We take a look at the pros and cons for inkjet printers vs laser printers for home office use.
Inkjet printers and laser printers both produce great results and get the job done, but which is best for the home office? Here we'll cover the main pros and cons for inkjet printers vs laser printers and give our final recommendations on which are the best.
Inkjet printers are by far the most popular home printers due to their relatively low startup costs and easy maintenance procedures. Combine that with the ease of finding and purchasing ink and you've got a real winner on your hands when you need something printing quickly at home.
However, laser printers are becoming much cheaper and provide some great benefits when it comes to home printing. Laser printers, while costing much more for the printer, are more affordable to run in the long term and print much faster for your basic printing needs.
Let's take a look at the main pros and cons of inkjet printers vs laser printers so you can decide which type of printer is best for you.
- The inkjet printer hardware is much cheaper than equivalent laser printer which makes them very tempting for home office users.
- Many inkjet cartridges can be refilled at home to cut down on ink costs.
- There is often no warm-up time for the first sheet of printed page making them much faster for 1 or 2 sheets.
- Inkjets are versitile and can print off many different types of paper, from photo quality to fabrics.
- Size matters as inkjet printers are often easier to use, weigh much less than laser printers and take up less space which could make them perfect for the small home office.
- Inkjet printers are perfect for people who print photos or heavy ink based documents such as web pages, recipes and maps.
- Inkjet ink is far more expensive to purchase and is a bit of a scandel recently with the ultra high profit margins for the manufacturers.
- Inkjet ink is prone to fading and water damage as it's a water-based ink. If you love highlighting printed text you'll have problems with smudging.
- Frequent cleaning is required when not used that often as these inkjet can dry or get clogged.
- Most inkjet printers have low capacity paper trys of 50 to 100 sheets of paper and the output or collection tray is either none existent or limited.
- Maintenance cycles can use a lot of ink if done regularly.
- Laser printers are perfect for many pages as they are much faster and econimical for these tasks when compared to inkjet printers.
- Laser printers are vastly superior for sharp and crisp text and often produce much better detail such as small fonts and typography, small lines and details etc.
- For frequent and long term use, the laser printer is far more economical as toner cartridges last much longer.
- Laser printers and much easier to maintain than inkjet printers as the toner doesn't clog and dry out which is very common with inkjet printers.
- Highlighting text is much better with a laser printed document as the ink will not run and smudge like with a inkjet document.
- Warm up times are a little higher on a laser printer compared to the inkjet printer but not by much.
- If you've ever experienced a toner leak, you'll understand why this is mentioned here. Toner leakage can by very problematic.
- The cost of the laser printer is most times much more compared to a inkjet printer.
- Laser printers are most times much larger, heavier and bulkier than inkjet printers so these require more room and space to operate.
- Photos and images on laser printers aren't great on the basic black and white models.
- Types of paper are very limited with laser printers as they can't process much more than printer paper. Inkjets on the other hand are great for paper, card, CDs etc.
So there is our list of pros and cons for inkjet printers vs laser printers. As you'll probably agree, if you're a small home office with basic printing needs that sometimes print graphics and images, then a inkjet printer could be your perfect printing companion. If you're a heavy text document person that needs lots of sheets per print in a relatively speedy timeframe and likes to highlight text and doesn't want to worry about clogs and drying ink then a good laser printer would be perfect for you for many years.
Personally, if you have the budget and don't constantly print photos and images, the laser printer would be the perfect choice for longterm use if you have the space. They provide great consistent results time after time with little maintenance and not the worry that you're always running out of ink. You can always get your photos done cheaply at a local store if you ever need them.
By Gordon McNevin
Gordon LOVES gear, travel, web development and anything that is perfect for the job.