Differences Between Ink-Jet And Laser Printers

People have been producing printed material for several centuries now. The technology of printing has evolved so much that it has pervaded almost every single home and office in the modern day. When it comes to printing gadgets, the two most common types of printers in the market are ink-jet and laser printers. These two types have many pros and cons associated with them. They also have many similarities and differences that make them suited for specific kinds of work. Here is a quick look at each of these types of printers, focusing on their similarities, differences, and modes of operation.


What Is Ink-Jet Printer?

An ink-jet printer is quite simply one that uses liquid ink to produce printed works. Ink-jet printers create an image by spraying ink spots on the paper or any other printing material. These models are some of the most common in the market as they are suited for the masses. They come in different models and they are dynamic when it comes to price and features. Ink-jet devices used at home are usually light and portable. Some models, however, can be quite huge and expensive – especially those used in professional circles. Overall, ink-jet printers are often synonymous with versatility.



What Is Laser Printer?

Laser models, on the other hand, are those which use laser beam technology to produce images. These devices use a toner cartridge instead of an ink cartridge. Toner printing powder is applied on the printing material through an electrostatic printing process. Laser printers are not very common when it comes to home and small office use. This is because the machines are mostly bulky and more suited for heavy use. Traditionally, laser-based models are also not very good when it comes to producing color pictures. Instead, they are more suited to produce text and graphics albeit in high quality. The market for laser printers is, however, growing beyond the professional niche as new models embrace extra features and capabilities.

LAser Printer

So, Which One Should I Buy?

When it comes to choosing the best printer between the two, a number of factors need to be considered. These include speed, cost, reliability, and quality among other factors. When it comes to quality, ink-jet models produce very good images compared to laser models. They are thus better suited to print photos and other color-intensive jobs. Speed is, however, one of the cons of ink-jet printers. While they generally take a short time to start and run, they are not as fast as laser printers when it comes to producing multiple prints. Laser printers are very fast and efficient when producing text-based prints. In fact, they produce the text of relatively higher quality compared to ink-jet printers.

Even for very high volumes, laser printers do not falter whether in speed or quality. On the downside, they are generally more expensive than ink-jet printers. Also, when choosing a model, be sure that it can use replacement HP ink and toners, for additional savings that can be quite significant over time.


With this comparison, it is quite clear that both ink-jet and laser printers are capable of great work. But if you need a printer that handles high volumes of mostly text-based work, a laser printer is the better choice. Otherwise, go for an ink-jet printer for color-intensive or low-volume work. Happy printing!


Name's Alisa, I'm a graphic designer with soft spot for anything tech related. Passionate traveler, interested in learning about culture and history of places I'm visiting. Enthusiast hiker, eco-activist and an aspiring writer from time to time.