With the diverse range of printers readily available for offices and businesses, it’s a challenge deciphering which one you actually need. There are two main printer categories that people tend to choose between: laser and inkjet.
The 3 key questions we ask at Printer Experts are…
“What are you printing?”, “How much are you printing?” and “How often are you printing?”
Laser printers give crisp text and are ideal for printing documents. While most laser printers give an adequate representation of graphics and images, unless you move up to the pricier models, the quality will struggle to match the fine details that inkjets are capable of. Laser printers excel in providing consistently good, high volume prints with lower ink waste. Although the initial costs of buying a laser printer and toner can seem more expensive than an inkjet, the actual printing is much more efficient. The ability to handle several jobs at once is another reason why laser printers are so popular.
Laser Printer Summary:
While start up costs can appear pricier, over time a laser printer will often provide greater value for money. Nine times out of ten our printer advisers will recommend a laser printer.
Inkjet printers are generally cheaper to buy initially. They exert extremely small droplets of ink onto paper in order to create a document. They are more commonly bought for home use. Broadly speaking inkjets tend to be better at image printing than laser printers. Problem is, in order to provide these fine detailed prints they eat up the ink at a scary pace. Many buyers of inkjet printers are often shocked at the rate they get through their ink. Not only this, but sporadic printing (not using the printer for a sustained period of time) can lead to the inks drying and printer blockages.
Inkjet Printer Summary
Unless you are a keen photographer with an eye for detail there are not many environments / scenarios where we would recommend an inkjet printer.
Inkjet Printers Pros & Cons
Low start up cost
Can print onto different media
Minimal warm up time
Printers are generally smaller and lighter
Colour blending = higher image quality
Ink is prone to water damage and fading
Cartridges need frequent cleaning which wastes ink
High volumes of print are a challenge
Low capacity paper trays (50-100)
Laser printers Pros & Cons
Ability to handle several print jobs at once
Faster printing in high volumes
Toners achieve a higher page yield
Operation is quiet
Upfront printer & toner costs are more
Can’t run heat sensitive material
Bigger, heavier build
Cost: £250 – 300
Speed: Up to 20 pages per minute
Colour £110 (approx)(2,800 pages at 3.9p per page)
Black £120 (approx)(3,500 pages at 3.4p per page)
Cost: £50 – 100
Speed: Up to 7-9 pages per minute
Colour £60 (approx) (300 pages at 20p per page)
Black £18 (approx)(341 pages at 5.3p per page)
(*All page yields based on ISO standard 5% paper coverage.)
As you can see, for office use, it is likely that a laser printer will better suit your needs than a inkjet printer.
For those looking to save even more on their printing, you should consider a Managed Print Solution. Managed print is a way of managing and maximising print efficiency in the office and boasts savings of up to 50% on standard printing costs. You can see more information in the Printer Experts’ Managed Print section.