How do i Choose in Between an Inkjet Printer or Laser Printer?

What type of printer should you choose? What is the different between Inkjet or Laser Printer? What are the criteria should I pay attention to when I think to own a printer? If these are the questions bothering you, you will find this article be helpful at least give you a good sense of how to start with when buying a printer.

  • Technology

  • Printer Model
  • Printer Cartridge
  • Maintenance
  • Printing Speed
  • Printing Quality on A4 Paper
  • Printing Quality on Photo Paper
  • Printer Price
  • How much you will spend on the ink or toner cartridge cartridge on printsCartridge Price / Yield
  • Life Span
  • Inkjet Printer

  • HP Deskjet 3755
  • Inkjet Cartridge or Ink (in liquid form)
  • Easy, risk on printhead clogged if unuse for a long period (beyond 3 months)
  • $$
  • $$$
  • ~2 Years
  • Laser Printer

  • HP LaserJet Pro M477dn
  • Toner Cartridge (in powder form)
  • Easy, no risk on printhead clogged as using laser Printing Technology
  • $$$$
  • $$
  • ~ 5 Years

First of all, what is a inkjet printer and what is a laser printer?

Inkjet printer in generally is smaller in size, cheaper and print slower than a laser printer. Inkjet printer uses ink in liquid form while laser printer is using toner cartridge in powder form. Table above gives a summary of the comparison in table format. Thus, which type of printer to choose from is really depends on what you intend to print, how often you will print or we call it as how many prints per month, how much is your budget?

What you intend to print?

If you need to print professional high resolution photos, then, go for photo inkjet printer. If you wish to print good quality A4 paper such as presentation report, invoice, receipt or even marketing materials or report in colour. Laser printer will serve you well.

How often you will print or how many prints per month?

Inkjet printer is using ink. It the printer is rarely use, the ink would dry up at the nozzle head of the inkjet cartridge that clogged the liquid flow and resulted a poor quality print or no prints at all. You will tend to spend extra money to buy a new inkjet cartridge because of this. Laser printer is using toner cartridge in powder form, thus, it will not have this dry up or clogged issue even the printer is left unprint for quite a long period.

Inkjet printer is designed for low prints usage while laser printer will be more economical justified if you prints regular and more. Well, how low is low? That leads us to answer the third question.

How much is your budget?

In general, laser printer price is higher than an inkjet printer. This is because laser printer is designed for more durable usage and suitable for those whom plan to use the printer for longer term and better prints quality on A4 paper. So, how much is your budget will also become the main factor in deciding should you buy an inkjet printer or laser printer. Cheaper printer is always better? Likely not in this case as more and more cheap printer comes with expensive cartridges now. 

This is how the business model works for the printing industry. If you are familiar with 1 dollar coffee machine renting, then you could resemblance and rationalize how this business model works.

How long duration do you need the printer?

There is another one factor you need to consider is, what is the life span and warranty period for these printers? In general, printer’s warranty is 1-3 years. Inkjet printer’s life span is around 2 years and laser printer’s life span is around 5 years. Let’s use 2 years as the period of usage.

We are going to use a HP Colour inkjet printer and a HP Colour laser printer for the comparison chart generation below.

Printers

  Printer

Inkjet Printer

Laser Printer

  Model

HP Deskjet 3755

HP LaserJet Pro M477

  Function

Print, Copy and Scan

Print, Copy and Scan

  Print Speed (Colour)

5.5 ppm

27 ppm

  Selling Price

~SGD 97.70

Comes together with 1 Set of Inkjet Cartridges for Free

~SGD 799

Comes together with 1 Set of Toner Cartridges for Free

Cartridges (Consumable or Supplies)

  Ink or Toner Cartridge

Inkjet Cartridge

Toner Cartridge

  Black Cartridge (Black)

SGD 22

~SGD 148

  Colour Cartridge (CYM)

SGD 22

~SGD 558

  Yield (5% on A4 Paper)

100 pages

2,300 pages

  Yield (Spend / Mono print)

SGD 0.22

SGD 0.06

  Yield (Spend / Colour print)

SGD 0.44

SGD 0.31

This is interesting now to see that inkjet cartridge is selling cheap while you are paying more as you print due to the cartridge yield. So, let’s examine how many prints per day will be the threshold and justify for a laser printer.

Anywhere, let’s do a quick study and answer the question.

  1. How many prints per day or per month is consider low
  2. What is the budget is needed to own a printer for my needs?
  3. How much would I spent more if I choose the wrong printer?

Let’s starts with the number of prints with 1 copy per day, equal to 30 prints per month and 90 prints per quarter. Please take note that when you buy a printer, you will need to buy the cartridge before you can start to print. Thus, the spending on the prints is base on printer purchase price plus the cartridge that you purchase according to number of prints over the period to 2 years in accumulate.

Total Spending Comparison Between Inkjet Versus Laser Printer with 1 Print per Day Over 2 Years Period

  1 Print per day

  Inkjet Printer

  Laser Printer

  Total Prints

  Printer Price

  $ 97.70

  $ 799.00

  N/A

  Printer Purchase Comes with 1 Set of Cartridge for Free

  Cartridge Price

  $ 44.00

  $ 706.00


Total Spending on Printer Purchase + Cartridges on Prints (SGD)

  First month

  $ 97.70

  $ 799.00

  30 prints

  3 months

  $ 97.70 (Win!)

  $ 799.00

  90 prints

  6 months

  $ 141.70

  $ 799.00

  180 prints

  9 months

  $ 185.70

  $ 799.00

  270 prints

  1 year

  $ 229.70

  $ 799.00

  360 prints

  1 year 3 months

  $ 273.70

  $ 799.00

  450 prints

  1 year 6 months

  $ 317.70

  $ 799.00

  540 prints

  1 year 9 months

  $ 361.70

  $ 799.00

  630 prints

  2 years

  $ 405.70 (Win!)

  $ 799.00

  720 prints

As long as you are not demanding high print out quality on A4, if your total prints usage is less than 1,000 copies in or less than 2 years no doubt, inkjet printer is designed for low prints and low budget for long term and short term wise.

Let’s try with 3 copies per day, equal to 90 prints per month and 270 prints per quarter to see if we meet the critical threshold of decision making number of prints.

Total Spending Comparison Between Inkjet Versus Laser Printer with 3 Prints per Day Over 2 Years Period

  3 Prints per day

  Inkjet Printer

  Laser Printer

  Total Prints

  Printer Price

  $ 97.70

  $ 799.00

  N/A

  Printer Purchase Comes with 1 Set of Cartridge for Free

  Cartridge Price

  $ 44.00

  $ 706.00


Total Spending on Printer Purchase + Cartridges on Prints (SGD)

  First month

  $ 97.70

  $ 799.00

  90 prints

  3 months

  $ 185.70 (Win!)

  $ 799.00

  270 prints

  6 months

  $ 317.70

  $ 799.00

  540 prints

  9 months

  $ 449.70

  $ 799.00

  810 prints

  1 year

  $ 537.70

  $ 799.00

  1,080 prints

  1 year 3 months

  $ 669.70

  $ 799.00

  1,350 prints

  1 year 6 months

  $ 801.70

  $ 799.00

  1,620 prints

  1 year 9 months

  $ 889.70

  $ 799.00

  1,890 prints

  2 years

  $ 1,021.70

  $ 799.00 (Win!)

  2,160 prints

In conclusion, if your total prints usage is more than 2,000 copies over 2 years, and you need the printer to function more than 2 years, then laser printer is ideally to opt for longer term

How to Save Money on Cartridge Spends?

We have come to realize that the actual spend is on the printing cartridge or consumables. There are some other suggestions online that you can easily found, just search google for compatible or remanufactured ink or toner cartridge, these could be the money saving solution on the consumable spending.

We do not deny that but we advise you to do some further reading and check on the reviews online about these two before you buy and use them.

In nutshell, the original OEM cartridge is made by the printer manufacturer, remanufactured cartridge is a rebuilt cartridge that retain up to 65% of the original parts with it and compatible cartridge is a replicates that mainly made in China.

Types

OEM Brands

Remanufactured

Compatible

Pricing

$$$$$

$$$

$$

Printing Quality

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Unkown

Warranty

1-2 years

1-2 years

Max 180 Days

Genuine Parts

100%

65%

0%

One key factor that you need to look out when you want to try out the compatible or remanufactured inkjet cartridge or toner cartridges is the warranty and support. The longer warranty is better and what is the technical support provided if the cartridge is defective or not working? Will they send in the technical support or you have to bring the cartridge to their repair center?

If a supplier can give you more than 180 days or even life time warranty on the inkjet or toner cartridges, and their support is testified by others with legal entity in Singapore. Why not give a try since if this do not work, you can always fall back to the OEM. But if this alternative cartridges really works, try to calculate how much you could save from it, and why not leave a review for them online and let others know about it too?

Spending Calculation Table - Buying Inkjet Printer versus Buying Laser Printer

Lastly, you may try the interactive spending calculation table below to understand how much you are going to spend or save when you are choosing in between an inkjet printer versus a laser printer base on number of prints per day. Drag or edit the number of prints per day and examine the spending per month, quarter, year and 2 years. Have Fun!

 

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