IT Printer Technology

Difference Between Laser Printer and Inkjet Printer

Laser Printer vs Inkjet Printer

Summary: Difference Between Laser Printer and Inkjet Printer is that laser printer is a high-speed, high-quality non-impact printer. Laser printers for personal computers ordinarily use individual sheets of paper stored in one or more removable trays that slide in the printer case. While ink-jet printer is a type of non-impact printer that forms characters and graphics by spraying tiny drops of liquid ink onto a piece of paper.

Difference Between Laser Printer and Inkjet Printer

Laser Printer

A laser printer is a high-speed, high-quality non-impact printer. Laser printers for personal computers ordinarily use individual sheets of paper stored in one or more removable trays that slide in the printer case. Laser printers print text and graphics in high-quality resolutions, usually ranging from 1200 to 2400 dpi. While laser printers usually cost more than ink-jet printers, many models are available at affordable prices for the home user. Laser printers usually print at faster speeds than ink-jet printers. Printer manufacturers state that a laser printer for the home and small office user typically prints black-and-white text at speeds of 15 to 62 ppm. Color laser printers print 8 to 40 ppm. Laser printers for large business users print more than 150 ppm.

Depending on the quality, speed, and type of laser printer, the cost ranges from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars for the home and small office user, and several hundred thousand dollars for the large business user. Color laser printers are slightly higher priced than otherwise equivalent black-and-white laser printers. Operating in a manner similar to a copy machine, a laser printer creates images using a laser beam and powdered ink, called toner. Black-and-white laser printers use one toner cartridge. Color laser printers use multiple cartridges — one for black and one or more for colors. When the toner runs out, you replace the toner cartridge.

Inkjet Printer

An ink-jet printer is a type of non-impact printer that forms characters and graphics by spraying tiny drops of liquid ink onto a piece of paper. Ink-jet printers have become a popular type of color printer for use in the home. Ink-jet printers produce text and graphics in both black-and-white and color on a variety of paper types. A reasonable quality ink-jet printer costs less than $100.

As with many other input and output devices, one factor that determines the quality of an ink-jet printer is its resolution. Printer resolution is measured by the number of dots per inch (dpi) a printer can print. Most ink-jet printers can print from 1200 to 4800 dpi. The speed of an ink-jet printer is measured by the number of pages per minute (ppm) it can print. Most ink-jet printers print from 12 to 36 ppm. Graphics and colors print at a slower rate.

The print head mechanism in an ink-jet printer contains ink-filled cartridges. Each cartridge has fifty to several hundred small ink holes, or nozzles. The ink propels through any combination of the nozzles to form a character or image on the paper. When the ink cartridge runs out of ink, you simply replace the cartridge. Most ink-jet printers use two or more ink cartridges: one containing black ink and the other(s) containing colors. Consider the number of ink cartridges a printer requires, along with the cost of the cartridges, when purchasing a printer. To reduce the expense of purchasing cartridges, some users opt to purchase refilled cartridges or have empty cartridges refilled by a third party vendor.

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