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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Laser Printer or Inkjet?

   
Author Topic: Laser Printer or Inkjet?
Marlozhan
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We are contemplating getting another printer in the near future. I have always used inkjets, but am considering upgrading to a laser printer. I currently have an HP photosmart 7150 inkjet. Are laser printers always better quality than an inkjet? They certainly cost more, but one review I read said their $500 laser printer had worse quality than their $100 inkjet. Of course, that was only one review.

Any recommendations on a good printer? When I try to find reviews on printers online, most have only 0-3 reviews; hardly enough to get an accurate review.

And I'm looking in the $500 or less range.

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Goody Scrivener
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Regardless of what you get, you're ultimately going to spend more money on toner/ink than you do on the machine itself. Therefore, the first question you ask yourself should be: How much printing do you think you're going to do?, and of that, how much needs to be in color? While color lasers do exist, I think they're probably way out of your price range. So if color is a high priority, you're probably better off with inkjet.

Lasers have the advantage of not being water soluble - in other words, if your print job gets wet, the printing won't run. Inkjets will. Laser toner also doesn't dry out from disuse like an ink tank will (at least I've never had a laser dry out, and I've wasted countless ink tanks because of lack of use).

Many inkjets are now being sold as "all-in-ones" - printer, scanner, copy machine and fax in a single unit. If you don't already have a scanner, this might also weigh in your decision. I haven't yet seen a laser all-in-one (unless we count large office machines like our Savin copier), but I haven't looked, either.

My office recently got a new computer network and Dell threw in a handful of 1710 lasers at no additional charge. They normally retail for about $200, the cartridges (directly from Dell, so far I haven't been able to find a third-party vendor) run from 70 for the lower capacity recycled cartridge to about 110 for the high capacity "virgin" tank. Low capacity is approximately 3000 pages, high is 6000. Print speed is approximately 25 ppm. I don't see any difference in quality between the 1710 and the (now discontinued) 17 ppm HP 4050 that I have on my desk or the 55 ppm Savin copier/printer that's been networked to the entire office.

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MightyCow
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The main considerations are: what will you be printing, how fast do you want to print it, and how many pages?

I bought a laser printer so that my manuscript printing would be more efficient. Sometimes I would like to print something in color, and when my roommate prints iron ons for his t-shirts, I get a little jealous, but it works really well for what I need. I've printed a couple hundred pages and haven't needed to change toner, plus it's relatively fast.

I have the HP Laserjet 1012, if you're interested. It's been a workhorse so far. No issues, and pretty inexpensive. I haven't used an inkjet for a couple of years, so I can't help you there.

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fugu13
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You can get a good laserjet for around $200. It will cost you hundreds of dollars less than an inkjet of any quality in the long run.

Even if you need color, unless you need regular color printing, buy both an inkjet and a laserjet (or just take your color work to a copy shop). You'll still save money over printing everything on an inkjet.

http://www.smallbusinesscomputing.com/testdrive/article.php/3521141

http://www.koreproducts.com/cost_laser_vs_inkjet.html

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Dagonee
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Ditto on the HP LJ 1012.
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Irregardless
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I agree with having both an inkjet and a laser.

For the inkjet, I like having individual color ink tanks (instead of cyan/yellow/magenta all packed into one); Canon has some like these, I currently have a Canon i560 which I'm happy with, though they don't make them anymore.

My laserjet is a Xerox XL2120 copier/printer which produces very good, sharp quality text. I don't use it all that much, but I bought it probably 5 years ago for ~$200, and I'm still chugging away on the original toner cartridge. My only complaints are 1.)sometimes it's not 'warmed up' all the way and I have to re-print the first page due to the toner flaking off, and 2.) occasional paper jams, but usually it's only if I'm using nonstandard paper (i.e., heavyweight stuff).

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lem
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I did some research on printers recently. I was helping a family member buy a printer. She ended up getting some sort of HP Laser jet (I forgot the model) that uses an A12 cartridge. The toner can print 3000 pages before it needs replaced, and a local person refills it for $49 dollars. It is faster and the toner is definitely cheaper, over time, then ink.

The printer was on sale for $129 at Staples.

I was reading my wife's Ensign and they had an article on family history. The article said to use an ink jet printer with special paper for genealogy documents because ink lasts the longest. Toner tends to fade quicker since it is just burned on superficially instead of stained in the paper--but I doubt that is an issue for office documents, papers, et cetera.

EDIT: She has been very happy with it. I think it looks crisp and good, but I can't discern quality differences between $120 printers and $5,000 printers. I thought the money difference was just on printer options like speed, imprinting, faxing, collating, et cetera.

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mackillian
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What will you be printing out the most?
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Bob_Scopatz
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If this is for home use, you might also consider whether or not your home power is able to handle the power draw of a laser printer. Things have probably changed somewhat since the last time I had a laser printer, but the one I had was a major power hog -- to the point where the uninteruptible power supply would send an alarm and the lights in the house woul dim whenever the thing cycled.

I doubt a new one would draw THAT much power, but it was sure annoying to deal with.

You should be able to get the specs online and see if the printer draws a lot of amps.

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Marlozhan
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After doing more research and reading here, I think we may just upgrade to a new inkjet. I am getting frustrated with HP because everyone printer I've had from them has issues either loading paper correctly, getting frequent paper jams, grabbing multiple sheets of paper at once, or being misaligned. I think I am liking the sound of the Canon Pixma iP5200. It is about the same quality as the equivalent HP, but the reviews don't complain about paper-loading issues, like they do about the HP. And it's rated at a lower cost to print per page. And I can get it at some online stores for $116.

My wife and I do a lot of printing of photos and graphics, and a laser printer does not sound the way to go. I like speed, but it is secondary to photo quality for me. I guess I just always assumed that laser printers would have better quality overall. Guess I was wrong [Smile]

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fugu13
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Bob: low-end lasers haven't had that problem for a good while, now.

Yes, if you print a lot of photos and want high quality you'll need an inkjet, unless you're prepared to spend a good deal more on the printer. A laser printer handling low color number graphics well would be within your price range, but only just.

You can get laser printers with better quality on color, but you have to pay a good bit for it.

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Bob_Scopatz
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Thanks fugu. Now that I think of it, mine was probably 15 years old by the time I finally got fed up with it. I think it was probably 10 years old when I was given it by my old company.
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Primal Curve
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If you're printing pictures, you can always look into dye-sublimation printers. They're coming down in price.
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Sean Monahan
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*facepalm* Really?

This thread ended before iPhones existed.

edit: For those confused, this post was in response to a spam necro which has now been deleted.

[ April 16, 2018, 04:25 PM: Message edited by: Sean Monahan ]

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