Difference between Inkjet and Laser Printer

Posted on

Difference between Inkjet and Laser Printer – From the simplest and cheapest, to the fancy and expensive, there are many types of printers – some are even capable of developing functions of other products, such as taking copies or scanning documents, not by chance, these items are called multifunctional.

With so many options it is difficult to make the decision as to which printer is the best. It is complicated to compare the products, since each of them has particularities, be it with drip, laser or dot matrix printing. See the details of each one of them and make the decision of which equipment fits your profile.

Difference between Inkjet and Laser Printer

Inkjet: Printers with drip system keeps the ink stored in small cartridges, which release colors on paper according to demand. Only a few main colors are stored, which are mixed to produce the other colors.

This type of printer can print on a wide variety of paper types, but be careful as the contact with water causes the contents to drip and erase the sheets. The cost of this format is also one of the lowest, ideal for those who use little, in homes.

Laser: Printing using the laser method does not require liquid ink. The process is done using a laser that creates an electrostatic charge on paper, attracting paint powder to the demarcated area. The advantage of this process is that it enables printing a larger number of pages than ink cartridges, but it is also much more expensive.

Investing in the wrong printer can bring many headaches in the future. You could spend a lot of money on supplies or be disappointed with the print quality offered by the chosen product. Every gadget launched in retail is made for a very specific audience, and so it is essential to know their particularities and understand their differences – only then you can open the wallet without fear of repentance.

Currently, two categories of printers dominate this market: those that work with inkjets and those that use toners (also called laser printers). It is obvious that there are other technologies besides these, but they are too specific (such as dot matrix, geared towards fiscal document printing), and therefore will not be covered in detail throughout this article.


Inkjet printers

Inkjet printers are the most popular category for most consumers. Born in the 1950s and upgraded into the 1970s, these machines have a fairly simple operating scheme: once equipped with cartridges filled with liquid paint, the printer uses tiny nozzles to spill ink droplets on paper, forming the printout from of software guidelines.

It is because of this process that the sheets of paper usually come out slightly wet. Four cartridges are required for an inkjet printer to work correctly: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. This pattern is known as CMYK and has been applied to the printing market precisely because the combination of such shades is capable of creating virtually any other color.


Inkjet printers are the cheapest on the market. In a quick search on Google Shopping, you can find good models for prices starting at $ 249. Of course, there are some much more expensive products (over $ 1,000), but they are meant for those who want to print photos with or use paper with unusual formats (such as A3 sheets or larger sizes).

In addition to saving on the equipment itself, you’ll also spend less on supplies, since an ink cartridge costs no more than $ 35. Finally, these printers generally have satisfactory print quality and vivid colors, appropriate for those who print more image than text.


On the other hand, although their cartridges are cheap, inkjet printers use a lot of raw material. That means you will have to buy supplies all the time should you use it constantly. This is not a problem for those who want to print one or two photos from time to time, but it is certainly a nuisance for consumers who have a slightly higher print demand.

Inkjet technology is also not appropriate for the user who prints more text than a photo (like offices that need to generate multiple documents in a short time), since printers of that standard are not very agile for this.


Printers, laser (toner)

Laser printers do not use liquid ink to make the impression, but a pigmented powder called “toner” (hence the alternate nickname of these machines). They work in a slightly more complicated way: First, a cylindrical drum is bombarded with laser beams that trace what will be printed. The areas affected by the laser transform into an electrostatic mold of the image or text in question.

Then the toner container releases some of the powder from the drum. As the pigment has a negative charge, it is automatically attracted by the mold (which has a positive charge) and adheres to the cylinder. It is only then that the sheet of paper enters the middle of the machinery and the drum presses the toner on it, transferring all the powder. Finally, a pair of components known as fusers heats the sheet so that the toner is permanently attached.


Laser printers are much faster than inkjet printers, especially for text documents – the market average is 20 ppm (page-per-minute). In addition, a toner-based print is much cleaner, meaning you do not find ink residue on the paper and will probably never suffer from a blurred image and you will not have to wait for the ink to dry.

Finally, a toner cartridge lasts much longer than an ink cartridge, managing to print a larger number of pages before it needs to be replaced. This contributes to an environmentally friendly printing environment since you do not generate as much waste during the process.


Laser printers are expensive. You will not be able to find a monochrome model (which prints only in black and white) for less than $ 449. If you want equipment that can work with color, be prepared to invest at least $ 799. yes, you will also spend more on supplies, since toners cost from $ 119 to $ 199.

These printers are also not very good at printing photos (color fidelity is not as high compared to inkjet), and usually do not support unusual paper sizes, while remaining true to the classic A4 standard.



In the end, it all depends on your profile as a user. If you are looking for a printer for residential use and plan to only print some images and texts from time to time (photographs, school papers, and other documents), an inkjet is the best option.

Finally, if you want a printer for office use, you can print many text documents in a very short time and do not require constant maintenance, a laser printer is the best alternative. Although they are more expensive and do not deal well with color, they are agile and a single toner cartridge is enough to print hundreds of reports.