Laser printer vs inkjet reviews
Which Printer to buy?
Review by Ausmedia.com.au - August 2011
Thinking "which printer should I buy"?
Laser printers are favored by business for 2 reasons, speed and lower running costs.
This is still the case in late 2011 however the gap has closed and in some cases ink jet printers may actually be the smarter choice.
The mistake many make is buying a cheap printer then having sticker shock when it comes to replacing the ink or toner which often costs more than the printer.
How can this be so, a printer costs less than the ink? Why not just keep buying printers (as some do not knowing all the facts).
There are several reasons, firstly printers use ink and toner to prime the engine which means put simply fill up the pathways and internal reservoirs from the consumables to the print engine and in the case of ink jet prime/flush the print heads.
What this means is a new printer won’t print as many pages as you’d expect if you do the math on the cartridges. So your second set lasts much longer.
Another trap is most “cheap” printers come with “starter” toners or ink.
This means they have enough capacity to prime the printer and do some printing. When you're tossing between printer models in the which printer to buy for the money consider running costs and the amount of consumables that come in the box.
As printer companies only make money on the consumables they are not going to give you a $200 printer with $450 worth of toner in it else everyone would simply buy printers and never consumables.
This is the trap I mentioned before people doing just that but not having worked out the cost per page. As a general rule the cheaper the printer is to buy the dearer it is to run.
Cost per page is the main consideration in your choice to know which printer to buy.
"..My Lexmark Z65 printer (about 4 yrs. old) goes thru black ink too fast. I get about 20 pages out of a black ink cartridge. Should I just toss this thing and get something reliable?.."
"..At $22 per quarter-ounce, a Hewlett-Packard color ink-jet cartridge is more expensive, by weight, than imported Russian caviar.."
CPP or TCO* is what it comes down to in business, especially if you do a lot of printing.
*Cost per page/print - Total Cost of Ownership.
Your business can save thousands per year with the right printer.
Cost price of the actual printer should not be the biggest factor, running cost per page over the life of the printer and that it can print to your requirements should be the main considerations.
"..It’s called a “cash cow”. They sell you a junk printer one year, you buy a two-pack of ink, but before you can use all the ink, the printer breaks (of course it can’t be fixed), so then you buy another printer which then doesn't take the same ink cartridge, so you go buy some more ink. See where this is going? As long as we continue our love affair with paper, this lovely cash cow will not go away.."
Maintenance, hidden charges.
Some companies won’t leave you much change from $1000 for a service call on a mid end business printer so it’s wise to get a 3 year on-site warranty where possible. Naturally this depends on how much you rely on the printer; another idea would be to have a spare printer.
You need to research the total cost per page.
Include all consumables and maintenance charges when working out TCO or Total Cost of Ownership..
The only way to get to the truth is to do some testing as we do.
With a laser printer toner is often not the only consumable. You may need to buy imaging drum(s), maintenance kits etc.
All the items you need to keep the prints coming should be factored into the cost per page.
"..I've been using an HP Officepro K550 which apart from continual pickup problems, is a v good printer but don't buy one! Although the printer is fast and duplex is great with no duplex feed problems in 50,000 pages(!) the pickup rollers are far too small and offset so I get continual paper feed problems. Even use HP 90g paper. HP reckon firmware update, which I did to no effect, so I am abandoning HP for the new Epson Business printers which look like everything I want. - Fast duplex inkjet...
Seems HP are too busy creating new models and not concentrating on one that works well.." - Forum
Inkjets fight back.
In particular Epson are addressing the cost per page issue.
A laser printer can’t compete with this photo quality. Not every business needs true photo quality but they may need great “presentation quality” (which would look like a photograph behind glass) and they want it fast, at the lowest cost.
Epson are fighting back with their new “business printer” (they don’t like you calling it an inkjet because of all the bad press such as you see in quotations in this review) the B510DN -DN normally means Duplex=both Side printing and Network- is one example of lasers being given a run for their money. Epson have other "business" models but for the sake of a few dollars you may as well get the top of the line as not all can take the high capacity cartridges which you need to keep the cost per page down.
The Epson B510DN has a lower cost per page than most laser printers (around 4c per colour page), it's very fast, it can handle 30-50 envelopes at a time (depending on thickness).
Unlike laser printers there is no heating of the paper so the envelopes come out as they went in, flat.
With the B510DN printer there are no hidden consumables to worry about and it comes with:
- B510 High-Capacity Ink Cartridges optimize operational efficiency allowing you to print high volumes without having to change cartridges as often.
- B510 High Capacity Cartridge Yield – up to 4,000 pages (Black)
- B510 High Capacity Cartridge Yield – up to 7,000 pages (Color composite yield)
- Also available are Extra High Capacity Cartridge Yield – up to 8,000 pages (Black) In summary there is no “one fits all” printer so you choice should be guided by what it is you have to print, how many and it what time. You may end up with a solid ink printer, inkjet or laser but what you don’t want is a money pit that makes the printer manufactures any richer than they have to be.
(Check latest specifications)
Companies like OKI are so sure their laser printers are the best choice for business users they offer a free no olbigation trial.
Many say the future for business users is PPC or Pay Per Click-Print - Managed Print Services whereby a business that prints say 2,000 pages or more per month can get a contract to pay a fixed amount per page that includes all charges. You know exactly what you'll be paying, no call out charges, no toner etc.
We say why buy the wrong printer when we're happy to give you the correct information so you can make an informed purchase.
Need help choosing which printer to buy? Please contact us (Australia Only)
Looking for a specific product?
If you know the name of your desired product, you can quickly search for it using the box below:
- Tip: Re-order products (without needing to find them again) via Your Account > Orders.