The Advantages of Color Laser Printers

The Advantages of Color Laser PrintersColor laser printers are becoming more commonplace in home offices as the cost of this technology continues to decline. There are a number of reasons you might want to choose color laser printers over traditional inkjet solutions, even in a home office where budgets are particularly tight.

In this article, we’ll go over some of the advantages of color laser printers.

These days, you can find color laser printers at remarkably low prices that boast specs you might expect on the high-end enterprise machines from just a few years ago. Technology has evolved, and with models like the Brother HL-2270DW Compact Laser Printer on the market, it’s no wonder more small businesses and home users are turning to laser printers over inkjets.

Ink Refills for Color Laser Printers

The toner found in modern color laser printers costs more than that of an inkjet printer, but requires far less frequent replacement as it tends to last significantly longer. The reason for this is the process by which ink is transferred to paper. Inkjet printers spray paper with ink through microscopic channels that then sit on the paper to dry. This process means slightly more wasted ink than color laser printers, which use heat and a slightly more precise printing method.

If you frequently print graphically intense documents, the difference can be night and day in terms of ink bang for your buck. Add to that the necessity for higher quality paper to avoid blurring and bleeding on inkjet printouts vs. standard uncoated paper for color laser printers, and you have a pretty big bargain on your hands.

Keep in mind, though, that your images will be slightly less color rich on color laser printers than comparable inkjet options.

The Clarity of Color Laser Printers

The Advantages of Color Laser Printers

Some color laser printers offer more than meets the eye… [Image shared by Jake Sutton via Flickr]

Speaking of clarity, color laser printers print text that is far clearer than that of a standard inkjet printer. This is another pleasant side-effect of the laser printing process. You don’t see bleeding or blurring with laser printouts, and this is especially important when text is involved. This is less noticeable when printing images, such as photographs, which is where inkjet printers arguably shine.

Smudges and Smears: Still a Problem with Color Laser Printers?

Inkjet printouts take longer to dry than those made with color laser printers, and often have issues with smearing when any moisture comes in contact with them. Depending on the type of paper you use, you’ll find that documents printed on an inkjet printer are more susceptible to this type of disfiguration than ones printed on color laser printers.

Speed of Color Laser Printers

Color laser printers take more time to warm up than standard inkjet printers. While this warm-up time has been significantly reduced (especially on the desktop and consumer market), the real benefit of owning color laser printers comes in their PPM (page per minute) speed. Inkjet printers are traditionally intended for small, 1-20 page jobs, while color laser printers can easily handle 50-200 page jobs with relative ease. Depending on the model, you could conceivably print an entire 500-page book in a single session on a color laser printer where it might kill a similarly priced inkjet — not to mention the costs of the ink!

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Chris has consistently expressed his convictions and visions outright, supplying practical information to targeted audiences: media agencies, business owners, technology consumers, software and hardware professionals, et al. He remains a passionate personality in the tech community-at-large. He's a geek.

  • Dev_N_Denver

    I haven’t used an inkjet printer in almost 8 years. The fact that I don’t print a lot made me go with a cheap B&W laser printer. No ink cartridges to dry out, toner cartridge can be found online for a reasonable $40 and last for up to 5000 pages. My Dad has a inkjet that he spent over $100 for. Yeah, it prints fast. So fast that it’s done printing the next page before the previous page has time to dry. So sometimes he has problems with smearing or ink on the back of pages.

    People ask me about printing pictures. I’ve found that even the best “photo” inkjet printers still don’t produce the quality of print that you can get from the photo kiosks at a lot of the big box stores, the photos from the big box store don’t fade after a year in a picture frame, and when you break down the cost they end up being cheaper in the long run. Especially if you print a lot of pictures.

    Before long the inkjet printer will be a thing of the past.

  • Dev_N_Denver

    I haven’t used an inkjet printer in almost 8 years. The fact that I don’t print a lot made me go with a cheap B&W laser printer. No ink cartridges to dry out, toner cartridge can be found online for a reasonable $40 and last for up to 5000 pages. My Dad has a inkjet that he spent over $100 for. Yeah, it prints fast. So fast that it’s done printing the next page before the previous page has time to dry. So sometimes he has problems with smearing or ink on the back of pages.

    People ask me about printing pictures. I’ve found that even the best “photo” inkjet printers still don’t produce the quality of print that you can get from the photo kiosks at a lot of the big box stores, the photos from the big box store don’t fade after a year in a picture frame, and when you break down the cost they end up being cheaper in the long run. Especially if you print a lot of pictures.

    Before long the inkjet printer will be a thing of the past.