IT Printer Technology

Difference Between Thermal Printer and Dot Matrix Printer

Thermal Printer vs Dot Matrix Printer

Summary: Difference Between Thermal Printer and Dot Matrix Printer is that thermal printer generates images by pushing electrically heated pins against heat-sensitive paper. Basic thermal printers are inexpensive, but the print quality is low and the images tend to fade over time. While dot-matrix printer produces printed images when tiny wire pins on a print head mechanism strike an inked ribbon.

Difference Between Thermal Printer and Dot Matrix Printer

Thermal Printer

A thermal printer generates images by pushing electrically heated pins against heat-sensitive paper. Basic thermal printers are inexpensive, but the print quality is low and the images tend to fade over time. Self-service gas pumps often print gas receipts using a built-in lower-quality thermal printer. Many point-of-sale terminals in retail and grocery stores also print purchase receipts on thermal paper.

Some thermal printers have high print quality and can print at much faster rates than ink-jet and laser printers. A dye-sublimation printer, sometimes called a digital photo printer, uses heat to transfer colored dye to specially coated paper. Professional applications requiring high image quality, such as photography studios, medical labs, and security identification systems, use dye-sublimation printers. These high-end printers cost thousands of dollars and print images in a wide range of sizes.

Dye-sublimation printers for the home or small business user, by contrast, typically print images in only one or two sizes and are much slower than their professional counterparts. These lower-end dye-sublimation printers are comparable in cost to a photo printer based on ink-jet technology.

Dot Matrix printer

A dot-matrix printer produces printed images when tiny wire pins on a print head mechanism strike an inked ribbon. When the ribbon presses against the paper, it creates dots that form characters and graphics. Dot-matrix printers typically use continuous form paper, in which thousands of sheets of paper are connected together end to end. The pages have holes along the sides to help feed the paper through the printer. The speed of most dot-matrix printers ranges from 375 to 1100 characters per second (cps), depending on the desired print quality.

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