When considering office supplies, one of the big decisions you will have to make is selecting a printer that will fit your needs. But with so many options out there, how can you be sure you choose the one that’s right for your business? Between numerous manufacturers and countless models, the options will seem overwhelming. To simplify this process, start with just two choices: laser or inkjet.
What’s the Difference?
First off, it’s important to understand the difference between laser and inkjet printers. An inkjet printer requires ink cartridges and sprays this liquid ink through microscopic nozzles. Laser printers, on the other hand, utilize toner cartridges and a fuser unit that bonds the toner to the paper. But just how do they compare in other respects? Let’s take a look…
Size & Cost
The size of the printer may be a deciding factor depending on the size of your office space. Generally, laser printers are much larger in size, whereas inkjet printers are smaller and more versatile. Because of this, laser printers (and toner cartridges for that matter) will have a higher upfront cost. Some buyers may see this as a turn-off, but you have to also take into consideration the cost per page. If you rely heavily on your printer for printing multiple text documents, a laser printer may be right for you. Inkjet printers have a lower upfront cost and a lower cost per cartridge, however, cost per sheet rises because the longevity of ink cartridges
does not compare to that of a toner cartridge.
Print Speed & Quality
Laser printers print at a noticeably faster pace than their inkjet counterparts. However, because they produce a higher yield of prints per minute, the quality of these prints may be sacrificed depending on your printing needs. If you are printing mainly documents, a laser printer would be just fine. If you need to print a lot of marketing collateral and need high quality pictures with vivid colors and high contrasts, you might be betting off opting for an inkjet printer. Inkjet printers do not print as quickly, but they do give you freedom to print on multiple surfaces. The option to print on fabric is only offered by inkjet printers, which is a major plus for some buyers.
Because they use liquid ink rather than powder, inkjet cartridges will leak more often. Ink will stain almost anything it comes in contact with and it is no easy task to clean-up. For that matter, inkjet printers themselves are subject to clogging and require more maintenance and regular cleaning
than laser printers. With toner cartridges, you still run a risk of experiencing a mess due to the fine powder particles, but it does not stain like ink.
Other Factors To Consider
Once you’ve decided what type of printer (laser or inkjet) will work best for your needs, you still need to decide between a basic document printer, photo printer and an All-in-One printer. Depending on your needs, this should be a fairly easy decision. If you have a smaller company and know you will know be printing a high volume of documents regularly, you would probably be better off saving on those upfront cost and getting an inkjet printer. If you have a large company that prints documents regularly, a laser printer will be the better option.
Don’t let the amount of options intimidate you! Narrow your choices down before starting the buying process and you will be printing with confidence in no time!