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Laser Printer Vs Inkjet Printer: What's the Major Differences?

Brandon Greene
Posted by Brandon Greene on Apr 27, 2021 11:00:00 AM

Woman using office printer reply

If you want to learn the difference between an inkjet and laser printer, then this article is for you! This guide will review how these two machines are different, including the pros and cons of each. 

What is an Inkjet Printer?

An inkjet printer is a machine that relies on water-based ink to produce an image on a sheet of paper. The tiny droplets of ink are applied directly onto the paper. This means that it does require some time for it to dry. 

So, how does the ink get onto the paper? 

The key is the print head that moves back and forth over the paper while it moves through the rollers. As it progresses, the print head precisely sprays the ink where it needs to go to complete the image. 

It works just like your computer screen uses pixels to render an image - the thousands of ink droplets form together to create the image you printed! 

Most homes have these types of printers since they are relatively affordable and work well for those needs. The cartridges come in magenta, yellow, cyan, and black. These colors can work together to form all of the ones you need, so you don't need to invest in additional expensive ink. 

Let's review the pros and cons of an inkjet printer:


These types of printers are very versatile and can produce high-quality images with lots of colors. If you need to print things like infographics, colorful presentations, or other bright images, then an inkjet printer is a perfect solution. 

They can also use various mediums, like textured art paper, standard sheets, and even fabrics. It's important to note that not every inkjet printer can print on fabric, but the capability is there if you choose the right model. 

Perhaps the most compelling reason why you should opt for an inkjet printer is the lower upfront cost. They are less complex machines and therefore cheaper to manufacture, so these printers are much more affordable. 


Inkjet printers aren't perfect, though, and you may deal with some issues with smudging or dripping, depending on the product you're printing on. Remember that it's wet ink that's being applied to the paper! 

This also makes the printing process a bit slower. 

Similarly, even though the upfront costs are low, the total cost of ownership can jump up quickly if you have high volume printing needs. The cost of these ink cartridges is more expensive when compared to other types of printers - so you may spend more money on these in the long run. 

What is a Laser Printer?

Next, let's review the basics of a laser printer. 

These machines use a heated laser to produce an image on a piece of paper. The laser charges and heats the paper, so the powdered toner is attracted to it. 

Although the concept of a laser printer sounds complicated, it is actually quite simple. The toner is a powder that melts on the paper to create a permanent image. Since the electric charge transfers it from the printer to the paper, the process happens very quickly.

The lasers aim at a photoreceptor that projects the image onto the page, and the result is a permanent, clean print. 

When these printers first came out, they were almost prohibitively expensive - and large! These gaps have closed now, though, and more businesses are investing in laser printers. 

Here are some of the pros and cons of laser printers:


A laser printer is the best solution if you need to print a high volume of pages quickly. Since there is no wet ink to deal with, the images won't smudge and resist fading. These printers tend to work best for offices that print a lot of documents and need them fast!

Likewise, the lifetime cost associated with owning a laser printer is much lower. You don't have to buy expensive ink cartridges that can run up your expenses, so you can see some savings here. 


One of the disadvantages of choosing a laser printer is that the upfront costs are higher. They also cannot print on as many different mediums as an inkjet printer can, since they will not work with paper that is sensitive to heat or an uneven material. 

Laser printers also cannot produce gallery-quality images. If you need to print something that is displayed or that requires vibrant and varied colors, you will not obtain the best results with this machine. 

If you would like more information about laser or inkjet printers, contact Advanced Office Products at (337) 477-3700 or by requesting a quote.

Topics: Office Equipment

Brandon Greene

Brandon Greene


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