Laser Printer Vs Ink Jet: Which Printer Is Right For You?

Laser Printer Vs Ink Jet

Are you considering a new printer for your office but unable to decide if an Ink jet or Laser printer would be the better choice? A printer is quite easy equipment to shop for. At least, it seems so. You do not need to be a techie to understand and identify the printer’s specifications. However, there are specific vital technological differences that you should be aware of.

While handling your office or home printing needs, you may need to make this tough choice: Laser printer vs. Ink jet. You should be mindful of this choice, as it can impact your business process going forward.

This blog post has solved your challenge of choosing the right printer. From how each of these two printers works to the key factors to consider while purchasing a model, we have got this covered.

Stay tuned and keep reading to make an informed selection.

What Is An Ink jet Printer?

Ink jet printers are a popular choice for business users due to their affordability, versatility, and excellent print quality tasks. It’s like a tiny artist spraying colors onto a canvas. Instead of a brush, it uses a print head with tiny nozzles. These nozzles fire droplets of ink precisely onto the paper, building up the image one tiny dot at a time.


Ink jet printers typically charge ink dropets onto a page. All the Ink jet technology systems have these crucial features in them:

  • Cost: Ink jet printers themselves are generally less expensive upfront than Laser printers, especially for basic models. However, ink cartridges can be costly in the long run. Depending on your printing volume, the overall cost per page might be higher.
  • Print Quality: Such printers excel at photo printing, producing vibrant colors and smooth gradients. They are also well-suited for everyday printing tasks like documents and presentations, especially with higher-resolution models.
  • Speed: Print speed varies depending on the model and whether printing is black and white or color. Home printers typically print at a slower pace than Laser printers, but speeds are improving.
  • Size and Weight: Ink jet printers are generally compact and lightweight, making them ideal for home offices or limited spaces.
  • Media Handling: These printers offer more flexibility in terms of media types. They can print on plain paper, photo paper, envelopes, cards, and even some fabrics.
  • Features: Multifunction Ink jet printers are available, combining printing, scanning, copying, and faxing functionalities into a single device.

What Is A Laser Printer?

A Laser printer is a workhorse for crisp, professional-looking documents. Unlike Ink jet printers that use liquid ink, Laser printers utilize a dry toner powder to create crisp, sharp text and images. It offers a compelling combination of high-resolution printing, fast speeds, dry toner technology, and multifunctionality together.

It’s true that the initial investment might be higher. However, efficiency, lower running costs, and professional-looking output make them a popular choice for offices with demanding printing needs.


Laser printers are more preferable for their speed, efficacy, and high quality output for business purposes. These are the key featres of the laser printers:

  • High-Resolution Printing: Laser printers excel in producing sharp, professional-looking documents. Typical Laser printers offer resolutions of 1200 dpi or higher, resulting in fine details and smooth gradients in images.
  • Speedy Operation: Laser printers are known for their fast printing speeds, Basic models can print around 14 ppm. The high-end machines can churn out documents at speeds exceeding 40 ppm.
  • Dry Toner Technology: One of the key advantages of Laser printers is their use of toner. Unlike Ink jet printers’ clogged ink issues, toner powder is dry and produces consistent, smudge-proof prints.
  • Multifunctionality: Many Laser printers today are multifunction devices. These machines can also scan documents, copy papers, and even fax.
  • Connectivity Options: Modern Laser printers offer a variety of connection options for seamless integration with your devices. USB ports are a standard feature, while Wi-Fi connectivity allows for wireless printing from laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
  • Color vs. Monochrome: While monochrome Laser printers are more common for text-heavy documents, color Laser printers offer high-quality color printing for graphics and photos.

Understanding Printer Technology

In today’s digital world, printers are vital tools for creating physical copies of documents and images. Two main printing technologies dominate the market: Ink jet and Laser printers. Each has individual advantages and disadvantages.

As a result, choosing the right one can feel overwhelming. Check out this section and dive deep into Ink jet printers vs. Laser printers. Explore their inner functions and be able to pick the perfect match for your printing needs.

Ink jet Printers

Ink jet printers function by spraying tiny droplets of ink onto paper. The ink comes in cartridges, usually black, cyan, magenta, and yellow. Mixing these colors allows the printer to create a wide range of colors, perfect for photos and graphics. Feeding the printer is a sheet of paper. It travels along a tray guided by rollers, which makes it move smoothly under the print head.

As the print head travels back and forth, it sprays ink according to the digital instructions it receives from your computer. The ink lands on the paper, recreating the image you wanted to print. Ink jet printers are famous for their impressive quality, especially in colors.

They can produce sharp photos and vivid graphics, making them a great choice for home use or creative projects. However, they can be a bit finicky. The ink cartridges can dry out if you don’t print often, and replacing them can be expensive.

Furthermore, Ink jet printers also tend to be slower than Laser printers, which use a different technology for printing. Nonetheless, an Ink jet printer might be a perfect choice if you value high-quality color output and don’t mind the occasional maintenance.

Laser Printers

Laser printers utilize a completely different technology compared to Ink jets. They operate using a process called electrophotography.

First, you send your document to the printer to make it work. The printer takes that digital file and converts it into a special code for the printer itself.  This code tells the printer exactly where to place toner on a drum.

Imagine a drum inside the printer! It’s like a long, thin barrel that spins. A Laser beam inside the printer zips back and forth across this drum, drawing an invisible image with its light.

However, here’s the cool part. The Laser beam zaps the drum and charges it electrically in a specific pattern. Wherever the Laser hits, the charge disappears.

Now, comes the toner. Toner is a fine powder, similar to talcum powder, but black or colored (for color printers). The printers shower the drum with this toner, and guess what? The toner particles only stick to the parts of the drum that the Laser beam hasn’t touched. Keep in mind that those areas are still electrically charged!

So now you have an image made entirely of toner particles on the spinning drum. The paper streaks past the drum, and another electricity trick comes into play. The paper gets a static shock, which gives it an overall positive charge. We all know that charges attract. Hence, the toner particles on the negatively charged drum leap off the drum and stick to the paper.

There you go! You have an image formed from toner on the paper. But the toner isn’t permanent yet.  That’s where the fuser comes in. The fuser is a heated roller that presses down on the paper. It melts the toner particles and fuses them permanently to the page.  The result? A sharp, crisp printout that looks professional and resists smudging.

Laser printers are known for their speed and precision. It’s ideal for high-volume printing of text and black-and-white graphics. They also cost less per page than Ink jets, especially for black-and-white printing. However, Laser printers typically have a higher upfront cost than Ink jets.

Pros & Cons Of Ink jet Printers

Due to their affordability and versatility, Ink jet printers are a sought-after choice for home offices and occasional use. However, before you decide on an Ink jet printer, we suggest you consider these advantages and disadvantages. This will help you determine whether it aligns with your printing needs.

Pros of Ink jet Printers

  1. Excellent print quality for photos and graphics: Ink jet printers use liquid ink that creates smooth color transitions. It results in high-quality photos and graphics that rival professional prints.
  2. Affordable, upfront cost: These printers are typically less expensive than Laser printers. It makes them a good choice if you don’t print very often and prioritize the initial cost over the cost per page.
  3. Compact size fits well in home offices: Ink jet printers are generally smaller and lighter than Laser printers. It makes them ideal for space-constrained home offices or dorm rooms.
  4. Wide variety of ink and paper options available: They offer a wider variety of ink and paper options than Laser printers. You can find inks formulated for specific purposes, such as photo or fabric printing, and paper in various textures and finishes.
  5. Relatively easy to set up and use: Ink jet printers are known for their user-friendly setup and operation. Most models come with clear instructions and intuitive controls. It is easy to install and use, even for non-tech-savvy users.

Cons of Ink jet Printers

  1. High cost per page due to expensive ink cartridges: Ink jet ink cartridges can be expensive, especially high-yield cartridges, leading to a higher cost per page than Laser printers.
  2. Slow printing speed compared to Laser printers: Ink jet printers tend to be slower than Laser printers, especially for complex documents with many graphics. It can be frustrating if you need to print large jobs quickly.
  3. Print quality can degrade if ink cartridges dry out: If you don’t use your Ink jet printer regularly, the ink cartridges can dry out and clog the print head, resulting in streaky or faded prints.
  4. Not ideal for high-volume printing: Such printers are not designed for high-volume printing tasks. The ink cartridges may need to be replaced frequently, and the print head can wear out faster with heavy use.
  5. Requires more frequent maintenance than Laser printers: Ink jet printers may require more frequent cleaning and maintenance than Laser printers. You may need to clean the print head to prevent clogs and calibrate the printer to ensure accurate colors.


Ink Jet Printers
Pros Cons
Excellent Print Quality for Photos and Graphics High Cost Per Page Due to Expensive ink Cartridges
Affordable Upfront Cost Slow Printing Speed Compared to Laser Printers
Compact Size Fits Well in Home Offices Print Quality Can Degrade if Ink Cartridges Dry Out
Wide Variety of Ink and Paper Options Available Not Ideal for High Volume Printing
Relatively Easy to Set Up and Use Requires More Frequent Maintenance Than Laser Printers


Pros & Cons Of Laser Printers

Deciding on a printer can be tricky! Laser printers offer crisp text and efficient printing but have drawbacks. Check out the advantages and disadvantages before discussing ink jet vs. Laser printers.

Pros of Laser Printers:

  1. Sharp Text & Graphics: Laser printers use a toner-based process that creates exceptionally sharp and professional-looking text documents. You’ll get clear, crisp lines and defined edges, even for small fonts.
  2. Faster Printing Speeds: Laser printers excel at speed. PERIOD! They churn out pages much quicker than Ink jet printers. It is especially beneficial if you regularly print large documents or presentations.
  3. Lower Cost Per Page: While toner cartridges might seem expensive, they boast a much higher page yield than Ink jet cartridges. In the long run, it translates to a significantly lower cost per printed page.
  4. Durable & Reliable: Laser printers are known for their reliability. They handle heavy printing loads without complaint and are less prone to issues like clogged printheads. To be specific, such problems can plague Ink jet printers quite easily.
  5. Toner Doesn’t Dry Out: Unlike Ink jet printers, where ink cartridges can dry out if unused, toner powder remains stable for long periods. It makes Laser printers ideal for occasional use or where printing needs fluctuate.

Cons of Laser Printers:

  1. Higher Initial Cost: Laser printers typically have a higher upfront price tag than Ink jet printers. It can decide if you only print occasionally or have a tight budget.
  2. Larger Footprint: Laser printers are generally bulkier and heavier than their Ink jet counterparts. It can be a concern if you have limited space on your desk or workspace.
  3. Limited Media Support: Laser printers are designed for paper and may not handle thicker media like cardstock or envelopes, unlike Ink jet printers.
  4. Warm-Up Time: Unlike Ink jet printers, which start printing almost instantly, Laser printers require a short warm-up time before they’re ready. It can be a minor annoyance for small print jobs.
  5. Toner Can Be Messy: Spilled toner powder can be messy and difficult to clean up. To prevent spills, we recommend being careful when handling toner cartridges and avoiding shaking them.


Laser Printers
Pros Cons
Sharp Text & Graphics Higher Initial Cost
Faster Printing Speeds Larger Footprint
Lower Cost Per Page Limited Media Support
Durable & Reliable Warm-Up Time
Toner Doesn’t Dry Out Toner Can Be Messy

Factors You Should Consider When Choosing A Laser Printer Vs Ink Jet

Are you still struggling to decide from the perspective of “Laser vs Ink jet printer?” Both have their individual features and functions, making it difficult to make the right choice. These are the fundamental factors that determine the perfect match for your needs!

Let the battle of Ink jet printer vs Laser begin!

Features of Laser Printer vs Ink jet Printer

Print Volume

  • Laser printers are Ideal for high-volume printing. They are built to handle heavy workloads efficiently. Their toner cartridges boast high page yields, translating to a lower cost per page for frequent printing.
  • Better for occasional printing. Ink jet printers are a budget-friendly option if you don’t print very often. However, ink cartridges can dry out over time if not used frequently, leading to additional costs.

Print Speed

  • Significantly faster printing speeds. Laser printers use a toner-based process that delivers lightning-fast printing, which is especially beneficial for quickly churning out large documents or presentations.
  • Slower printing speeds. Ink jet printers can take longer to print, particularly for complex jobs with heavy graphics or photos.

Print Quality Sharp text and graphics

  • Laser printers excel at producing crisp, professional-looking text documents with clear, defined lines and edges, making them ideal for printing contracts, invoices, and reports.
  • Excellent photo printing quality. Ink jet printers use liquid ink to create vibrant colors and smooth photo prints. It is a better choice if you plan on printing a lot of photos or marketing materials.

Running Cost

  • Lower cost per page in the long run. While toner cartridges might seem expensive upfront, they offer a much higher page yield than Ink jet cartridges. It translates to a significantly lower cost per printed page.
  • Higher cost per page. Ink jet cartridges typically have a lower page yield, leading to a higher cost per printed page. Additionally, ink cartridges can dry out over time, requiring replacements even if you haven’t printed much.

Upfront Cost

  • Typically higher initial cost. Laser printers are more expensive to purchase upfront than Ink jet printers.
  • Generally lower initial cost. Ink jet printers are a more budget-friendly option when considering the initial purchase price.


Laser Printer vs Ink jet Printer
Features Laser Printer Ink jet Printer
Print Volume Ideal for High Volume Printing Better for Occasional Printing
Print Speed Faster Printing Speeds Slower Printing Speeds
Print Quality  Professional Looking Text Documents Excellent Photo Printing Quality
Running Cost Lower Cost Per Page Higher Cost Per Page
Upfront Cost Higher initial cost Lower Initial Cost

How To Make The Right Choice Of Printer For Your Business?

Choosing the right printer for your business is crucial. It can impact your workflow, budget, and even the quality of your presentations. These are the five top factors to take into account before you pick the perfect match for your needs:

1. Think About Print Volume

Assess your printing habits. Do you churn out high volumes of documents daily, or is your printing occasional? Laser printers handle heavy workloads with superior durability and lower cost per page. All thanks to high-yield toner cartridges.

However, if you only print sporadically, the upfront cost of a Laser printer might not be justified. In that case, an Ink jet printer might be a more budget-friendly option.

2. Speed Matter

Consider your printing speed needs. If time is of the essence and you frequently print large documents or presentations, a Laser printer’s blazing-fast printing speeds will be a game-changer.

Laser printers can churn out pages much quicker than Ink jets. You can save valuable time you can dedicate to other organizational tasks.

3. Print Quality is Key

The type of documents you print most often should influence your decision. Laser printers reign supreme for sharp, professional-looking text documents. Their toner-based process delivers crisp lines and defined edges, even for small fonts.

It is ideal for contracts, invoices, and reports. An Ink jet printer might be a better choice if vibrant photo printing is a priority. Nevertheless, Laser printers have improved their color quality in recent years.

4. Space Constraints

You may have to take stock of your workspace. Laser printers tend to be bulkier and heavier than their Ink jet counterparts. It might not be an issue if you have ample desk space. Hence, this is the best option for official or commercial purposes.

But if every inch counts, a more compact Ink jet printer might be a better choice for home or personal use.

5. Consider Printing Versatility

The types of media you plan to print on can be a deciding factor. Laser printers are robust for paper documents but might struggle with thicker media like cardstock or envelopes.

Ink jet printers often offer more flexibility in handling a more comprehensive range of media. An Ink jet printer might be the more versatile option if you plan to print on various materials.

Choose The Right Printer For Your Business From Network Digital!

When it comes to choosing essential office equipment such as commercial printers, there are many aspects to consider. Printers are, of course, long-term investments! Therefore, if you choose the wrong printer, you might be stuck with less functional equipment for too long.

We hope the above Laser printer vs. Ink jet printer comparison has enabled you to understand which one is perfect for your business. For your commercial needs, we recommend you go for a Laser printer, as it serves all organizational purposes quite efficiently.

If you are looking to replace or update your current printer or get a printer for your office, visit Network Digital. We have a range of modern options that are ready to transform your print-based workflow.
Leave your printing needs and concerns to us while you focus on other crucial business areas. Contact our team for unmatchable and branded office printing solutions.


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