In today’s market, you’ll find a variety of inkjet and laser printers available for all budgets, in a range of different styles and sizes. This can make choosing the right printer for your needs even harder. When it comes to printing photos, you do have options though. We’ve compared inkjet with laser to see which printer is best for printing your favorite snaps – whether you are a photographer or are just creating a gallery wall in your home.
The faithful inkjet has been a staple in every office for centuries. Models have been upgraded of course, but the same method of printing has stayed the same. Essentially, inkjet printers use four color ink cartridges and CMYK colors to reproduce each image using tiny dots. CMYK stands for cyan, magenta, yellow, and key, which is typically black. These colors blend together to create the correct shade using dots per inch (DPI). The sharper you want a photo the higher the DPI needs to be.
Here are the top pros and cons for an inkjet printer, when it comes to printing photos.
- Low start-up costs.
- Inkjet printers produce smoother images as they are designed to blend colors as they print.
- They can print images on most materials, from gloss paper to fabrics.
- They can produce vibrant images.
- Inkjet ink can be costly and it needs replacing more often than toner.
- Deep cleaning of cartridges and nozzles is required regularly to maintain efficiency.
- Inkjet ink is water-based, so your images may fade or be susceptible to water damage.
- Printing time is slow.
The laser printer is a whole other game. Its design is similar to a photocopier, it uses toner instead of ink and is the newer way to print. Laser printers produce images using, you guessed it, a laser. The laser beams the photograph onto a metal drum that creates a static charge. As the printer begins to work, the toner – which contains carbon particles – reacts with the static charge. It builds up heat that transfers the toner onto the paper creating the image. These printers work the same way no matter what model you choose, whether it’s an HP or an Epson.
Here are the top pros and cons for laser printers, when it comes to printing photos.
- They offer a faster printing speed.
- Laser toner is cheaper in the long run.
- Quality of darker tones is near perfect.
- Same quality time after time, so great if printing a lot of images, like for a brochure.
- Some models can take time to warm up before use.
- Cleaning toner leaks are needed to maintain efficiency.
- Unable to print on all materials as sensitive to heat.
- Image quality is not as vibrant as inkjet.
Both have similar qualities, whether you want to print smooth photographs or weighty colored brochures; both can print excellent images. Laser printers tend to print faster than inkjet but, if you weigh in the warm-up time most laser models need, the timings can be similar.
Inkjet can print on most materials, which is ideal if you plan to print on fabric and different types of card. Due to the chemical reaction that is needed to produce a laser printout, it’s probably best to avoid material that isn’t paper if you opt for a laser printer. You may find that certain models will get better image quality regardless of its jet.
So, it’s down to what you’re planning to print and what materials you want to use, but hopefully, the above breakdown will help make your decision clearer.
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