Laser Printer vs Inkjet Cost per Page
Laser printer or Inkjet printer? A common question arising in every buyer’s mind when they look forward to purchasing a printer.
Therefore, one of the most important factors which each buyer looks into before buying any printer is the cost per page because obviously, no one wants to purchase a cheap printer whose printing cost turns out to be more than the cost of the printer.
Hence, here you’ll find your answer to ‘which is cheaper per page; Inkjet or Laser?’ But first, let’s look into the details of both the printers to find out which one costs more.
Inkjet Printers Mechanism
The mechanism of inkjet printers involves spraying droplets of ink on the paper as shown in the diagram below.
Laser Printers Mechanism
The mechanism of laser printers involves melting of toner powder by the drum unit with the heat on the paper as shown in the diagram below.
Which things should be considered to conclude the cost per page for each printer?
Certain things must be kept in mind to evaluate the cost per page of a printer. It includes requirements by each printer to make sure it’s working efficiently, the printing quality which also depends on your needs and demands, the printing volume or yield of pages per cartridge or toner, and last but not the least is the initial purchasing cost of each printer.
All these factors combine to calculate the cost per page of both the printers. Therefore, it will help you analyze Laser printer vs. Inkjet printer cost per page.
Requirements of Inkjet Printer
Inkjet printers use liquid inks that are either dye-based or pigment-based. Dye-based inks can be smudged easily, whereas, pigment-based inks are unlikely to get smudged.
Replacement Ink Cartridges
Ink cartridges used by Inkjet printers usually come in four colors; Black, Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow.
An Ink cartridge of Inkjet printer has up to 36 months (2-years) of shelf life. However, if it is placed in the printer and not used much, it will dry up eventually and would need to be replaced.
Therefore, Inkjet printers are not recommended for occasional printing.
Requirements of Laser Printer
Laser Printers consist of a drum unit, waste toner box, and toner cartridges.
Replacement Toner Cartridges
Toner Cartridges used by laser printers usually come in four colors; Black, Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow.
A toner cartridge of laser printer has up to 36 months (2-years) of life and that too doesn’t dry up when not used for even a longer period of time.
Therefore, toner cartridges do have an expiry and you must not use it after it is expired even if it is still usable as it might destroy your printer.
Replacement of Drum Unit
Replacement of Drum Unit is very less frequent (approx. after 3 to 4 toner cartridges replacement).
Therefore, some laser printers have toner cartridges and drum unit integrated like in HP printers. Whereas, some laser printers have separate toner cartridges and drum unit like in Brother Printers.
Replacement of Waste Toner Box
The waste toner box collects the excess toner during printing which can then be emptied later on.
Therefore, the waste toner box needs to be replaced after around 20,000 pages or when the printer warns you that the waste toner box is almost full.
Printing quality plays a major role in defining the experience of a user with a printer. Monochrome laser printers are best for B&W prints like documents consisting of majority of the text.
Colored Laser printers are best to consider if you’re not much focused on picture quality printed and a medium-quality photo print is enough to fulfill your requirements.
Therefore, Inkjet printers are best to consider if you need high-quality photo and sticker prints. Although Inkjet printers work slower than laser printers but they produce sharp and vibrant colored images.
Although Ink and toner cartridges may appear to be of the same price and life but the printing volume of a laser printer is much higher than that of Inkjet printer.
Standard toner cartridges can print an average of 2,500 – 4,000 pages. Whereas, a standard ink cartridge can print an average of 200 pages.
The purchasing cost of Laser printer seems higher than Inkjet printer but a laser printer lasts for up to 5 years and has low running cost. While on the other hand, Inkjet printer lasts for up to 3 years and has high running cost.
How to calculate cost per page?
To calculate cost per page, you can use the given formula:
Cost per page = Cartridge Price / Cartridge page yield
Dividing the price of cartridge with the expected page yield from that cartridge could help you find out the cost per page.
Ink Cartridges and toner cartridges; both are expensive. However, toner cartridges produce page yield much higher than that produced from Ink cartridges.
Thus, that is why cost per page of Laser printer is less than the cost per page of Inkjet printer.
Summary of Comparison between Laser and Inkjet printers
Both Laser Printer and Inkjet Printer are preferred due to their unique benefits. Laser Printers have high initial cost while Inkjet printers have low initial cost but toner of laser printers last much longer than ink of Inkjets.
Thus, the answer to ‘which is cheaper per page Inkjet or laser?’ would be Laser. However, you must also keep in mind that for high-quality colored photo prints, Inkjets are best, whereas, for medium quality and B&W prints, Laser printers are best and you also connect it with zwift tablets.
Therefore, along with considering the cost per page, you must also consider your purpose of purchasing the printer in order to make a wise decision.