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Inkjet VS Laser Printers: The Ultimate Review

inkjet vs laser printers

When choosing a printer, especially if it’s your first one, you may get confused with all the options available on the market. Of course, we can’t recommend you the one and only model that would definitely meet your expectations since everyone has different goals and needs in printing. But we have made an objective review of two main printer types: inkjet vs laser printers. So read on and make a smart choice!


Laser printer vs inkjet: general overview

First off, let’s deal with the overall understanding of how laser and inkjet printers work, their main features, and printing technology.

Inkjet printers work with the help of liquid ink contained in a cartridge. As you start the printing process, this ink is deposited onto the page in thousands of microscopic drops. Depending on the type of ink, it may change the color of the paper or stay as a dry deposit on its surface.


In contrast to inkjet printers, the laser ones rely on toner containing powder ink. An electrostatic charge inside of the printer produces heat, which transfers the toner to the paper.


So which is better: laser or inkjet printers? Well, it all depends on your goals and needs. When choosing a suitable model, you should take into consideration several parameters: the purpose of printing (photos or plain text), printer price, and maintenance cost. Let’s look through all of these aspects in more detail.


Inkjet vs laser for photo printing

When it comes to home printing, most of us want to have a universal model that would make high-quality photos. Admit it, we all want to save memories and get back in time looking through the pictures of our loved ones. For these purposes, inkjet printers will fit best.

The thing is that inkjet printers have dye- and pigment-based inks, which have a better capability of transferring subtle colors and different shades. Liquid inks are easily mixed, which means that the pictures that you print out will look exactly the same as the ones on your screen.

Printing photos on laser printers cannot grant you the desirable results. The only way to handle this is to choose a special model and purchase a suitable laser-printer-ready photo paper for it. However, laser printers are much better at dealing with the text documents as they may offer crisp and clear print, while inkjet ones can make some letters smudge.


Overall, laser printers are useful when it comes to text documents, especially at high volumes. But if you are looking for high-quality photo printing, inkjet printers are the only option you should consider.


Laser printer vs inkjet: maintenance cost

When it comes to the money spent on a laser or inkjet printer, there are two types of expenses that you should pay attention to. The first one is the upfront cost of the printer, in other words, its price in the shop. The second one is the maintenance cost, which is a much more complicated matter.

Inkjet printers are more affordable to buy as the printing technology is quite simple, thus, the company doesn’t spend too much money on their production. Besides, due to a specific business model, the manufacturer may sell printers at a loss, knowing that they will get much more profit from ink sales.

On the other hand, laser printers are more expensive to buy, as they are harder to produce. Usually, the price for them is not less than $200 per item, which is quite a lot. But what about the maintenance cost? Which one is cheaper to take care of: laser VS inkjet printers?

When it comes to the maintenance cost, it’s all about the toner and ink cartridges expenses. And here inkjet printers are losing the battle. Since liquid ink is really expensive, the cost-per-page of black-and-white printouts will be around 5-10 cents, depending on a printer model. Meanwhile, the color printing will cost you even more: about 15-25 cents per page.

Laser printer maintenance is much more affordable due to the toner price. For now, the cost-per-page of black-and-white prints is below 5 cents for any laser printers. And the color printouts cost around 15 cents per page.


Another thing that you should be aware of is the expiration date of toners and ink cartridges. As liquid ink can dry out quite quickly, after purchasing an inkjet cartridge, you will need to print something out regularly in order not to lose the ink. Yet, the toner is dry and, thus, can be stored for a much longer period of time.

The good news is that there is a possibility to save up on inkjet printer cartridges by choosing their compatible and remanufactured alternatives. Smart Ink products offer the same high-quality print as the original cartridges but for a much lower price. Besides, they are fully filled with ink, compared to the original ones, which usually provide only 80% of the full volume.


The difference between inkjet and laser printers

There is no winner or loser in this battle of inkjet versus laserjet printers. Both of them have their advantages and drawbacks, but if you analyze all of the aspects systematically, it will be clear which one is suitable for you.


Laser printer pros and cons

+ Much faster, compared to inkjet printers.
+ High-quality, sharp text printouts.
+ Laser printers may produce much bigger volumes of printouts per month. This makes them a perfect choice for office needs.
+ The cost-per-page is lower compared to inkjet printers.

The quality of the printed photos and images is much lower in comparison with inkjet printers.
The upfront cost of a laser printer is much higher than of an inkjet one.
Most of the models available on the market are quite heavy and take a lot of space.
Laser printers can’t work with a wide variety of paper types.


Inkjet printer pros and cons

+ Much smaller and lighter, thus, portable and much more suitable for personal home use.
+ The best choice for printing photos and the documents containing images.
+ The printer itself is cheaper than laser alternatives.
+ Instant printing, no warm-up required.
+ Wide variety of compatible and remanufactured cartridges, which may significantly reduce maintenance expenses. One of the best places to get such alternative cartridges is Smart Ink. It provides customers with high quality ink for a reasonable price.
+ Inkjet printers can be used with various types of paper and even some fabrics.

Original ink cartridges are extremely expensive. They can be even more pricey than the printer itself.
Printouts are susceptible to water damage as the ink is water-based.
Inkjet printers are quite slower than the laser ones.
Printers have to be cleaned regularly to produce the same high-quality print.
Sometimes, the printed text may be smudged due to ink bleeding.
Paper trays can only contain 50-100 sheets.
The monthly duty cycle is quite low, which means that you won’t be able to make too many printouts without the possibility to damage the printer.



There is no right or wrong when it comes to choosing between inkjet and laser printers. It all depends on your goals and preferences. Yet, here is the main rule that you should follow:


  • If you need a printer for the office or you mostly print text documents at home, then consider buying a laser printer.
  • But if you are looking for a printer for personal use, you should choose among inkjet models as they will offer high-quality photo printing to save all your memories.

If you are afraid that you will need to spend too much for an inkjet printer, consider switching to compatible or remanufactured cartridges. Such producers as Smart Ink help you get affordable cartridges and not overpay for printer ink. So think smart and choose Smart Ink!


7 thoughts on “Inkjet VS Laser Printers: The Ultimate Review

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      Smart Ink Team

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