Technology is a world of comparison and contrast. Digital Printers are another one of these hotly debated choices. The truth is, whether it’s for home or work, each type of digital printer has its pros and cons. We’ve gathered some of the most popular features buyers look for, and gave a rundown of their strengths and weaknesses.
But first, here’s a short look at the tech itself:
Inkjet: These have been around for decades, but that doesn’t mean they’re outdated. An inkjet is basically what it sounds like; a printer that sprays tiny jets of ink from a cartridge onto whatever you are printing.
Laser: Not new in terms of technology, but still younger than their inkjet cousins. Instead of using liquid ink, laser printers use a cartridge of powder, called toner, that is then burned with a laser onto the printable surface.
Inkjet: If you’re looking to start printing in colour on a budget, inkjet is the cheaper option. Most inkjet printers come with the cartridges you need to start, though they are typically only half-full. Still, if you don’t need to do a lot of printing right away, this is the economical solution to start with.
Laser: If you’re only printing in black and white, a basic laser printer doesn’t cost much more than an inkjet. Plus you’ll get some added benefits such as speed (which we’ll discuss later). This is a good option for those who need to print a tonne of monotone docs right away. The downside is colour laser printers typically cost more and some don’t come with toner.
Consumables are items such as paper and ink/toner. While both types will go through as much paper as you need to print, inkjet cartridges will cost you more simply because they deplete more frequently. Laser cartridges are more expensive on the shelf, but they have a longer life and don’t need to be replaced as often.
Inkjet: In printing high-quality pictures, this is where inkjet stands out. Inkjet is often more precise, which means those who need the large, detailed photo and graphic print-outs would be pleased. However, using the inkjet for printing copious amounts of text documents can get expensive, both on time and money. Good for small, at-home prints.
Laser: Not so great at making high definition photos, laser printers excel at plain document printing. These are favoured for businesses and schools because they print a lot of text fast and cheap. Laser printers are also better for connecting to a large network of computers all needing to print.
Space and Speed
Inkjet: All that precision comes at a cost to speed. A full-page colour image can take several minutes for inkjet to chug along. The upside is they are typically small, so you can fit them onto any standard desk, or even put them on a shelf out of the way.
Laser: Speed and efficiency are what makes laser printers the go-to for busy people. What you sacrifice in the definition you gain in time, with lasers capable of shooting out several pages in a matter of seconds. They are usually quite large, however, so they may not be ideal for the home office unless you plan to print a lot.
All credit goes to Lamin-8: Best Digital Printing in Toronto