With so many models on the market, with such different prices and features, it can be difficult to choose a printer. Among the questions that arise when purchasing one of these devices, the most common is usually: Is it better to buy an ink or laser printer?
We help you choose between an ink printer and a laser printer by comparing their features and functionalities.
There are many points that you have to take into account when choosing a printer. Among them, workload, print quality, maintenance, budget, etc. To help you get an idea of which one to choose, we are going to compare the two most common types of printers for home users: ink or laser.
Differences between an ink printer and a laser printer
The main difference is in its operation. Ink printers work using ink cartridges and print heads. Basically, the cartridges have very small nozzles that launch the ink through the head, and it is this that prints the text or image on the paper.
In the case of laser printers, instead of ink cartridges, they use toner, which is a colored powder and a laser beam that is projected onto a cylinder and generates an electrostatic charge. This load causes the image to be printed to be designed on the cylinder. The toner reacts to the electrostatic charge, bathes the cylinder and adheres to it.
Finally, this image created on the cylinder passes to the paper through a transfer corona and to another charge, this time negative. With pressure and heat, the image is printed on the paper.
How to decide between an ink or laser printer
Now that you know how each one works, let’s see what to look for when choosing between an ink printer and a laser one.
-Print quality: The quality of the printing is a key point when choosing a printer, since it will also determine the range of product you will choose. Ink printers offer better quality overall, especially for photography. Lasers have better performance for printing documents.
–Size: If you have little space in your office, it is best to use ink printers, as they have very compact designs. Laser printers are larger due to the printing system itself which requires space for the cylinder, rollers and laser module.
-Print speed: These characteristics matter little at the domestic level. However, for a professional printer that has to be working continuously (for example in a copy shop), laser printers have no rival.
-Budget: At this point you have to consider the use that we are going to give it. If you are going to use the printer daily and you are going to print a lot, it is best to get a laser printer, it will be more expensive initially, but in the long run it will be better, since you will not spend as much money on ink.
If you are going to print sporadically and only the occasional document, ink printers are the best option, since they are much cheaper to start with. If you are looking for a multifunction device (printer + scanner) for your home, the best option is also to choose one with ink, as it will be much more economical.
-Maintenance: This point links directly to the previous one. Ink printers use ink cartridges that have prices between 20 and 50 euros, with the capacity to print up to 150 or 450, in the case of XL cartridges. For its part, toner, even the original, for laser printers can cost between 20 and 100 euros, but it has the capacity to make up to 1,000 copies.