Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?

We look at the pros and cons of laser and inkjet printers

Colour printing and colour print quality

If you want to print colour — whether it's a full-page colour photograph or simply a pie chart — you'll almost certainly be better off with an inkjet printer. Colour laser printers are often bulky and quite expensive and generally aren't suited to home or small office use.

Even when comparing a colour laser printer to a colour inkjet, the inkjet is likely produce better colour images. Inkjet printers are able to reproduce subtle colour gradation in images where laser printers will display banding (distinct changes in colour saturation).

[Read: Top rated inkjet printers]


Size is an important consideration for some users. If you're looking for something to fit into a small space on or underneath your desk, it's hard to go past an inkjet printer. However, if you don't need scanning or copying a single-function laser printer may be small enough to suit your needs.


If you're buying based on price — and most consumers are — the choice between a laser printer and an inkjet is simple. If you can afford to pay a little more upfront and if you'll only be printing black text documents, a laser printer is a convenient solution. Inkjet printers are far more versatile, which is important for home use, but you'll pay more in ongoing running costs and will have slower print times. Choose carefully!

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Campbell Simpson

Campbell Simpson

PC World




hmmmm. Print well they do. Many choices we have. Yoda get a printer he must. Print Jedi minutes he will.

Smart guy


Stupid crappy article, my inkjet printer prints 22 pages per minute and i got it in 06



Who ever wrote this is a genuis. I was looking for something like this in the past 30 min.



InkJet FTW!!!



Smarty guy and Computer Proffessor - what makes you so angry? It's just an article about choosing a printer for people like me. However, it did not answer all my questions. I thought the difference was that ink jet is not waterproof and laser is.
So I did not see it in this article. Can anybody confirm that? There were a few things in this article I did not know: that laser is mostly for b/w; how much they have changed since I bought my first laser printer for $5,000 in 1987. Also, the process of how a laser works was interesting, also learned that cheap "on sale!" printers come with "starter" cartridges that run out after a few prints.



As Aquarian noted, it was an overview of laser and inkjet printers and well served that purpose and, like Yer, its timing was perfect for me.

Such pathetic displays by SG & CP, with their confected names utterly betraying their true worth, typify the ugly intrusions of a class of poster that is becoming ever more off-putting.



Laser Printers generally have a cost per page less than 1/2 that of Ink Jet - over the long run a decent colour laser is much better value



I print just black and white and now have a laser printer. Before I had an inkjet, and the color would dry up/leak? and would have to be replaced regularly even though I wasn't using it. I don't have that issue with the laser making it even more cost effective than the inkjet.



Here's something else to consider. If you want to do duplex (2-sided) printing in black and white (grayscale), Canon will NOT allow you to so without using composite black (a combination of 3 color inks to make black). Single-sided will print with just black ink. I spoke to Canon and they refused to fix this problem and gave no reason why they force the user to use extra ink to print grayscale duplex. The extra ink costs make duplex printing more expensive than single-sided printing with the extra paper. Sure sounds like a scam to further boost Canon's big ink profits!



I don't use my ink jet printer printer very often and it seems that the nozzles get caked up and dry; this is followed by numerous attempts at deep cleaning using copious amounts of ink, with the end results of a poor quality copy.
Would purchasing a laser printer solve this problem?

Thanks for any help



Rob - try using manual duplex. I *think* that in that case real black is used. You just have to flip the paper over when it tells you to.



why not invent a printer that doesn't use ink....I think it is will be here soon...and I hope they are cheap and fast....



Unfortunately I bought this printer before these customer reviews, yes, this is a scam printer. You print duplex to save wasting paper, but if Rob is right, Canon are just scamming us with this neat little trick. I've written a letter of complaint to canon about this and I want a refund!!!! These mongrel companies are so deceitful I'm no longer going to purchase any Canon products, they suck




Eric L


I run an office, that I pay for, so naturally I give a s*** and my
Laser printers (purchased on eBay for less than $100) paid for itself the first time I bought my laser cartridge (on eBay for less than $50). Via the stats I print on average of 1-5k pages. With one cartridge. Ummmm no brainier ? Even if I purchased all these items at full price as stated in the article I'd be a step ahead. And if you're so concerned about color printing that one time your wife or you gets a wild hair up your a** the go down to your local print shot and spend $20 and get it done right instead of having it look like you printed it at home with your foolish $20 photo quality paper. Wise up geezers and get ahead of the mass polluted curve. A wise buy is a laser. I know because I have several of both.

Andrew R


I have found black & white lazer printers cost about 1 cent per page or less to print. My $99 Brother lazer has a cost of .8 cent per page. My colour lazer has a print cost of 8 cents per page.

The best thing about lazer printers is that you can turn them off for months and they will still print. Unlike injets which require a complete cartridge change.

If you do a lot of printing, get a black & white lazer as well as a colour lazer. You will find nearly all of printing only needs balck & white.

Pascal m


All wat matters is the business u will be using your printers for

Geoff R


Epson printers just spent over $35 for inks and it won't print and any tech. help is useless so you have to ring them up, so I won't be buying and Epson again, even though it was half price just to get rid of them

Agbola Tunji


I need a printer that will deliver good coloured waterproof photocopy & photo printing.
Pls help with your response.




Inkjet ripoff


I think inkjet printers can be qualified as a scam technology.
1) Most inkjet cartridges are rigged to stop printing even before the ink is gone. Toner cartridges can print even after the toner gets low just by shaking the cartridge gently.
2) Ink cartridges dry up over time. Toner lasts until it's empty.
3) Slowest laser printer prints faster than the fastest inkjet.
4) Ink is water soluble. One drop of water completely destroys printed text. Toner isn't.
5) Toner cartridges are more expensive, but they last many times more than ink. With certain models you can get more than 3 times the number of pages per dollar with laser than with inkjet.

I am a student, I have to print a LOT and I went through two different inkjet printers before finally investing into a cheap monochrome laser printer and never looking back.



Some of these comments are very accurate, i have a HP Photosmart 3310 i think its printed 8652 pages to date and its used by 5 people. Its about 6-7 years old. It does go through ink and i believe thats due to inkjets requiring cleaning to keep the nosels for clogging? Inkjets shouldn't be left unplugged but rather plugged in and they use the ink... also i have seen many colour inkjets faster then colour lasers so colour lasers are not always faster.



I haven't had a printer since my last cheap inkjet decided that since it was out of red, it wouldn't print black and white any more, couldn't get past it asking for ink on startup. What a money pit. Inspired by Office space, i took to it with a baseball bat. Be warned laser printer i'm about to buy!!



Most lasers have an issue with duplex printing in the form of paper curl. The inkjet maybe a little slower but at least your printouts are flat as they should be, especially if you want presentation quality. I had a Brother SOHO laser HL-5370DW that I gave up on for this very reason. The support people at Brother were polite and trying to be helpful, but were unable to provide a solution. The anti-curl options in the printer setup did not help.

Edwin Kong


What a load of f u c k e n s h i t.



What a load of f u k e n s h i t!

f u c k y o u



Hey! I want to know that will the laser printers, print good quality photographs with accurate details in color or not.



I came here because i'm in the market for a new printer and want to find out the pros and cons of each type of printer.
Good article and mostly good comments by posters, but surely PC World could delete offensive low brow rubbish like that posted by Edwin Kong?



I have no expertise in this area but as an owner of a Canon Pixma MP 830 I can say a few things from experience.
Other than a few issues with the drivers I really haven't had any problems. It's been fairly reliable.
The ink is expensive but keeping with OEM Canon ink, I have never had any ink related issues as some folks have buying and using bargain ink you inject into the my opinion, stupidity! That's like putting salad oil in your cars engine....may work temporarily but it wasn't designed for the long haul!
Ink Jet vs Laser........only from what I've been told by friends, it is slightly cheaper however, they both have their pros and cons so you need to weigh those to your applications before making a purchase.
Also, I think you get what you pay for......Walmart has a few bargain brands fairly cheap but if you take a look at those brands track records, you won't be smiling too long after your purchase!
I'm not going to grandstand any manufacturers product but through personal experience I have found Canon, HP, and Zerox products reliable for my needs and haven't been feeding the repair techs my hard earned dollars!!
I think the key here is to do your homework before purchasing a product and avoid manufacturer hoopala as it is generally sales motivated and has very little factual content.......look more toward unbias reviews from the public who uses the product! Generally speaking, you'll get the facts as they truly exist!!!

Laser all the way!


THANK YOU Inkjet ripoff for your post !! My mind is made up! Laser here I come! I do remember many years ago having an inkjet which when out of color would no longer print a black and white copy! What a joke!!



this is gay



what a wonderful thing! thank you man

umesh bhutada


thanks bro.. itz helped me alot and maked my work easy...u rock



i found that my very infrequent use of an epsom inkjet has been a dissapointing experience, purchased alot of cartridges for little usage, considering a laser.



GF had a HP8500 inkjet all in one that her employer supplied. She is what is called an indiscriminate printer. Just hits the print button without thinking how to save paper. Over a 6 month period there were about 3-4 sets of ink cartridges and 2 reams of paper. It was a very noisy machine while printing and really thrashed around so has to be on a stable surface. A couple of other points. Software was bloatware. Scanner was mighty handy but was touch and go when connecting to a remote PC when getting files onto PC. Colour I thought looked a bit washed out but perhaps better paper may have improved things. Water was a problem. Overall the thing that was handy was the photocopy and scanning. Printing really sucked.

I was in US and brought a brother DCP-7065DN for $US150. Though monochrome it was brilliant. I went through 1.5 reams. High quality and fast. Replacement cartridge was $45. Though it didn't have WIFI which would have been even better but place next to router and you get to go for a walk.

The colour bit puzzles me.

I think a midrange dell colour printer could be an option. Dell are rebadged lexmarks I think. Consumables seem good value for money but colour print quality is usually rated as average in reviews. Surveying other colour printers the Brother range seems to offer good features and value but they all seem pretty similar. No standouts. I would be thinking about cost of replacement cartridge (s) before committing to buy the actual printer.

Have a xerox phasor 8400 which is a colour solid ink printer. Cost me about $4000 about 8 years ago. Consistent quality but consumables a killer.

I think the idea of having a good monochrome laser as main printer as you do not necessarily need to print colour and then get a colour laser or do the option of taking it to officeworks which I have been doing.

Still the idea of what to do about colour printing is perplexing as consumables are way more expensive than black toner. The fall back could be an inkjet printer but invariably water gets on the page and your screwed as others have pointed out and the constant cleaning cycle is annoying and drains ink.

Anyone else with ideas about printing colour?



Ads from 2 different retailers claim that the HP Color Officepro 8600 inkjet printer costs "50% less per page compared to laser printers". How can this be? In all articles that I've read, indications are that laser printers cost less per page. I was on the verge of purchasing the HP 8600, but was convinced by the article and posts above that I should spend more up front for a laser printer. Can someone please advise me?



laser here i come, its the way forward !!!!!!!

Joe Flood


Inkjet printers +fax are a right ripoff - I print about 100 b&w pages (presuming the cartridges haven't dried up) and all the colour catridges are empty, $160 to replace. Wont even send a fax if a single colour cartridge is empty, which they mostly are.

heating element HP 1000/1010/1005/1200


One earth one blue sky, under this sustainable developing <a href="">Heating Element</a> philosophy, all of our products have ushered the RoHS Directive and have adopted the lead-free environmental protection matarial.

ken parris


I see some parents let their kids comment on this page....... SAD overall the pros and cons of laser and inkjet printers was good ... for the "average adult " wanting to know the basic info on both



toner cartridges are really sensitive especially when being removed and installed. Proper maintenance is a must if you don't want to buy another one when the old one still has a shell life of two years.maintain toner cartridges like HP Laserjet Enterprise M725 toner cartridges, HP Laserjet Enterprise M712 toner cartridges, and Fuji Xerox Docuprint M255z toner cartridges among some of the best-selling cartridges from the store.From a leading store that provides customers with the lowest price possible for their products, delivered on time, with easy payment options, and 100% guarantee on all their products, it's good to know that they really do take care of their customers and their needs.

<a href="">HP Laserjet Enterprise M712 Toner Cartridges</a>



Do they make a lazer printer that has a telescoping top for printing from books or other thicker material that is also a good quality lazer?

obama usa


i agri to obama ,mahinda rajapaksha srilanka



I own both, have a HP MFD, expensive ink, but HP are the best because you get new print heads with new carts, they are not just tanks like Epson, Canon and others, which suffer from clogged heads if not used frequently, especially in our dry climate
Dell inkjets are rebadged Lexmarks, as someone else suggested, and lexmark are junk, buy a new printer for less than the price of refill carts
My Lasers are Samsung and Brother, both good and cheap to run, can sit parked for months, but spring to life with good clean cheap colour prints when a printjob is sent, and the colours are great.
The Brother has a bigger paper tray, and can do straight paper path tricks, which means it can print on heavier board, like 250gsm card stock
Cost wise, even with the nice price HP want for #21 and #22 cartridges, the Lasers are ahead by a mile...
Laser prints are waterproof, but, no one else has mentioned, also fade a helluva lot less than inkjet prints. They also stand up well in laminating

pussy cat.


......balr article....sudu jhat e e bara ki kenbo,,,,,,,,,,bujhe dak ki likeche beti chod



SmartGuy & Computer Professor(this hug is for you), God is good... This article was quiet helpful for a common guy with a little smarts. I've learned that the Inkjet Printer prints color or black & white, unlike the laser and I also learned that the maintenance on the Laser Printer is much higher(Toner & Fuser cartridges. I also learned Inkjet Printers are much cheaper So this article was very helpful to me, a common guy and because of it, I now know what type of printer I am going to purchase(Inkjet)... Thank You



Before I chose laser printers because of its quality of prints and low cost on toners. But nowadays, when continuous ink system (CIS) came, the cost of printing became lesser than laser cartridges today cannot be refilled because of the chips they place. When you buy a brand new cartridge is like buying a new laser printer set.

I bought a laser printer last year that cost about $85 with a cartridge that prints about 1,500 pages then when the toner runs out I inquire the cost of toner cartridge, about $78.

Toner = about $78 (1,500 pages)
Inkjet 100 ml CIS inks = $2 per color (as I experienced, 100 ml black prints about 5,000 or more pages on fast mode, about 3,500 pages on standard mode)

Therefore now I chose inkjet with CISS. Now Epson has their CIS inkjet printers.



hi guys MS says hey



I have a Dell Inkjet. It will print in black, only if you have a color cart in it. You don't have to use the color but when the color goes bad, dries up or used up and you install a new black it wont print until you buy a color. So, stay away from Dell.



Another thing to consider is reliability. I have never had a laser printer stop working on me - they seem to run forever. On other hand, I have never had an inkjet not die or malfunction in some way - usually just after I purchased an expensive new ink pack for it. I think the inkjets have a lot more moving parts, and if some plastic part wears or warps just a little bit things start to jam and the printer becomes worthless.



One fact that's not been mentioned is that (some or all?) Brother inkjet printers automatically switch themselves on at 2 am and go through a "cleaning cycle". This uses up some ink so if you don't use the printer often, then one of the cartridges is likely to be empty when you do want to print. And if one of the colour cartridges is empty then you can't even print in black! The time may vary with makes and models but the Brother I had switched on at 2 am on a ad hoc sort of basis. If I didn't print for 3 or 4 weeks invariably one of the colour cartridges would be empty. Cost a fortune per page. Now I have a Samsung colour laser printer and no such problem.
Brother made some money from me but because of this deceptive behaviour have forever lost me as a customer.



I had used an HP inkjet printer from 2001 to June of 2012. It worked wonders. I loved it! The ink prices were high when they needed to be replaced but I ended up replacing them an average of once every 2 months. I figured out that there was a cheaper alternative to buying new ink cartridges...refill the used ones at stores like Walgreens. They will refill them for $5-$7! When i my printer started having problems, i knew it was time for a new printer. I was told Epson was a great ink saver. I had bought an Epson inkjet all in one printer in December 2012. I am very unsatisfied with my purchase. I have only had it for three months and I have spent over $150 on ink. It will never use up all the ink. If one color ink cartridge is low, then it will refuse to print, even black and white. It never uses all the ink in the box. I will never again use Epson products. Time to try a laser printer.



Great input from everyone here. I have a HP Laserjet 4L (laser), HP Deskjet 932C (inkjet) and a HP 5270 scanner. I recently looked for a toner for the laser at Staples and it's no longer available (the 4L is a great little warrior). The 78XL tri color ink cart is $67. both printers are fairly old. I'm wanting to reduce the number of components and have the ability to print wirelessly from an XP desktop, a windows 7 laptop, an IPAD, and an Android Smartphone. Any suggestions? I favor the laser for speed and text quality but like the ability to print photos or color pages for projects and papers. My scanner is able to digitize and print from old negatives also. Will an all in one (inkjet) fulfill my requirement of should I continue with multiple components?



Inkjets are better if your producing photography, artwork or design orientated documents because of the multitude of papers they take and subtle colour changes which even expensive laser printers can't match in a home office..

The cheaper laser models which cost the same as a good inkjet have low on board memory and can't often buffer an image and print it. A 10mb jpeg becomes about 500mb on a printer. Anything above A4 as well and your getting into big money for laser printers so inkjets are still the preferred option above this size [unless you rent one]. There is also a lot of calibrating and maintenance needed on laser printers to provide a consistent output with colour documents and they tend to produce odd colour shifts and contrast issues on a daily bases i.e It looks a little too red or yellow even after monitor calibrations.

This isn't a problem with inkjets where the nozzle is part of the cartridge on the more expensive models and the manufacture will produce fairly consistent ink batches . Hence Printing presses and most design orientated offices that produce the money shot will still use and prefer inkjets because of the consistent colour, easy maintenance [with cartridges that have nozzles] and options it provides. However they will often go with a good rented laser printer to do quick test or for huge documents.

For small offices or home office that aren't concerned with image printing beyond A4, then laser are the better and overall more affordable option. You just need to work out where it will go as they produce a lot of heat and are quite big.

For those who don't print enough and let their ink dry up then you don't need a printer of any type. Use the place you work at as they usually let you print the odd important thing and for all those baby photo's go to a proper printers its still cheaper in the long run.



I thought this was a pretty useless article. Did not help me at all.

Ralph Hamilton


I worked for a company who supplied equipment to the printing trade. From Typesetting to printing presses and all the ancilliary equipment such as darkroom cameras, processors etc. My experience with Laser printers dates from the days when they had a whacking great Postscript RIP on top and cost A$36,000.00. (I was 19.5 years with that firm)
In Qld. Eastern seaboard areas in Summer, the developer sets to black cement, over one of our very wet weekends. The dev. mix is Magnetite particles in Resin beads,. The toner is carbon. Colour = bleached Carbon dyed to the required colour. "Photo" quality Ink-jet printers are great for private usage. ie the Canon1450 which I use. (A$295.00) Small ones like the Canon350 and their equivalents are rubbish.(A$50.00) But if that is all you need, then they are often cheaper to replace than buy new Ink Cartridges.

So, basically: If you are only a home-user Ink-jet is for you. If you are a commercial or large volume user Laser is the way to go. With Laser the servicing costs are higher.

To replace the developer mix, it is unlikely that you could do it yourself, unless you are a technical person. The Developer unit ideally, needs dismantling and cleaning thoroughly. Then the doctor blade needs cleaning and readjusting. Then, when the new mix is put in, the angle of the magnets may need to be readjusted for optimum print quality. Then the Corona wires need replacing and the Corona Units cleaned, and perhaps adjusted. Tech = A$90.00p/hr.

So there you have it in a nutshell. Laser = better; but dearer to run. Inkjet cheaper, no service costs. Replace when faulty. I get 3 - 5 years out of the good quality canon Ink -jet Printers. Cheaps ones are false savings. It is like buying a BMW or a SV Commodore. The Bimmer is better, but the servicing/repair costs will send you broke.


Ralph Hamilton


Oh. By the way. If you really want quality colour, (glossy mag colour) the only way, is to use a Laser, do colour separations, and get them printed. Other than that, a really good quality Ink-jet is the way. Also good quality Ink-jets use less ink. Cheapies like the Canon350 et al. simply dump the ink, when you do solids. The paper comes out quite wet.

If you are lucky or knowledgable, you may get what you pay for......Ralph

R R S Hamilton


@Joan. If that does not satisfy you - perhaps I may be able to do better personally.P)

R R S Hamilton


One sentence is ambiguous: Laser Vs Ink-jet: It is like buying a BMW or a SV Commodore. The Bimmer is better, but the servicing/repair costs will send you broke.




all printers too much costly for me. print from market is more costly.......
kash koe resonable price me mil jata.....






Date --06/04/2013
TIME- 14:30 PM

susan modeski


I was hoping for an article that would also address color lasers with inkjet. I don't like the way an inkjet buckles the paper when making photos. Are the photo technologies of laser comparable with inkjet at this point in time?

Caffeinated Sentry Gnome


From my experience with laser and inkjet printers i have learned this:

Inkjets: Need to have all there colours used weekly to maintain print quality. They have better initial print quality but they soon get to down to a level that can be easily matched by a good laser printer.
the printers that use print head/cartridge combo rather than ink cartridges that are separate to the print head always have better print quality but this comes at a higher cartridge cost.
Generally inkjets can print on thicker paper.

Laser printers: they can sit for months and print just as they did when you last used it. the ones i have used kept there print quality consistent for around 20,000 pages then only required minor adjustment to get the print quality back up.
Now days laser printers have very good print quality.
there are two types or cartridge setups in laser printers, one type has the imaging drum built into it which increases the cost of the cartridge. the second type doesn't have an imaging drum built in. while this saves you money on the cartridge you must be careful to buy one with a good quality imaging drum that will out last your printing needs or you will end paying $$$$ to get it replaced. Laser cartridges cost more than inkjet cartridges but they last a lot longer. the larger capacity laser printers are cheaper to run but also cost more upfront.
Just recently i was pricing up new printers (the 8-9 year old laser printer that had done 82k pages was killed by a sticker that got stuck to the imaging drum.) and figured out that the larger of the two models would pay for its self in 2 years over the smaller one.

One thing that is over looked by many is that most printer companies that have printers aimed at businesses also offer maintenance contracts which in most cases provide a extended warranty and cost per page printing. instead of buying toner cartridges they supply them and at the end of month they charge you for what you have printed and not for how much ink you have used.

Danish Anwar


I had my very first Printer an HP Deskjet Printer that solidly gave performance for over 10 years. Comparing that to the monochrome Laser Printer that didn't event last 3 years.
Also Deskjet Printers use low wattage (10-15) compared to lazer (200-300), So my conclusion is to buy an inkjet printer if for home use.



I have a HP Officejet 4500 Desktop. Is this considered an inkjet printer? If so, is it a good printer?

Laser Tek Services


I've read some comments who emphasize their problem with their dried toner cartridges. Toner cartridges on Laser printers could actually last a month with out being used but as soon as it is empty, you could choose to buy another printer instead of buying anew since the price almost the same. Another option is to buy a compatible laserjet ink cartridge and refill it with compatible toners. It works cheaper that way.

big al


hey yo whats up these printer review are realyl terrible i needa do it for school and it sucked bad revie big al is not happy.. >:(

Barry Woods


yer its me me big bad bazza and mi son bradley woods is upset with his printer it sucks so much and he cries every time he uses it. I aam upset somebody cheer up my son and add him on facebook - Brad Woods, hes so upset he makes me cry every time :'(
hate to see my son liek this :( :(

Laser Tek Services


I've read some comments who emphasize their problem with their dried toner cartridges. Toner cartridges on laser printers could actually last a month without being used. But as soon as it's empty, you could choose to buy a compatible laserjet ink cartridge and refill it with compatible toners. It works cheaper that way.



Can someone please answer this question.

I have a HP Officejet 4500 Desktop.
Is this considered an Inkjet printer? If so, is it a good one?

Thank you.




YES...Ur HP Officejet IS an inkjet printer AND in MY opinion? A very reliable and long lasting printer! I have the same printer and have had it for...Uhm, at least 6-7 years. No problems...other than the paper feeder that has become a little finicky. Meaning, for optimal paper feed into printer, I have found that a VERY SPECIFIC amount of paper is necessary. Otherwise, the machine won't "suck-up" the one piece of paper for printing. AND as far as ink costs go? HP inkjets' cartridges are the most affordable on the market AND if you run out of color ink, black/whites still print. Furthermore, if you want to save even more replacing ink.......I bought a "Black Ink" refill pack that had three 5 oz bottles of black ink, 1 bottle of cleaner solution, and the syringe/needle needed to load black liquid ink into old printer cartridge (thru one of the many holes atop the empty cartridge) Also comes with directions so no worries about knowing which cartridge hole to load the black liquid ink in to!!! (I've used the same cartridge and this procedure 3-4 times now, with NO problems....Other than a dirty sink from drippage! ;) Saves tons of $$$$. The black ink pack was about $10. I think colored liquid ink can be purchased also, but don't recall seeing it @ Staples when I purchased the black.
So my vote is.......YES, you have a good one that should last you a good while! At least that's been my experience. I wouldn't buy any other printer other than an HP....I have had Lexmark (not impressed with machine nor print quality), Epson (ink carts...ridiculously expensive and runs out after printing 2 pages :( and several....bout 3-4 HP's hand-me-downs....these last forever, least expensive to operate. maybe some that are more quite, but not bothersome.
OK...that's about all I can think of!!! You did good with the HP purchase! OH.>>>If you do have a problem with printing in the future and you've run thru the normal processes....Sometimes the ink on the bottom of cartridge dries up (on the silver thingy....where the ink comes out of)......just put a little rubbing alcohol on q-tip and clean GENTLY around the area. This will allow the ink to "flow" again with no resistance. Try to stay away from the copper/micro chip/tape looking'll c what I'm talking about when you get there. Happy Printing and I hope your HP does well for you, as it has for me!!!
Hope the above helps with your question...Take care!!!



Ink Jet Printers use water based ink. It dries mainly by absorption. Thus the paper will be damp for some time. Solvent based inks dry mainly by evaporation. Water based inks will smudge if they get wet. Even after they have dried. Solvent based inks are waterproof.

Laser Prints are fused onto the paper. If you run your finger over the print, you will feel its raised surface. If you have books in a carton in your car.(Like most reps) The constant movement will rub the print off.

If you expect the answer to all your questions in a couple of hundred words, you are dreaming. You are obviously too lazy to do you own research. There are many books written on this subject. Buy a couple and educate yourself on the matter. Don't expect someone else to do your work for you. If you are uninformed some dickhead salesman will sell you what you will buy, whether it is any use to you or not. Remember. He gets paid to sell not to be your adviser. If his advice annoys you and you buy elsewhere he has failed.

Contrary to the popular belief; Ignorance is not bliss, nor is stupidity a virtue......Ralph.

Raklph Hamilton


The reason salesman do not give advise is that if it conflicts with your opinion you will get annoyed and go somewhere else. Since when have facts ever altered a cherished opinion?

Listen to a salesman at work. He listens to what you say, then tells you what you want to hear. Much like the modus operandi of a fortune teller.

As an experiment, do your research, find out what you need right down to the model #, then go in, see the salesperson, and ask for that model. They will generally say that they can't get that model, and try to sell you what is on the showroom floor. The philosophy is called "SWAT". (Sell What's Available Today) My version - SWAT = Salesmen are Wankers And Turds.

Regards......Ralph. (The mad Engineer)



Laser printers publishing an electrostatic digital publishing process that rapidly generates top quality text and design, by passing a highly effective laser on simply paper.That gives a high quality of printing. To know more about laser printers and inkjet printers than check where u will get a many kinds of laser device and ink jet photo printers with there feature.

CAL 2013 Jun 11


Ink cartridge becomes dry from non use? Remove cartridge, moisten a piece of paper towel postage stamp size .... moisten with alcohol. Gently rub that moist part across the obvious area, where dry ink is visible. When clean, replace the cartridge ....


Joan Correll


I still don't know if I need to shake my toner cartridge to get a better print or do I need to buy the genuine toner for my Brother? Joan

Grandma Dorothy


Fortunate for me I have been happy for 6-7 years with my old Lexmark X3550 WI FI All-in-One Printer. I do wish it cost less for the black and color ink cartridge but still it's usually less than $60. for the two and I copy a lot of color pictures for family.
My problem is that I am now looking for a home use scanner for odd sized negatives - mostly from the early 1900-1935 - that will print photo from negative. I have no idea on what to buy and being past my mid-seventies, money is a problem for me.
Anyone out there have any experience scanning negatives to print photo?
Sure will appreciate any advice!!!



Inkjet vs laser - BUY THEM BOTH! Get a b/w laser or LED printer, based on cost of remanufactured toner cartridge per page. Buy a remanufactured toner, such as Emstar, not only refilled. Reputable remanufacturers will also replace the drum and other toner cartridge components.

If you do need an occasional color page, get a Canon Pixma. I still have a Pixma iP4000 that I bought in 2005. I print 3 times a year, and vacuum clean the printer before using. I never had a dryed cartridge or clogged nozzles. Get a Pixma that uses larger cartridges, such as iP7250, but buy only Canon inks.

Conclusion: Get a b/w laser/LED for your primary printer. If you need color, get an inkjet as your secondary printer - but get a Canon Pixma and use only original Canon inks. If you need a scanner / copier / fax, get a Canon multifunction device, but use a laser as your daily workhorse.



does anyone know how accurate laser printers are? i;m doing a project on intaglio printing and it requires a laser printer to transfer the toner on a transfer paper to a copper plate where i can produce a press plate and my designs are quite detailed and closed together.

also, which printer will be best for the job?

Ralph Hamilton


there are already printers which do not use ink. They are "Thermal Printers". Unfortunately, in a hot climate they have faded away by tax-time.

To those who asked about colour seps. for glossy print work, (magazine quality I assume) Forget about Laser or Ink Jet printers. They are not accurate enough. Put your colour seps on disk (or whatever media) and take to a Typesetters and get them printed to film or negative directly.

The Laser Typesetters will give you quality ranging from 1250dpi to 5000dpi. Depends on your needs, and how much you want to spend. As you can imagine the (out of focus effect of dot gain) caused by spraying ink, or rolling toner onto plain paper, is avoided when you use film.

By the way. I use Canon Ink Jet Printers. I find them quite satisfactory for most "normal" use. They all have certain limitations. What doesn't? As I have said before, here. If you have particular needs, do your research to find a piece of equipment that will fit your needs. You may have to take your work to a Trade House, professional printers range up to A$8,000.00. The more expensive the better they are - normally.

If you are very knowledgible or lucky, you may get what you pay for.

Regards......Ralph.(The mad Engineer)



After all this which is the better home printer to buy that prints
,scans,and prints good quality photos.

Ralph Hamilton


@Freeman. There is no such thing as a "best one". They are nearly all made in China and "badge engineered" for the various companies. Find which one best suits you. That is a product of the programme. Which is developed for, or by, the company which sells it.

The only thing I cans suggest is, don't buy a combo. The idea seems appealing, but if one part is dead, the whole lot is dead. I always have a separate Scanner, and Printer. That way, if the Scanner is dead, I can send my originals out for scanning, and still print them. If the printer is dead I can send my scans out for printing.

Life was meant to be funny......Ralph.



For ink cartridges that have dried from non-use. I've always had success by placing the cartridge in a small container (e.g. ziploc) of cold water (make sure it is completely submerged in the water and not floating, put something heavy on top to 'sink' it), add an ice cube or two, place in the fridge overnight and in the morning the cartridge will print just fine.

For those who infrequently print, don't print color and don't need scan/copy/fax options, a laser printer is the way to go. While toner replacement is costly, it does not dry out so if you only print 10, 15, 20 pages a month one toner cartridge could last well over 5-8 years. By that time there will be so many new types of printers and features you'll be buying a new one anyway. If you need occasional copies go to the post office and use their copy machine for .10 a copy and go to the supply stores for color copies. If you need a scan, take a digital photo of the document and then upload to your pc.



whaat!?my ink cartridges can last up to 1 and a half year and you are saying that laser printer is better than inkjet?,also my inkjet printer can print 22 pages per minute and is faster than laser printer!!!



Word of advice. If you only print a few pages a week, you're much better off not buying a printer at all. Go to Kinkos or the public library and pay 10 cents a page instead of spending $80 on a printer and then another $50 every time you need an ink cartridge.

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Russell R. Robinson


I have HP Inkjet for my home usage and i am satisfy with its performance. Its all right as you mentioned that laser printer are always preferred to office usage and capable to handle high volume of prints.
Source :

Ralph Hamilton


It appears that many do not know the difference between the, "Toner Cartridge" and the "Developer Mix"

The Toner is the small hopper full of black carbon, which you top up periodically, and which gradually dispenses into the developer mix.

The Developer Mix is the large box beneath the Silenium Drum.

Shaking both after a prolonged period of non-use will help. Also, if your Lase Printer has a "run up mode" it may pay to run it for 5 minutes or so. Remember to turn your Toner Feed off during the run up, and turn it on again afterwards.

If your Toner Box is detachable, put it in a plastic bag before shaking it. Do it once without the bag and you will see why. ;)

Regards......Ralph. (The mad engineer)

Ralph Hamilton


By the way. A Laser will always use more power than an Ink Jet.

Reason: The laser has a fuser to fuse the carbon onto the paper. Usually 500 - 1000 watts.


Ralph Hamilton


The Laser charges, or discharges, the selenium drum, which then attracts the Toner. The Selenium Drum then rolls the Toner onto the paper. This process is subtractive from the original focussed Laser. (usually about .003") Thus, it is not quite as accurate as you think.

If you require real accuracy, Laser Typesetting (Direct to Film) is the only way to go.




I don't know what to say. This is definitely one of the better blogs Ive read. You are so insightful, have so much real stuff to bring to the table. I hope that more people read this and get what I got from it: chills. Great job and great blog. I cant wait to read more.



my first inkjet was an Epson, i had it for 11 years, it was a black and white and it would still run today if i didn't stuff around with it for no reason, however, i bought a Cannon colour printer for around $ 150 and that stop printing yesterday after 3 years of service, still good value for money. My next printer will be similar to the Cannon.
i can't believe the stupid comments some idiots have to post!

Helen M Holder


was wanting to know for transfer which printer to use!????? on canvas etc.

Ralph Hamilton


It is obviously Laser Printers were made by God.
Who else but God could make something so complex, hat sells for $50.00, and everyone down the line, from the manufacturer onwards, can make a profit out of.

As different from the Ink Cartridges, which are obviously made by the Devil. eg. They are diabolically expensive, to the extent that a set of Ink Cartrides cost more than the original printer.

Except of course the original cartridges, which were obviously made by God, for they are included in the whole ganz megillah, and supplied for the original $50.00.

Who said Engineers have no imagination?......Ralph.



I owned a Cannon inkjet that printed great when it was new but over time degraded to the point where it was time to buy a new printer and "never again a Canon!". Next was a HP all-in-one because they seemed to know what they were doing. Lasted 2 years and ended with "never again a HP!". Next was an Epson all-in-one - same story as the HP, except this time "NEVER again an Epson!". Currently have a newer HP all-in-one (stores here pretty much sell just HP, Epson, or Canon - and HP was the lesser of the three evils) and it has all the problems mentioned by others - cannot print black when colors are (alleged) empty, cannot print when ink is low, excessive startup time, lots (no, LOTS) of wasted ink, and countless bad copies due to nozzle/cartridge issues. All of these printers suffer from software bloat (I thought I was buying a printer, not a boatload of crappy software inferior to applications I already own), and the not-so-funny issue of buying new cartridges, getting a mediocre printout, then 2 months later going to use the printer and the cartridges are empty. What?! I only printed one page! Buying a cheap inkjet printer is handing your jugular over to vampires to suck your ink (and wallet) dry. Probably getting a laser printer today to replace the HP.

Raklph Hamilton


Sorry. My previous posting should have read Ink Jet Printers.

Ralph. (The mad Engineer)

Ralph Hamilton


@Mike. In my answer to Freeman., I covered the points about "badge engineering", and the software that comes with the printer.

If most posters read through the previous postings, they would find their answer already there. But. When have facts ever altered an opinion?

If you print only once in two months , what do you need a printer for.At that frequency you will get the same result with a Laser Printer. The developer mix will have turned to cement. See previous postings on this matter.

If you use an Inkjet. Remove your Ink Cartridges. Seal them in a plastic bag and putr them in the vege-crisper in the fridge. NO! Not the bloody freezer! Then pull them out an hour before you need to print, and install them back into your printer. You may still need to do a head cleaning (see maintenance) because the residual ink in the printer WILL have dried up. After 2 months, what more would you expect?

If you did not use your car for two months, would you blame the maker of the car if the battery was flat. Bloody unreliable ford holden Toyota - insert your own. Well, to my knowledge, no car maker I know of has ever made a battery yet. (I was a Motor Mechanic, before I got into electronics in the late 60s)

Even if you bought an Impact Printer, the ink-ribbon would have dried out. Actually, if you are printing mainly text, use a cheap impact printer (dot matrix). Make that your default printer for B/W text printing. It is much cheaper to operate. I have an old Fujitsu DL 1100 (15yo) which I still use for such work.

Regards......Ralph.(The mad engineer



Okay, 2 months was a bit of an exaggeration out of frustration from not being able to print in b/w mode with a full black cartridge simply because colors were low and my project came to a screeching halt. Store rep tried to sell me a HP 8600 after listening to my needed features, but online reviews of this printer are terrible, especially for MacBook Pro. Still researching for a decent printer, if one exists. I own a printer for home convenience. It's just not practical driving to a service each time I need to print, and then repeating the commute if something needs changing.

Ralph Hamilton


@ Mike. Then buy an impact printer. daisy wheel, or Dot Matrix, (Dot Matrix preferred as you can use your fonts) and use it as a proofing printer. Keep the Ink Ribbon in a plastic bag in the ubiquitous vege-crisper.

The not being able to print Black if one of the colours are low, is a problem with all Ink Jet printers I have seen. Rather frustrating I agree. But Imshallah. ;) BTW. I use a Canon 7260, it replaced my Canon 4250. The 7260, gives one the option of buying an XL Cartridge. (Increased ink capacity)

Regards......Ralph. (The mad Engineer)

John John


Today I started using an HP Laserjet 1810 that my uncle gave me. I'm not sure of its age but judging by my uncle's propensity to upgrade hardware it could be vintage (by "millenial" standards). I'm not sure of the toner cartridge's remaining capacity either. I adjusted the print settings to save toner because I'm mainly using it to print documents for college assignments. I've gone through about 10 pages so far to see if the quality degrades by any noticeable amount. The cost of an HP 12a toner is 79.99 and for ~2,000 pages that's $0.04 per page. I'm not aware of the possible benefit of just buying a brand new laserjet with a new toner cartridge or just sticking with the current printer, with a cost of $0.00 and just replacing the toner as needed.

Ralph Hamilton


@John John. Don't be too mean mate, it is false economy, keep the toner feed up a bit. The Developer Mix is usually Magnetite (Fe3O4?) particles in resin beads. The toner is (pure) Carbon. Thus it acts as a "rolling lubricant" between the resin beads.

If there is too little toner, the resin beads will shatter, and your developer Mix will be - cactus. This shattering of the beads, in the long run, is probably what causes Developer Mixes to wear out, after much service. (Don't we all. :<)

Ralph.(The mad Engineer)



so Which is better for home use to get more print in low cost of printing charge. is their any problem with inkjets some says it will get dry as soon as when using it occasionally please guide me please



Too bad I bought the printer before reading this article. I was looking for fast prints, preferably colour. That dodgy salesman convinced me to buy an HP inkjet mutlifunction, stating it was the fastest, print speed of upto 35-40 ppm in black and white. That was a complete lie. It has turned out to be just around 10-12 ppm. I spent like $300 on this pack of lies. I wish I had stuck to Laser multifunction, which was my original plan before entering the shop :(

Frizbane Manley


Back at the beginning of 2011, I wrote an essay about the cost of gasoline ... which seemed to have everyone up in arms at the time. I pointed out that, on the average, in my neighborhood …

Regular gasoline = $1.82 per gallon.

Aquafina (Pepsi Cola) or Dasani (Coca-Cola) = $8.90 per gallon.

Filtered tap water = $0.19 per gallon

Oh, by the way, both Aquafina and Dasani, which cost almost 50 times as much as filtered tap water, are … you guessed it … filtered tap water.

If you really want to be bent out of shape – as well as be ripped off — try this …

Starbucks Java Chip Frappuccino = $25.60 per gallon.

Hewlett-Packard printer ink = $8,000 per gallon.

It’s that inkjet cartridge for the typical H-P printer that drives me crazy. On occasion, I have popped a “brand new” Cyan cartridge into my printer, only to discover that it wouldn’t print in color because the “new” full cartridge was “out of date.”

I always think, “Thank god H-P – which apparently can’t package ink in a cartridge so it has a very long shelf life -- is treating me like the dumbbell I am by letting me know their inferior, out-of-date ink might ruin my quite magnificent printer.” $8,000 per gallon indeed.

Give me a world without H-P inkjet printers. Give me some filtered tap water any day.

Oh yes, and let’s get the EPA to force H-P to adopt environmentally friendly packaging. I’m all for a paternalistic government!

Peter James


If you face any problem with your printer please call us TollFree @ 1-877-778-8566 .

Tim Buktoo


Canon is the worst company I have ever dealt with! From printers, to digital picture frames, to my piece of $h!t Canon 50D camera that crapped out after a year and a half.

Beware Canon products. Buy at your own risk.



My bad when I bought a HP OfficeJet 6700 premium as I quickly discovered it requires color ink to print black. Selecting "Black Only" every time you print, as I later discovered, does nothing as the printer will use color to create the black...every time, regardless of your printer set up directions. The product manual says you can print black only, but the manual neglects to clearly state that color is required and will be used to create the black...every time. Lack of color will shut you down in the middle of a black print job, no getting around the need for color ink while printing black only. HP had their chance with me, and they blew it.



Such an old article and still generating heated posts. It looks like the author should write a follow-up. I think the vote is for laser printers for 99% of usage. For the odd color page, go to the local copy shop. I do keep both but use the ink jet for color pages. Actually, it is less expencive to pop in a fresh color cartridge rather than trying to get an old cartridge to work and rather than paying up to .60/ a page at the print shop. Odd economics but it works.



dumbest article. 6 PPM for an inkjet? I bought mine in 2006 ands its 25/20 PPM (b/c).
Inkjet FTW

Ralph Hamilton


@Tim. I have used Canon products for years with no problems. In the case of the camera, it could be you.
When I was a motor mechanic, this bloke had a Falcon that was always scrubbing out its front-tyres. After endless wheel-alignments I saw him one day. He would drive up to the gutter square on, and gun the motor to jump the gutter.

Next time he came to the workshop, I mentioned this to him as the cause for his undue front tyre wear. He said; "That's bull----. That would not affect the wheel alignment." Needless too say. I gave him the $ex and travel advice.

If you read my postings, you will see that facts never alter anyone's opinion. What should I know! I only repaired and serviced the bas----- for 20 years.

I will not post here again. I will leave the majority of you, content in your ignorance and stupidity.

Contary to the old saying: Ignorance is not bliss, nor is stupidity a virtue.

May the fleas of a thousand camel infest your crutch......Ralph. (The cranky engineer)

Patty O


It amazes me what will set a person off these days!!!

Patty O


So are you telling me if I only print once or twice a month I am better off buying a laser printer, taking out the toner cartridge after use and keeping it in a air tight bag until my next use.? Possibly unpluging my printer as well?

Patty O.




Raklph Hamilton


@Patty O.
Have a read mate. The subject has been done to death, but still, the same questions are being asked.

Is it lack of reading skills or lack of comprehension.

In regard to your question - yes. But put a bag of desiccant (silica gel?) in with the developer.
Whatever you do. Don't put developer in the fridge. Always Laser Printers off when not in use. They can cause fires.


Gerry Watson


I have a Kodak printer. It's well made and gives high quality prints, B&W and color. It continously "runs out" of ink, even when I haven't used it in months after new cartridges have been installed.

I once was sad that Kodak, that icon of paper images, went bankrupt. I am no longer sad about that. I am very, very happy. They promised one thing and delivered the opposite.

What, they think we're stupid? We'll keep buying cartridges that the cost of, exceeds the price of a new printer?

A POX on them all, though, they all have the same mentality.

Look up the lightbulb conspiracy. Originally, lightbulbs lasted hundreds of thousands of hours. One example at a firehouse has been on for 30 years, continuoulsy. The bulb makers got together and made a deal to make them burn out at a specified time.

Today, we have LED bulbs that will last for decades, provide good light at 1/10th the cost of energy. And they're getting cheaper and cheaper, thanks to the Chinese.

This could happen to priinting, we can dream but when the trees run out, what then.

What then is the non medicinal cannabis plant. Long lasting tough fibres, the plants grow like weeds in substandard soil, heat, drought etc.

If there ever was a conspiracy, printers are the most obvious. Other conspiracies arent so obvious.




Thanks to author of this article and who have commented here. Great.



Sorry there are a few things this article forgets to mention.

1. Drying out.. If you don't use inkjets for a month or two, you often have to replace the cartridge as the tip will have dried and become blocked.
2. Ink bleed, if you use course grain paper, inkjets will suffer from color bleed because the ink is sprayed as a liquid.
3. inkjets are not inkjets. there are some with separate print heads to the ink cartridges and there are some where they are combined. The later ones cost much more as you are replacing the print head every time you change cartridges.
4. I have a samsung colour laser printer that was bought for 300AU, 2 years ago. .it prints photo quality and I've never needed to replace it's toner cartridges (just as well as they cost as much as the printer) It also prints a full page colour photo in 20 seconds or so and that image doesn't need to dry afterwards like inkjets do when you do a full density print.
Just some thoughts.



Hi guys. My name's George. I like to print things.






Plotters are the work of the devil!



Does anyone else share my interest in printing?



My printer is better than your printer






George is a money bag



I still love you Rose!



back off Rose, he's mine



Does anyone want to go and see Matilda for their birthday? My treat?



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