It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the large number of
printer models that are available. In this article, we look at the two
main types of printers (inkjet and laser) and what to consider when
making your purchasing decision. We also look at outsource printing
Inkjet (or bubble-jet) printers squirt tiny dots
of quick-drying ink onto your paper, one line at a time. All 300-600
jets can fire simultaneously and each dot is tinier than the width of a
human hair. Inkjet printers are usually less expensive than laser
printers, due to less expensive, fewer mechanical parts. If you are
printing graphics, it will use considerably more ink per page than
printing text, and ink is more expensive than toner in a laser printer.
Also, printed characters generally do not appear as crisp and sharp as
those produced from a laser printer, so consider what level of quality
you require for your finished documents.
Laser printers take advantage of a drum coated
with a static electricity charge. A laser “writes” to the drum by
changing the static charge where it touches leaving an electrically
charged impression of your document on the drum. As the drum turns,
toner sticks to the electrically charged parts of the drum. Then, your
paper is fed into the printer and charged with a different electrical
charge than the drum, so that when it passes by the drum the toner jumps
to the paper, transferring your image. It’s like writing with glue then
sprinkling sand on top. Finally, the paper passes through heated rollers
which fuse the powder to your page, leaving you with a dry, warm and
smudge-free document. And whilst laser printers may have a more
expensive initial purchase price, their long-term ‘cost per page’ is
Ink Tanks / Toner Cartridges
Laser printers usually have black, yellow, cyan
and magenta toner powder cartridges. Inkjet printers can vary between 2
ink tanks (1 x black and 1 x combined yellow, cyan & magenta) and 8
separate tanks (matte black, photo black, cyan, magenta, yellow, light
grey, light cyan & light magenta). With a combined ink tank, if you run
out of yellow, you need to replace the whole tank regardless of how much
magenta or cyan you have left. With separate tanks, you would just
replace the yellow one.
As paper passes a laser’s drum at speed, the average
laser printer can deliver around 26 printed pages per minute. Inkjets
must work one line at a time (around 4 pages per minute), so large
volumes of documents will take much longer to print on an inkjet. This
might not be a problem if you are printing a few letters at home, but if
you are running a busy office then printer speed may be a consideration.
Some laser printers come with optional extras, like
duplex units (for double-sided printing) and additional paper trays
(e.g. for your company letterhead paper or envelopes). A duplex feature
can literally reduce your ongoing paper costs by up to half.
Multi-function units can offer features like
printing, scanning, copying & faxing all from the one device. This can
save you a lot of space. However, consider that if a function like the
scanner breaks and needs to be repaired, you may also be without your
printer, copier and fax while the unit is with the repairer.
and the Printing Press
Perhaps surprisingly, often the highest quality,
easiest, and fastest way to print is also the least expensive:
outsourced press printing. If you need to print many brochures,
postcards, price sheets, or business cards, it is both costly and
difficult to do so on home or office printing equipment. In an attempt
to save money, the usual result is broken equipment and lots of
frustration. Typically, if you need to print more than 500 brochures or
250 postcards, it will be cheaper and often faster to send the job out.
Further, the quality of the resulting product will be much higher.
Computer Problem Solvers has forged
relationships with the best wholesale print houses to provide you with
top quality, fast printing services for any of your printing needs.
Further, our staff can take care of all your
graphic design and layout needs, eliminating the confusion of
Contact us about
how we can put these
and other tips into action for you.