BLOGS

The Two Ways to Print
2/23/2017

All printers aren't made the same, but we don't blame you if you were thinking they were. You probably know there are more and less expensive printers, but that probably has to do with the quality of the materials used in the printer's production, or the capacity and quality of the printing...right? Well, that IS true, but in reality, there are a couple totally different ways to print.

Why is this important to you? Well, if you can understand what each printing style works best for, you can choose the printer that's right for you or your business. Then, you'll spend your money as effectively as possible and get a high-quality product you can be happy with to boot! Here's how each style of printing works, and what each is good for.

Inkjet

Inkjet printers contain several ink-dispensing nozzles. When the printer is activated, these nozzles fire tiny "dots" of ink onto the media you're printing on.

A rotor assembly moves the nozzles from left to right until the image is complete. Inkjet prints tend to feel wet when they come out of the printer, because the ink was literally just applied.

Advantages

Inkjet printers are popular because they're affordable, easy to use, and durable. They're also versatile: inkjet printers can print effectively on virtually any form of media. Ink nozzles are extremely precise--most can produce resolutions of 300 dots per inch (dpi), and higher end models can produce up to 600 dpi!

This precision makes the inkjet the best type of printer for rendering vivid or blended colors. Inkjet printers are the most commonly used home printer, and businesses that require very high-quality image printing, such as art production studios or photographers, prefer them as well.


Disadvantages

Inkjet printers tend to go through a lot of ink during operation, and quality printer ink is notoriously expensive. As you might expect, precision nozzles are also very delicate and prone to clogging, so inkjets require more cleaning and maintenance than many other types of printer.

Finally, inkjets tend not to print as quickly as some of the more modern printer designs, particularly when printing in color.


Laser

When a laser printer activates, it initiates a complex, multi-step process where a laser supplies different parts of the print media with different charges. Negative charges attract ink while positive charges don't, so ink goes the areas affected by the laser, and the rest of the media remains ink-free.

Finally, the paper passes through hot rollers to fuse the attracted toner particles to the page, completing the print. Laser printed media is hot when it finishes printing because of the hot roller process at the end.

Advantages

Laser printers are fast, quiet, and capable of heavy continuous use. Perhaps most importantly, their cost-per-job is lower than any other kind of printer. They can do all of this without sacrificing quality--laser printers are capable of producing 600-1200 dpi documents.

These features make laser printers ideally suited for mass production, which is why they're the most common office printer. Because they don't use ink, laser printed documents don't smear the way ink-printed documents can.


Disadvantages

Laser printers are more complicated than inkjets, and their cost reflects it; the laser printer is the most expensive printer model to purchase, at least initially. Their complicated mechanisms means they're more expensive to repair than other printers, and they also tend to be a lot heavier. The toner cartridges laser printers use to produce color are more expensive than ink, although they last longer.

Overall

There are good and not-so-good versions of both inkjet and laser printers. If you choose a good one, chances are you'll be satisfied. If you need a printer for a particular purpose, however, keep this information in mind when researching one.

Choose a inkjet if:

  • You need a few high quality prints
  • You need to print on something other than paper
  • You don't need to do a lot of printing, but you need the printing you do to look good
  • You want to print photographs or art
  • You need very vibrant, high-quality colors
  • You don't have a lot of space to put your printer

Choose a laser if:

  • Your printer is going to see heavy use
  • You print mostly black-and-white text documents
  • You need a printer that works very quickly
  • Your printer is going to be in-use constantly for hours at a time
  • You don't mind paying a little more up-front
  • You have enough space for a bigger printer


Whatever kind of printer you decide you need, Coordinated is happy to help find you one. We offer multi-function, inkjet, and laser printers from world-class manufacturers, and with more than 30 years experience, there's no one better qualified to make sure it works for you. Feel free to call with any questions or to schedule an appointment today!

Whatever kind of printer you decide you need, Coordinated is happy to help find you one. We offer multi-function, inkjet, and laser printers from world-class manufacturers, and with more than 30 years experience, there's no one better qualified to make sure it works for you. Feel free to call with any questions or to schedule an appointment today!