Are you facing difficulty to choose a better laser or ink tank printer? Here we have provided a detailed guide about which is a better laser or ink tank printer.
If you’re in the market for a printer, be it for work or home, one of the options you’ll likely be dealing with is to buy an ink tank printer or a laser printer.
Laser or Ink Tank printer It’s the most basic and essential question when buying printers, but what’s really the difference? If you are looking for a printer, you have probably wondered what the two technologies and the best models are in each category. We are here to resolve the confusion.
While both printing technologies have their place in homes and offices, one is likely to meet your needs better than the other. When it comes to ink tank printers versus laser printers, it’s about what you want to do and which technology best suits those needs.
While they can serve the same purpose and have a similar look or form factor, these two types of printers work in very different ways. Ink tank printers contain individual ink tanks which consists of different colors of ink bottles and these ink bottles directly supply ink during the process of printing. Meanwhile, laser printers use a toner cartridge (filled with fine powder) and a heated fuser to achieve similar results. You can also check best all-in-one ink tank printer in India 2022.
Whether or not you need an ink tank or laser printer depends on what you print, how often you print, and your printing budget.
Printer Comparison – laser or ink tank printer
What is a Ink Tank Printer ?
Ink tank printers are color printers which do not contains any inbuilt print head . These ink tank printers contains different colors of ink bottles . The ink bottles directly supply ink during the process of printing pages.
What is an Laser Printer ?
Laser printers are machines that melt toner powder onto paper to create an impression. Laser printers are more expensive than standard ink tank printers and use more expensive toner cartridges, but they are still a cheaper option in the long run with a lower total cost per page and faster print speeds.
Let’s take a closer look at the strengths and weaknesses of laser and ink tank printers so that you can make your next purchase with confidence.
Ink Tank vs Laser printers: The key takeaways
The fundamental distinction between ink tank printers and laser printers comes down to how each technology actually prints. This, in turn, affects what a printer will do well, how expensive it will be to print documents and photos, and how much you pay upfront.
Printing technology basics: Ink tank vs laser
- Ink tank printers are usually cheaper to start with as well as cheaper to operate . If you don’t print a lot, this may be the most affordable option.
- Laser printers can provide a graphic resolution of just 300dpi but a Ink Tank printer can provide a high graphic resolution of up to 2400 dpi . ink Tank Printers can provide vibrant colors and sharp text
- Laser printers are better for printing documents, while ink tank printers are generally better for printing photos.
- If you want to keep the cost per page as low as possible, laser printers are cheaper.
- Ink tank printers generally take up less space than lasers and are less bulky and heavy then Laser Printers
- In Ink Tank printers the ink can be easily replaced without the need to replace the complete ink cartridge .
While the most basic definition of printing is the same on ink tank and laser printers (putting letters and images on paper), the two methods achieve it in very different ways.
Laser printers, on the other hand, rely on toner, which is a powder. The “laser” or “beam” in laser printing is used to generate an electrostatic charge, which is used to transfer the toner to the paper, which is then heat-attached to the surface of the page.
These two approaches affect everything from the size of a printer to the cost of a single printed page. Both technologies can be found in single-function or all-in-one printers, along with scan, copy and fax capabilities. Both can fit well, as long as you understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
Printer Speed: Who’s Faster?
Let’s tackle this first because it’s easy to look at speed ratings and say that ink tank printers are slower than lasers. The cheapest ink tank printers are actually slower than the cheapest lasers. However, that doesn’t mean that all ink tank printers are slow (or that you wouldn’t prefer a cheap ink tank to a cheap laser for other reasons, such as their range of color and black and white printing, or their ability to copy and scan and print).
Because of the way laser technology allocates toner all at once and applies it to an entire page, it is inherently faster than the way most ink tank printers apply ink to paper: the four colors ink bottles i.e black , cyan , magenta and yellow supplies ink during the process of printing pages . Some entry-level ink tank printers can produce as little as 8 pages per minute (ppm) or less, while many low-end laser printers can push paper at twice as fast.
A different kind of ink tank: HP Page Wide business printers reach speeds of up to 70 ppm.
However, when you compare high-end office-oriented ink tank printers with comparable color laser AIOs, the speeds aren’t that far off. The Brother DCP – T220 ink Tank printer, for example, prints at 28/11 ppm , compared to 34ppm for the Brother DCP-B7535DW laser printer from the same company. In addition, HP offers a range of ink nozzles, including the PageWide Pro 552dw, with fixed, full-width print heads that span the page and are capable of maximum print speeds of approximately 70 ppm.
So yes, laser printers are generally capable of faster print speeds than new ink tank printers. But properly configured ink tank printers are not inherently slow, and some models easily outperform a laser. And if you typically print one or two pages at a time for the home office or school, almost any printer on the market today will be fast enough to meet your needs.
Print Quality: Whose Output Looks Better?
Businesses are no longer just printing black and white text, and consumers never have. Laser machines can be said to produce sharper text than ink tank printers; we’ll take a closer look at that later. But when it comes to most other types of results, especially photos and illustrations and color images, the more detailed and vibrant results of ink tank printers blow their laser rivals away.
The ink tanks do not have a built-in print head. These types use individual color tanks in addition to a black ink tank. The ink in these tanks can be refilled from an ink bottle as needed and fed directly to the printer via an integrated ink system. Ink tank printers are often referred to as “continuous ink tank printers”.
Both examples contain six ink cartridges instead of the usual four. The four standard process colors, cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK), all that a color laser printer can do, are complemented by additional inks such as light magenta and light cyan from the XP-8600. Pixma adds richer black pigment and photo blue that enhances details and broadens the color gamut. These additional colors also reduce color streaks and graininess. On the higher end, Canon, Epson and HP also make professional printers that produce truly stunning results for graphic artists and photo professionals. The Epson SureColor P5000 implements 11 inks, while the Canon imagePrograf PRO-1000 has 12 (11 colors and a clear coat). Many consumer photo printers use five or six colors of inks for a richer palette.
In addition, most ink tank printers (unlike lasers) support borderless printing, which means they can apply ink to the edge of the paper to achieve a professional finish known as “bleed”. Some results, especially photos, give a better impression without a blank margin. Ink tank printers can print not only on plain, glossy and semi-gloss paper, but even on other materials such as certain fabrics or vinyl. Laser printers are limited to a few papers, many of which are specially formulated for laser toner, giving you a smaller range of professionally designed and decorative documents.
When it comes to text, ink tank printers have come a long way. Ten years ago, an ink tank printer loaded with cheap copy paper was bound to produce fuzzy text. But contemporary ink tank printing on relatively inexpensive paper can produce attractive, easy-to-read text that is absolutely fine for most applications.
Laser printers excel at meeting font casting specifications for character shape, kerning, spacing, and line spacing.
A while ago, ink tank printers often struggled to produce well-formed and legible text, especially in small fonts. That is simply not the case anymore. Laser printers are more adept at producing high-quality fonts, paying more attention to built-in display instructions with specifications for character shape and font casting. But realistically, as long as your text is legible and consistent throughout the document, meeting display specifications will only matter if you plan to enter your documents into contests. Document design and prepress professionals have reason to choose laser text over inktank text. Most entrepreneurs don’t.
Ink Tank vs Laser printers: Cost of printing
Another big difference is the cost of ink and toner. Liquid printer ink has been identified as one of the most expensive liquids in the world and is a high-tech product. Designed to provide accurate flow rates, blend and bleed with predictable consistency, and to dry in an instant, all with colors that look perfect; there is a lot to consider with printer ink. Since it offers a high margin product that printer owners will have to buy again and again, it only encourages print shops to keep coming back for more.
Inktank printers vary in cost per page, but usually fall within the same general range. Black and white text typically costs between 5 and 10 cents per page and color printing between 15 and 25 cents per page. Editor’s Choice Canon Pixma TS9120, for example, costs 7.8 cents per page of text (black and white printing), while color printing costs 19.8 cents per page.
Toner, on the other hand, is usually less expensive per page for laser printers. While it is no less carefully crafted, the fact that toner comes in powder form makes it a much easier substance to ship, store and use.
Although individual toner cartridges are more expensive than ink cartridges, they print hundreds of pages, much higher than the yield of ink tank printers. As a result, plain text printing costs drop below 5 cents per page and color printing hovers around 15 cents.
For example, the Brother MFC-L2750DW Mono Laser Printer prints 3.75 cents per page with the standard toner cartridge that lasts 1,200 pages. Switch to a high-capacity cartridge and those costs drop to 2.7 cents per page.
Toner also stores better in the long term. Ink cartridges can be stored for months if properly maintained, but if you don’t print often, the fluids that fill your ink cartridge can dry out, leaving you with a useless cartridge that only printed a fraction of the pages it was intended to print for. Since toner starts out as a powder, you don’t have to worry about it losing its fluidity.
There is still a suspicion that laser printing is cheaper. It may be true, depending on the printers in question, but a business-oriented ink tank printer or “laser alternative” can save you a lot of money on consumables.
Granted, a replacement ink cartridge kit for a cheap ink tank AIO will probably cost you more than the printer. But some large-scale ink tank machines are formidable comparisons to similarly priced lasers. Take two Editors’ Choice award winners, the Canon imageClass LBP226dw mono laser printer and the Epson WorkForce Pro WF-M5299 (which is a rarity, mind you, a monochrome ink tank printer). Canon’s cost per page is 1.1 cents, but Epson’s is 0.8 cents even lower. In the commercial printer market, this is increasingly less the exception and more the rule.
Build and Durability: Do Laser Printers or Ink tanks Last Longer?
Again, if we ignore the cheaper black and white and ink tank laser printers, the answer to durability depends solely on the machine itself and how it is used. I’ve seen some laser printers with thin removable trays and under-reinforced cases; I’ve also seen ink nozzles, like most Brother’s Business Smart and Business Smart Plus series, with heavy metal reinforced frames and other substantial parts.
Some machines on both sides of the aisle are excessively noisy, indicating poor insulation. You should also watch out for printers that vibrate and vibrate not only in their chassis, but also on the table they sit on. (If a printer moves on its own while you work, that’s usually not a good sign.)
The first laser printers, such as the 55-pound HP LaserJet 4, were built like Sherman tanks and lasted forever; you could keep a printer for ten years, and your only reasons to upgrade are much faster speeds and improved print quality. A modern monochrome laser such as the HP LaserJet Pro M404dn is several times faster than its ancestors, weighs less than 20 pounds and costs less than one-twentieth the price. It may not be feasible for that long, but replacing it is much less expensive.
The 1993 HP LaserJet 4: single function, 55 pounds, 8 pages per minute, 600 dpi resolution. At the time, a bargain for less than $ 2,000. But 18 years later, the LaserJet Pro M404dn surrounds it.
Again, lifespan today depends more on the class of the machine and how it is used than on an absolute statement about the core technology. In fact, today I see many ink tankprinters with a two and three year warranty, while most laser printers only have one year of protection.
Ink Tank vs Laser printers: Upfront costs
When it comes to buying a printer, the cost of the printer is a big factor in the decision. Of course you want certain features, but your budget will often make the decision for you.
Ink Tank printers are generally much affordable and much cheaper than laser printers. The technology is slightly less complex and therefore cheaper to manufacture. In addition, most manufacturers sell ink tank printers at a loss, knowing they can make up for the difference in ink sales later on. Sometimes it is cheaper to buy a new printer than to buy a complete set of new ink cartridges!
Laser printers, on the other hand, will rarely retail for less than $ 200, and even the cheapest models will retail for $ 150 or more.
Now, printing costs should definitely take your thoughts into account, but if you’re barely printing, or are more likely to use the printer’s scan and fax functions than actually print, you can find some very affordable options for a little bit. like $ 50.
The initial cost of a laser printer may seem like your biggest weakness. After all, ink tankprinters come at a much lower purchase price with the newer models costing as little as $ 29.99, while laser printers are significantly more expensive and the cheapest cost around $ 59.99, still double the price of the cheapest ink tank printers.
Ink tank vs Laser printers: Printer size
Another differentiator that printer buyers may not consider when comparing printer types is size. Obviously, printers differ in size and design, but in general, laser multifunction printers are usually larger and heavier than their ink tank counterparts. If you have limited space on a desk or shelf, it is easier to find an ink tank printer that will fit in that smaller space.
Ink tank printers have benefited from a number of significant advancements in miniaturization, with features such as printheads built into the ink cartridge. Some, like the HP Tango X, are small enough to be portable, measure just 9.7 x 15 x 3.5 inches, and weigh just 7.5 pounds.
Laser printers, on the other hand, must accommodate a larger imaging drum, laser module, and thermal element, all of which increase volume. Add multifunctional functions such as scanning and copying to the list, and all-in-one laser printers are often quite bulky.
Operation: Which Is More Reliable?
Once a product gets a bad reputation, the stigma continues. Years ago, some ink tank printers (especially cheap consumer models) had frustrating problems that not only hindered productivity but were persistent enough to cloud the entire category. Let’s discuss some of the most common drawbacks:
Paper jams, where the printer vainly feeds a sheet through the paper path and jams, blocking subsequent pages until the normally wrinkled and stacked sheet is removed. Today, with improvements in both paper and printers, this is hardly an issue.
Multiple sheets are pulled from the input tray, leaving blank pages in the center of your print job. I always found this error particularly annoying: old ink tank printers weren’t that nimble to handle different sizes and weights of paper, and every now and then I came across a pack of paper that my printer would use. refused to accept. Toys. But those days are behind us. I’ve been testing multiple printers every month for over a decade, and while no hardware is perfect, these days laser and inktank printers rarely get greedy, trying to pull more than one sheet out of the stack at a time.
Wet or saturated pages. I haven’t seen this in years, but back in the day I sometimes couldn’t get a page or photo out of the output tray without smearing the image and getting ink on my fingers. Today, this only happens if you are using unsupported or unsupported paper that cannot properly absorb printer ink, or cheap third-party or refilled ink cartridges that contain poor ink mixes.
Bands, stripes and other output defects. These ink distribution problems were much more common in early ink tank printers; Manufacturers have made impressive improvements to their printheads, inks, software and firmware. Poor production can often be attributed to …
Clogged ink nozzles in the printhead. The bane of early ink tank printers, this drawback, required a time-consuming nozzle cleaning process that wasted the ink needed to clean the printhead. Fortunately, printer manufacturers have come a long way to address this problem, and today’s ink tank printers can spend much more time between print jobs before the ink starts to dry in the nozzles. For example, HP ink tank printers place their printheads in what the company calls a “service station”, where the printhead is connected with very limited airflow when the printer is turned off or on. It is left inactive long enough to enter power saving mode.
The choice between an ink tank printer or a laser printer actually comes down to what you want to use your printer for. Some people print a handful of pages a year or print photos more often than text documents. Others can print piles of text, but rarely need a photo. Or they value long-term operating costs as much as the initial purchase price.
Ink tank printing is generally more suitable for the occasional printer. Ink costs more per page, but refills are cheaper than toner. Ink tank printers are also better suited for small spaces, as laser printers are usually larger. It is also the best choice for graphics and photo printing as the ink offers richer colors and fewer printing restrictions.
Laser printing, on the other hand, offers the cheapest way to print many pages with a lot of text. It’s also faster and delivers smudge-free, finished pages in seconds. And if sharp, easy-to-read text is your priority, choose a laser printer that delivers better text output time after time.
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