Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?

Are you shopping for a printer and wondering which one to take between inkjet and laser printer? It can be a daunting experience as both of them are great technologies in the office and at home. However, one is better than the other based on your needs.

The primary distinctions depend on the printing technology of each printer. For an inkjet printer, it creates a digital image by dropping ink spots onto a paper while a laser printer scans a laser beam across photoreceptors to produce digital images.

Let us dig deeper to differentiate between the two and help you to make a better judgment. It could be the like of Epson (inkjet) or color laser printer that may carry the day. However, there are several types for each printer, and it will depend on your preferred print outcome.

Inkjet Printer (Pros)

  • Inkjet printers are affordable, but the maintenance cost is very high unless you don’t print much
  • Inkjet occupy less space compared to a laser printer
  • Ink cartridges can be refilled and reused that cuts down on waste and save money
  • Inkjet can print many papers, including textured stationery, glossy photo paper, and even some fabrics.
  • Inkjet printers are good at blending smooth colors than laser printers

Inkjet (Cons)

  • Inkjet ink is costly
  • The printer is water-based therefore prints are at risk of fading and water damage
  • They are slowly advancing to get faster, however, still slower than a laser printer
  • Some printers produce fuzzy and gray texts if the printing is done on plain office paper. It is a challenge to produce high volumes
  • Home printers have low capacity paper trays of around 50 to 100 sheets

Laser Printers (Pro)

  • The laser printer is much faster than inkjet; even printing a few pages the difference is highly notable
  • If you want sharp black text, the laser is the way to go, and you can combine texts plus graphics on a laser. Also, it is the best in small fonts and fine lines than inkjet
  • The laser can comfortably handle high volume print jobs
  • Price comparison favors laser printer over inkjet for documents that are not complex in graphics. However, they are a bit pricey. Laser toner cartridges print more sheets that are relative to their costs than inkjet cartridges plus they are less wasteful.

Laser Printer (Cons)

  • Its nightmare when it comes to toner leaks
  • The laser takes time to warm
  • Can handle simple graphics but for smooth photographs, it is a problem
  • They are bigger and heavier than inkjet
  • Printing upfront cost for a laser is more even though toner is cheaper

Printing Technology

For both printers, the application of basic printing is similar, but when it comes to putting images and letters onto paper, the results are different.

Inkjets function through liquid ink that is deposited onto the page through a print head and uses several micro-nozzles. The printing happens by putting microscopic ink drops onto the paper.

The laser printer functions through toner and is a powder. The laser generates electrostatic charge which transfers the toner to the paper and then is bonded to the page surface using heat.


Deciding between the two printers, it’s a matter of your preference. Inkjet fits you if you are an occasional printer. If you are more to images and photos, inkjet is the best choice for its rich color and fewer printing options. On the other hand, the laser is suitable for heavy printing and very fast. For a text-clarity laser printer will give you better printing quality services any day. So, it’s up to you to decide which between the two favors your work.

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