Pros & Cons for Home Use: Inkjet vs. Laser Printers
When it comes to selecting a printer for your home, you have two choices: inkjet printers and laser printers. Inkjet printers work by applying drops of ink onto the page, while laser printers work by applying patterns of dots onto a light-sensitive drum, which then attracts and applies toner onto the page. Which type of printer you should choose depends on your needs. Here are the pros and cons of each:
The Pros of Inkjet Printers
Inkjet printers tend to be small and light, and they do an excellent job of printing photos and other graphical elements. They also have low startup costs — both in terms of the printer itself and the ink cartridges. Other advantages of inkjet printers are that you can use them to print on media other than standard paper (such as photo paper and T-shirts), you can easily and cheaply refill inkjet cartridges, and they’re generally easy to maintain.
The Cons of Inkjet Printers
While inkjet cartridges are inexpensive, when you look at the cost per page printed, they are more expensive than laser printers. They are also slow compared to laser printers. Keep in mind as well that — because inkjet ink is water based — images can fade over time. Other drawbacks of inkjet printers are that they require lots of cleaning (which uses lots of ink), they can print substandard-quality text when used with paper not made specifically for inkjet printers, and they have low-capacity output trays.
The Pros of Laser Printers
Laser printers are excellent at printing sharp black text, at any font size. They also can produce fine lines better than inkjet printers. Other advantages of laser printers are that they are faster than inkjet printers, they are capable of producing a high volume of documents, and they are cheaper to use than inkjet printers in the long run.
The Cons of Laser Printers
Laser printers cannot print on media other than paper. They are also not good for printing photos. Other drawbacks of laser printers are that they are usually heavier than inkjet printers, they can be more difficult to maintain, and they can create messes if the toner cartridge leaks. These last two drawbacks, though, can be mitigated if you buy a high-quality laser printer, such as those sold by Konica Minolta.
So, which type of printer should you buy for your home? There’s no one answer for everyone. But, once you’ve determined your needs, the choice should be clear.