Inkjet and Laser Printers – Working and Dissimilarities

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Inkjet and Laser Printers

The inkjet printers employ standard ink, but laser printers rely on lasers and toner for their output. Both inkjet and laser printers operate on their unique technology. Let’s understand each technology and its working.

Inkjet printers

Home printing has become easy with inkjet printers. Heat and physics are used to control the ink distribution while printing. The nozzle spraying action across every paper sheet is controlled by in-built software. The process timing is a little different in colored and black & white prints. In color printing, there is a little delay because the printer has to create an ideal composition of every graphic.

For ink supply, the inkjet printer is equipped with 2 or 4 cartridges. One cartridge is black, while the other three are magenta, yellow, and cyan or single-tri color cartridge. In a tri-color cartridge, all the inks are blended to attain clarity near to using committed color cartridges.

The tri-color cartridge is convenient as well as saves space and money. Often they are less efficient, especially when a single color runs low and you will need to replace the whole cartridge.

Pros of inkjet printing

  • Small physical footprint, so space-saving solution
  • Affordable
  • Color blending and image or text clarity is superior
  • Compatible with the majority of paper types
  • A great option for photo prints
  • Better for low-volume printing needs
  • Ink cartridge replacement is convenient and reasonably priced

Laser printers

The laser printers work with an electrostatic charge that is flung against a printing drum. The toner is a powder-based medium comprised of granulated plastic. It allows great control and accuracy. Toner powder is collected and transferred on the paper via electrostatic charging against the printing drum.

Finally, the paper is warmed to melt toner particles that ensure the print sets properly. Lasers are used to activate the electrostatic charge, so the name laser printers. Mostly, laser printing involves B&W printouts. Color options are also available in a 4-cartridge configuration as mentioned above.

Pros of laser printing

  • Minimal waste on toners, so recurring supply cost is less
  • The initial cost is more but over time it turns affordable
  • High precision printouts – no concerns about smudging or bleeding
  • More consistency in bigger print projects
  • Much faster printing speed, so good option for high volume printing needs

Print resolution comparison

The resolution is computed in ‘Dots per Inch’ or DPI. More the dots in an inch, the sharper the prints! You need a printer with 600 dpi resolution to generate a high-resolution document, while a 1200 dpi to create great colored images. After 1200 dpi, you will hardly see any difference.

When you check the printer’s specification there will be 2 numbers set like 4800 x 1200 dpi. It means the max resolution is 4800 X 1200 dpi.

Inkjet printer resolutions

  • Canon [PIXMA] – 4800 x 1200 dpi
  • Epson – 5760 x 1440 dpi
  • Canon [iP 110] – 9600 x 2400 dpi

Laser printer resolution

  • HP LaserJet Pro [M479fdw] – 38,400 x 600 dpi
  • Majority have – 2400 x 600 dpi

It means –

  • Photo inkjet printers are great for high-quality photos including tonal depth and wide color range.
  • Monochrome laser printers are excellent for documents and text.
  • Color laser printers are superb for documents, text, and medium-quality color images.

The kind of printer you choose depends on your printing needs, frequency, and budget.

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