Inkjet Vs Laser Printers: Understanding the Difference

Inkjet and laser printers are the most popular type of printers. They are suitable for recreating images and characters, enabling effective operations. However, the printers are unique and ideal for specific printing needs. Understanding their differences will help you choose the perfect one.

Here are the critical differences between inkjet and laser printers 

1. Quality 

The first inkjet vs laser printer comparison is their quality. The two options have relatively good print quality regardless of the version. Inkjet printers are better suited for high-quality photo work due to their use of ink. You’ll achieve a broader color profile as the printers use more color cartridges. So if you’re printing high-quality photo pages, inkjet printers are your ideal choice. 

However, inkjets are sometimes prone to smudging, depending on their type of ink. Avoid dye-based ink as it causes smudges; instead, choose pigment-based ink as it dries quickly, preventing the issue of smudginess.

Laser printers are ideal for printing texts. The printers don’t have smudging issues, and the test will be crisper and transparent than inkjet. Also, you can print in a smaller font while maintaining clarity with laser printers.

2. Cost 

Cost is a significant consideration when choosing between inkjet and laser printers. The fee varies depending on the size, features, functionality, speed, etc. 

The cost of inkjet printers is lower compared to laser. However, printer ink is expensive, and the cost per printed page can be high. Including the price of ink in your budget when buying an inkjet printer is advisable. 

On the other hand, Laser printers are expensive to buy upfront. But their cartridge yield will be larger than ink, making them worthwhile. 

3. Speed 

Inkjet printers are slower than laser printers, especially if you print large document volumes. But recently, advancement in technology has improved the speed. Modern inkjet allows faster printing making them more competitive for small to medium-sized print jobs.

Laser printers are faster and more efficient to print volumes of documents. So if you’re in a busy office environment or areas where quick and efficient printing is needed, choose a laser printer. 

4. Maintenance and considerations 

An inkjet printer requires regular maintenance to guarantee consistent print quality. It is prone to printhead clogging, which causes streaks or missing lines in the prints. So you need to do manual cleaning, replace the printhead or apply the self-cleaning programmed routine in the printer.

Laser printers require fewer maintenance requirements compared to inkjet printers. It uses a dry, powdered toner, eliminating the risk of drying out or clogging. As such, it does not require regular, frequent cleaning or printhead maintenance or replacements. But with time, you’ll need to replace the drum unit of your laser printer.

5. Functionality 

Inkjet printers spray tiny ink droplets onto paper to recreate images and characters. It does this in a controlled way through a non-contact process between the printhead and external signal. A laser printer melts toner powder onto paper to recreate images and characters. 


Choosing a suitable printer between inkjet and laser can be a daunting task. Your choice will depend on what you’re printing, how much you’re printing and the amount you’re willing to pay. The above comparison will help you choose a perfect one to satisfy your printing needs.