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Comparing Inkjet and Laser Printers

Inkjet and laser printers allow you to print professional-looking documents, such as brochures, flyers and spreadsheets from the comfort of your home. When selecting a printer, you will need to weigh your available budget against your preferred colour quality and speed.

Find out more below about the basic types of printers and their advantages and disadvantages in order for you to shop with the right type of printer in mind.

Advantages of Inkjet Printers

Inkjet printers are generally cheaper than most laser printers. You can find a reasonable colour inkjet printer for under 100 in the leading chain stores in the UK.  These printers are still the colour printing solution for most home PC owners. Other advantages are as follows:

Smaller size: This saves you space on your desktop.

Versatility: A colour inkjet can print on many types of media, including T-shirt transfers, craft paper and even printable CD/DVD discs.

Larger paper sizes: If you invest more, you can add a large-format inkjet printer to your system that can print A3 pages.

Inkjet printers have advanced a long way in the last ten years. Unfortunately, the printing process is still relatively slow compared to that of laser printing.  Additionally, the ink cartridges and specialist papers can be quite expensive (cheaper compatibles from Jet Tec are available).  Therefore, inkjet printers are more suited for home users and small businesses with lighter printing needs. Inkjet printers range in price from less than 100 to as much as 800, depending on image quality, features and paper-handling capabilities.

Advantages of Photo Printers

Some inkjet printers use more than the four basic colours of inks to produce high-quality photos.  If you own a digital camera and print a lot of photos, you may want to choose a printer specifically for that purpose.

Photo quality: The print quality is not dissimilar to that of professional photofinishing.

Memory cards: A photo printer can often print directly from digital cameras and many models also accept digital storage cards such as SmartMedia, CompactFlash, Secure Digital/MultiMediaCard or a Memory Stick.

Even though a number of different sizes of photo printers are on the market, many are more compact than the average inkjet printer. These photo printers are usually limited to printing 4x6 or smaller prints -  they cannot print standard A4 sheets, which is why they are only suitable as second printers.  If you are a serious amateur or professional digital photographer, a photo printer is worth the expense, and typically cost upwards of 150.

For a home PC owner a normal colour inkjet printer is usually the better option.

Advantages of Laser Printers

A modern monochrome (black) laser printer starts at below 100. This is quite amazing, taking into account that at one time you had to spend a minimum of 1,500 for a standard laser printer. Some advantages of laser printers include the following:

Low cost: Over the life time, toner costs for a laser printer will usually be far less per page than replacing inkjet printer cartridges.

Speed: A laser printer will usually print pages much faster than an inkjet printer.

High-quality text: An inkjet printer, no matter how much you pay for it, will never print black text and line graphics quite as clear as a laser printer can.

Quiet operation: A laser printer is usually far quieter than low-cost inkjet printers - which is a important in a quiet office.

Until relatively recently, colour laser printers were unaffordable for individuals or even small businesses.  However, there are now many models available for less than 500 and these are practicable alternatives to colour inkjets for printing spreadsheets, flyers and brochures. Considering these advantages, choose a monochrome laser printer if most of the pages that you will print are text, especially if colour isn't a requirement. You'll be pleased at chosing a laser model after you have gone perhaps six months without having to replace a single toner cartridge!  What's more, Jet Tec are now producing a range or remanufactured laser toners which are far cheaper than their branded counterparts!

UK Ink Supplies of Lincolnshire - official Jet Tec retailer.

This article is by UK Ink Supplies, based in Lincoln, UK stocking a wide range of Jet Tec printer cartridges and Jet Tec laser toner cartridges for most printers.  For more information please visit Jet Tec ink cartridges for the latest Jet Tec Epson, Canon, Lexmark, Brother and HP printer products. Bookmark and Share

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