allows them to print faster.
Winner: Laser Printer
6. Page Yield:
When it comes to this, one of the disadvantages of the inkjet printer is the fact that the cartridge only lasts for a short while, and after that, it needs to be replaced. Printer manufacturers can choose how many pages the printer can produce per cartridge, and when this runs out, you will have to buy a new cartridge. Laser printer technology is always a constant with regard to the number of pages that can be printed, with some newer models offering up to 10,000 pages per toner cartridge, while even older ones can range up to 5,000 pages. Although laser printer technology is more expensive up front, it is certainly a lot cheaper to run, which saves money in the long run.
Winner: Laser Printer
If you’re looking for a printer that will do the entire job for you, then laser printers are the preferred option. However, inkjet printers have their own advantages that, in some cases, cannot be beaten by a laser printer. If you are looking for a simple, basic printer, then an inkjet printer will perfectly serve your purpose.