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Inkjet Printers vs Laser Printers – Which is better?

Posted on Mon, Jan 12, 2015

Business owners and managers have a lot to consider when deciding what type of printers to buy. There are two main types: Inkjet printers and laser printers. The one that you choose will depend on the needs of your business. Let's take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of each type of printer.


Options and Initial Costs

Inkjet printers operate with liquid ink that is sprayed from tiny nozzles onto printer paper. Laser printers make use of a toner cartridge that contains fine powder in combination with a heated fuser. Nowadays, basic inkjet and laser printers can be purchased quite cheaply. Basic inkjet printer cost as little as $60. The cheapest laser printers can be found for a little over $100. Yet the bargain rate inkjet printers will only come stocked with “starter” ink cartridges. These don't have a full tank of ink so they have to be refilled soon after the printer is purchased.

Offices that need a printer to simply print basic documents like Excel spreadsheets, web pages, e-mail messages and Word documents should lean towards a traditional Document printer. Aside from plain printing functions, both inkjet and laser printers can be bought as multifunction units combined with scanners, photocopiers, document feeders and fax machines as an all-in-one printer.  

Continuing Costs

As businesses use their printers, they'll have to continuously buy supplies like ink, toner and paper. These ongoing costs should not be taken lightly as they can be quite significant. Inkjet printers typically cost about 20 cents per page. If the inkjet printer only prints in black and white, the ongoing print costs drop to around 7 cents per page. The cheapest black and white laser printers typically have an ongoing cost of about 6 cents per page. Yet those who pay a higher premium for a more efficient laser printer will find that the cost per page at a lower rate. It is important to note that laser printers have extra ongoing costs that inkjet printers don't. Laser printers often require fuser cartridges as well as the replacement of parts including a maintenance kit.

You should always keep in mind that if you choose to buy the cheaper, inexpensive printer, you may have to get it replaced or repaired sooner than a better quality printer would have to be repaired. The cheaper the printer, the more likely it will break down.


If your business wants to print a high volume of black and white pages, laser printing is ideal. Even the most basic monochrome laser printer models will produce print speeds upwards of 20 pages per minute. Inkjets are much slower. The basic inkjet printer spits out about 5 pages per minute of black text. The text printing quality of normal sized fonts (12 pt) isn't much different for inkjet and laser printers. Businesses that will be printing plenty of smaller sized fonts or images with a lot of detail should lean toward laser printers as their fusing technology can create highly accurate dots and curves of small text.

Businesses that will be printing color images should lean toward inkjet printers. Color laser printers are typically quite cumbersome and expensive. Inkjet printers create better color images due to their ability to create delicate color gradation. Laser printers display banding that has significant changes in color. Inkjet colors blend much more smoothly and represent color as it truly appears on the computer screen.

In addition, you may find it important to consider the brand name of the print you choose. Getting the lowest price may not be the best option every time, especially when you can't afford to lose out on quality prints and your investment in a longer-lasting printer. For an example Hewlett-Packard Printers (HP) have a great reputation for a great quality, a great warranty and a long-lasting lifespan.


Inkjets are more popular than laser printers for a number of reasons. They are smaller so they can easily fit into small areas to conserve space. They are cheaper to purchase and their ink cartridges are sometimes half the cost of laser toner cartridges. Replacing the ink cartridges in an inkjet printer is an extremely quick and easy process. Inkjet printers also produce remarkable photo prints with vivid colors and minimal pixilation. The only downside to inkjet printers is the fact that they’re not as efficient and have a comparatively higher cost per page as they use ink in a less efficient manner. They can also become a pain to clean as inkjet cartridges can leak and the ink can stain everything that it comes into contact with.

Laser printers aren't as common as inkjet printers but they do have some distinct advantages. They print documents faster and aren't as messy to clean up as toner doesn't stain like ink does. Laser printers also make more efficient use of toner and cost less per page. The result is a lower cost of ownership across the life of the printer. The faults of laser printers are the high toner cartridge cost, their bulky size, the fact that they can operate quite loudly and their poor (and expensive) production of color images.

The most important advice to take away from this post is that you should consider the needs of the printer first. Determining what you will be printing from this printer, how much will you be printing and how often will be a huge factor when determining the printer that is right for youDepending on how you answer those questions, will tell you which printer is best for you. It's recommended that an expert assess your current printers and make recommendations for your new printer purchases. This is save your company loads of time and money! Governor Business Solutions’ printer experts will be happy to come by for a free printer assessment, contact us today 313-441-4600.

3 Responses to “Inkjet Printers vs Laser Printers – Which is better?”

  1. BLawson says:

    We own a laser black and white Brother printer that we’ve had for several years and still works great. We’re now in the market for a wireless all-in-one color printer. We’re homeschooling and would like to print worksheets and flash cards etc in color since our child is still quite young. The comparison you provided is very informative, thank you. On to the search for an all-in-one inkjet now. 🙂

  2. This is an excellent clearly written comparison. Thank you. We are looking for a new wireless printer for use with our non profit. Most printing is in B&W, but occasional quality color prints are needed. What we hope to avoid is those printers that utilize the color ink cartidges when there is just a speck of color on the page, and that triggers even the black printing on that page to be done with the color ink mixed all together.

  3. Sam Fisher says:

    You are very right that business owners have a lot to consider when deciding on what type of printer to buy. They need to take into consideration of how much ink will be, in addition to toner and paper. You might think that it isn’t much. Total the usage up over a year and it can be quite pricey. Anyways, just be sure that you get the right products for whatever printer you have.

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