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ink printers vs laser printers

Inkjet vs laser: Speed

Conventional wisdom will tell you that laser printers are faster, but the reality is a little more complex. A few years ago, inkjet printers topped out at around 30ppm in black-and-white and 10ppm in colour, while many laser printers reached speeds of up to 40ppm in black and white or colour.

Now that laser printers have reached speeds of 60ppm and even 70ppm, surely the inkjet is left eating dust? Surprisingly, not. A new generation of Office-ready inkjet printers has emerged with revolutionary print heads that span the width of an A4 page. These can also reach speeds of up to 75ppm, matching and even beating the fastest performance laser can come up with.

Where lasers pull ahead, however, is on the time to print the first page. Even the fastest inkjets take upwards of 9.5 seconds to wake from sleep or standby and output the first page, but the fastest lasers can manage it in 7.5 seconds or faster. 

Inkjet vs laser: Quality

Laser printers still have the edge when it comes to clean, crisp black text and colour graphics. If you’re printing professional quality materials for external use or producing your own marketing materials, then a good laser printer is in most cases a better choice.

However, inkjets have improved dramatically on the text front, to the extent that quality is easily good enough for all internal and most external use. What’s more, inkjets still tend to produce more natural results when printing photos, which is why professional photo printers are nearly always inkjets. An office inkjet won’t give you gallery-quality photos, but it should give you great results. 

Inkjet vs laser: Workloads

Lasers are built to handle massive monthly workloads, with monthly duty cycles of anywhere between 2,000 and 20,000 pages, depending on the model. Even the toughest inkjets can’t match that, with monthly workloads more in the 1500 to 5,000 pages range. That’s going to be perfectly adequate for most teams or small departments, but if you need a printer capable of serving larger teams or applications where there’s likely to be a higher workload, then a laser printer is still the best way to go.

Inkjet vs laser: Cost

Again, conventional wisdom states that lasers are expensive to buy but cheap to run, while inkjets are cheap upfront but cost you more long-term. What’s more, where a laser toner cartridge will see you through thousands of prints, an Inkjet will need its cartridges replacing far more frequently. 

Of course, conventional wisdom is no longer reliable. Look at real laser vs inkjet costs, and you may be surprised. On the one hand, lasers are getting cheaper, and the budget models are coming with smaller starter cartridges that run out fairly quickly, though the standard or super-sized cartridges will still have impressive lifespans. In toner alone, expect the cost per page to come in at around 2p for a black-and-white page and 5p to 10p for a colour page. On the other hand, business inkjets are getting their own costs per page right down, to the extent that some models can now produce prints for around 1p per page for black-and-white to 5p per page for colour. Meanwhile, the extra large cartridges are able to print over 9000 pages (black) or 6,500 pages (colour).

There are other costs to consider, though. On the laser’s side, laser printers deliver excellent results even on plain paper, so there’s no need to splash out on speciality media.  On the inkjet’s side, inkjet-ready office paper is no longer much more expensive, and inkjets usually consume less power in operation than their laser brethren. As a result, running costs can be lower for some inkjets than for comparable lasers. Combine that with a lower purchase cost, and there’s definite scope to save your business money.

Source – https://www.itpro.co.uk/