A Printer is a Printer, Surely?
There are many types of printer on the market today. Some are relatively cheap and suitable for every-day home use and some are incredibly expensive, particularly the LaserJet printers used in business applications. But how do you know which type of printer is right for you? How do you decide to choose, not just between the manufacturers, but between the various types? Why would you choose an inkjet over a LaserJet? They’re cheaper and therefore not so good, right?
Actually, that is not necessarily the case. Certainly an inkjet is cheaper and they can be messier. You will also need to change the cartridges far more often but the initial outlay on those is cheaper too; they are commercially available in most retail stores and through online sales. Buying in bulk or from cheaper suppliers will often help you save money too. But the real decision to make is between what types of printing you intend to do and whether you will be printing in sufficient volume.
Why Choose an Inkjet?
Because inkjet printers are relatively cheap and small, they are best suited for home use and it is no surprise that the overwhelming majority of households will use them. They are fed by cartridges full of liquid ink. The cartridges come in four colours: black, cyan (light blue), magenta (red-pink) and yellow. If you are not printing very often, it is possible that the ink in your cartridges will dry out leading to replacement. Due to the liquid nature of the printing substance, the nozzles are prone to clogging and need cleaning far more often to remove the dried ink. Ideally you should be using your cartridges within six months to a year of installation.
If you intend to produce a lot of high quality photographs then you should probably choose an inkjet printer. However, you should be looking toward the mid-high range of the price of printers on the market because cheaper printers produce low-quality photographs. You will need to be particularly careful in choosing the right printer for you and looking specifically for those that promote their photographic qualities. The other option for more general home use is the all in one printer, scanner and photocopier.
Why Choose a LaserJet?
If it is very high volume printing that you require then you should probably give serious consideration to choosing a LaserJet. These are usually larger, bulkier machines. They do not use the small liquid ink-filled cartridges but large and cumbersome cartridges full of a fine powder. Again, they come in the four colours stated above. They need replacing far less often and do not dry out though sometimes you will need to remove them from the printer to give them a gentle shake to loosen up the powder. Though the initial outlay in purchasing a cartridge is much more expensive, in the long run they are cheaper to purchase because they are longer lasting, the printer has less need to clean itself as often and there is no real time limit on use because powder will not dry up or evaporate.
They are not designed for printing photographs in any great detail though simple images, charts and diagrams and small pictures that do not need a great deal of detail are generally fine – there is no problem producing your university essay or management report but if you are blowing up an image of the beautiful sunset you took last night and want to frame it on your wall, you are not going to get the desired outcome.
Though they are seen more for businesses, households are increasingly seeing the benefits of using a LaserJet printer for their long-term cost saving.
Jann Webb used to work in an office with a high volume of printing. Her office got through one or two Toner Cartridges every month and she was usually the one called upon to replace them!