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).

Size

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.

Conclusion

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

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