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Inkjet vs Laser Printers: Which is Right for Your Business?

Jan 9, 2019 12:45:00 PM

Determining which printer or copier is right for you and your business takes time and research.  What’s the difference between a ink or toner based printer? How does this differ from a laser printer? And let’s not forget copiers. How do they work?

With so many questions and options to choose from, choosing the right devices for your company can seem overwhelming.

One of the biggest decisions is picking between inkjet or laser printers and copiers. Let’s look at the differences between each to help you choose the best system for you.


The Difference Between Inkjet and Laser Printers

Why Page Yield & Cost Per Page Matter

Before jumping into the advantages and disadvantages of each type of printer and copier, there are two terms which will help you make your decision—cost per page and page yield.

Page yield is the number of pages a cartridge can produce before needing to be changed. Cost per page is the money value spent to print each page.

Your cost per page value changes depending on what you are spending per cartridge and how many pages a cartridge produces. For example, if ink costs $40.99 and yields 240 pages, its cost per page will be 17 cents.

Calculate your own cost per page by using the formula: price of cartridge/page yield=cost per page


Inkjet printers are what most people have the most experience with, as they are often used for personal use at home. The inkjet process is pretty simple. Inkjet printers distribute tiny droplets of ink through nozzles in the machine onto the paper.

Printer ink comes in two different types: dye-based and pigment-based. Dye-based is the most common variety, as it is more economical than pigment and produces vibrant colors. Although, it is prone to smudging. In contrast, pigment-based ink dries quicker and produces a crisper image. But these added benefits come a higher price tag.

Man replacing toner cartridge


Laser printers and copiers use toner instead of ink. Toner cartridges hold powder, which is electrified on the drum in the machine and lasered onto the paper.

The drum is just as important as the toner. It holds and electrifies the pattern that is printed. Only the toner powder that touches the electrified area is lasered into the paper, making it essential to the machine. This process produces very precise prints.

Which One is Right for Me?

Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, which are important to consider.

Inkjet printers have some clear benefits:

  • The initial cost of the printer is low
  • The machine and cartridges are small
  • The ink produces vibrant colors and is less prone to smudging

These benefits may be outweighed by the drawbacks. Although the initial cost is cheap, ink cartridges do not yield as many prints, and if you aren’t printing in low volumes, the price of ink cartridges creates high cost per page value.

In contrast, laser printers and copier have a different set of benefits:

  • High page yield
  • Toner is cheap
  • Fast and precise printing, especially text-heavy documents

Unlike inkjet printers, laser printers and copiers have a higher upfront cost, but balance out the expense with cheaper toner and higher yield making the cost per page much lower.

Businesses in print heavy industries, such as schools and law firms, should consider a laser printer or copier. But, laser printers do not come without their own set of fallbacks. They come with maintenance needs, like replacing the drum and emptying the waste. These jobs can get quite messy without proper procedures, which is why you should consider partnering with a managed print service.

Access Systems tag on a copier

Have You Considered a Managed Print Service?

Between the hassle of replacing cartridges, shopping around for the best ink and toner prices and troubleshooting maintenance, you’ve got your work cut out for you.

Lucky for your business, you don’t have to do it all alone.

As a managed print service (MPS) provider, Access Systems consults you on your printer and copier fleet. With insight to your business processes, our Account Executives can lay out a plan for how many printers and copiers you need and whether they should be ink or toner-based.

Learn more about our Fleet Management Program and give us a call at 888-464-8770 to save time and money, today.

Printer Services


Topics: printers, copiers, Fleet Management Program, Managed Print Services

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