Inkjet vs. Laser

We all hear the words ‘laser’ and ‘inkjet’ thrown around the office regularly, but do you actually know what the difference is?

No? Let’s start from the beginning…

Inkjet printing creates a digital image by dropping spots of ink onto paper whereas; laser printers produce digital images by scanning a beam across photoreceptors.

So which is better? There used to be a considerable difference between the cost of inkjet and laser printers but now you can get both at reasonable price with good quality. There are still differences between the two though, and the printer you choose should depend on your needs.

Printing in black and white, colour or both?

If colour printing is important then you’ll almost certainly want an inkjet printer because although average prices are falling colour lasers will cost considerably more but would be measured as an investment. The bottom line is that Inkjets are best for colour printing. For black and white printing, base your decision on print load – if your business produces large volumes of colour prints, consider a laser printer!

How large is your printing load?

The cost of printing in black and white with an inkjet cartridge generally ranges around 5-6 pence a page whereas laser costs between 2-4 pence. The more pages you print, the more money you save by opting for a laser printer, even a high end one.


Laser printing speeds range from 12-45 pages per minute (PPM) and inkjet printers run from 6 to 20ppm. The bottom line here is that higher end inkjets may be able to match mid-range lasers in speed.

Network and Sharing

If you have a lot of people sharing one printer you want something that’s quick and straightforward – the typical inkjet printer holds up to 100 pieces of paper at a time – 150 at the most. Laser printers alternatively can hold up to 3800 pieces of paper. If you print in large volumes you will perhaps want to opt for a laser printer.

In addition host based inkjets can’t gather print jobs into memory and have to work through them one by one. Whereas laser printers have their own memory and can therefore process and manage several simultaneous print requests sent over a network. The bottom line here is that you should opt for a laser printer or a high-end inkjet printer.

Other Considerations

A lot of home and business owners often find themselves getting both an inkjet and a laser printer – the inkjet for colour and the laser as a workhouse for black and white printing. Ultimately businesses could save money and efficiency with more printers – as this will cut down the amount of time employees spend waiting for their printouts.

To view our range of our Epson products – visit Finnick Online here.