Color Laser vs Inkjet Printer


If you are in the market to buy or replace a color printer, you should always consider the Total Cost of Ownership or TCO and compare the overall cost of printing with a color laser printer vs. an inkjet printer.

Although inkjet printers are initially much less expensive, laser printers offer a much better value over time because their toner cartridges are only slightly more expensive, and last between three and 10 times longer. Most small business owners often look to low-cost inkjet printers to solve their printing problems, not taking time to thoroughly compare printers and costs!

Inkjet Cost Myth

Inkjet printers, although very inexpensive to purchase, often have a very high cost per page for cartridge supplies. Itís not uncommon for inkjet cost per page analyses to work out to be $0.25 to more than a $1 per page.

Be sure to consider all of the costs when you attempt to compare printers!

For a relatively low volume of 50 to 100 pages a month, the supply costs arenít too bad! But, if you decide or need to print 200 to 500 pages a month, the cost becomes pretty high! Consider that $0.25 X 200 pages = $50, supply costs must be factored in as you compare printers.

Laser Printer Cost Advantages

Consider that an entry level business Color Laser printer can be bought for less than $250. If one uses the same cost comparison method, the cost is less than $0.16 per page. ($231 street price divided by 1500 sheets = $0.154 per page).

The savings become even greater when the costs of the printer and subsequent high capacity replacement toner cartridges are used and factored in over a 3 year period. (the considered useful life of a laser printer!) The use of high capacity toner cartridges can lower the costs even more! ($231 divided by 5000 sheets = $0.046 per page)

Be sure to consider all of these issues when you start to compare printers.

Technical things to look for when choosing a printer!

As you might guess from their technical differences, inkjet and laser printers cover a wide range of capabilities and cost. Laser printers typically use a laser to produce an electrically charged image on a drum, roll it through some toner and then fuse the toner to the paper by using heat (just like a copier machine). Inkjet printers, spray ink directly onto paper which then must dry. Both types of printers have their appropriate use, but you can draw enough conclusions to effectively compare the two technologies.

When comparing printers, consider the following:

Cost Per Page

Roughly, the cost of the toner or ink divided by the number of pages provided before replacement of the cartridge is required! Total Cost Some printers require users to regularly replace print heads, fuser drums and so forth. Others include these with each toner or ink cartridge. Consider both of these items when comparing cost per page figures.



Other Points to Consider