Inkjet vs. Laser Printer : Brother Philippines Explains The Difference

I just want to share with you this very informative article that our friends from Brother Philippines emailed me the other day. While some are starting to question the value of printers in this digital age, I happen to believe that every home and every office still needs such device because - whether we like it or not - we live in a physical world and in many cases, nothing beats a 'hard copy'. Hopefully, you'd find this information relevant in choosing the right printer for your needs.

Having your own multi-function printer with copying and faxing capabilities, also known as a multi-function center (MFC), will save you trips to the nearest imaging center. But you must consider relevant factors before you make that purchase. One major thing to take into account is choosing the right kind of machine that will fit your needs.

There are basically two major types of printers or MFCs: the lasers and the inkjets. These two kinds of MFCs use different types of technology: the microscopic ink droplets for inkjets and the fine powder in a toner cartridge for lasers.

Each technology has its own set of advantages when it comes to meeting your different printing needs. Your choice should be made based on your planned usage of the product. To help guide you in your purchase decision, here are some facts you need to know about inkjets and lasers.

Laser Printers Are Ideal for Document Printing

Brother, a leading manufacturer of both laser and inkjet printers, recommends lasers for document printing.

Deputy General Manager for Sales and Marketing Masao Kasagi said, "An entry-level monochrome laser lets you print pages faster, and the powder in laser consumables which has a longer shelf life, allows you to print more."

Brother Printer, Laser Printer
Laser printers like Brother HL 210W are preferred for document printing, which has small texts that are heavy when printed.

Although inkjets’ print speed is at par with some laser models already, printing up to a maximum of 22 pages per minute, laser printers are generally preferred over inkjets especially when it comes to document printing, especially for small texts that tend to appear heavy when printed.

You can also find entry-level monochrome laser printers more affordable than inkjets. For example, Brother’s laser HL-1210W, which has print speeds of up to 20 ppm in A4 paper and 21 ppm in letter-size paper, fetches a price of Php 3,990, while the lowest-priced colored Brother Inkjet Printer, the DCP-J100, which also has copy and scan functions, costs more at Php 4,950.

The other factor to consider in choosing a printer is the cost of buying the consumables – the ink for inkjets, and the toner and ink for lasers.

The unit cost of the consumables is computed by dividing the total cost of ink and toner with the number of pages they can produce, or what is known as the cost per page.

Printing in black-and-white using monochrome laser printers is more cost effective than using inkjets, based on cost-per-page computations, especially for document printing.

Inkjet Printers Are Great For Color Printing

While printing in black-and-white is more economical with lasers for documents, printing in color, especially documents that are printed occasionally such as photos or presentation charts, seems to be more affordable in terms of machine acquisition and consumables with inkjet printers.

Brother Printer, Inkjet Printer
Printing colored documents such as photos or presentation charts, seems more affordable in terms of machine acquisition and consumables with inkjet printers like Brother’s DCP J100.

Most colored laser printers come in more premium models. For example, while colored Brother inkjets Multi-Function Centers – the DCP-J100 (Php 4,950) and the DCP-J105 (Php 5,950), which can scan, copy and print wirelessly, – are relatively more affordable, the HL-3170CDN entry level Brother single function colored laser printer, which prints up to 23 pages per minute, costs Php 15,990.

Aside from having more affordable models and consumables for color printing, colored inkjet printers can reproduce even the subtlest color gradation in images.

“This is why,” Kasagi said, “User requirement must be considered. Inkjets are more advisable if you will use it mainly for colored documents, such as photos, that use glossy paper.”

Most colored inkjets also come in more compact models, which can easily fit into small spaces such as your computer table.

Choose Wisely

So, next time you buy printers or multi-function centers, ask yourself whether your home or small office needs a printer more for printing your colorful pictures, charts and illustrations for office presentations, or for printing voluminous black-and-white documents. Your choice will really depend on your needs.