The printer is probably something we use or benefit from every single day, and yet very few of us can actually articulate what the differences are in the types of printers available on the market. Laser printers are one of the more common varieties found in homes and offices, so let’s understand what you can expect from your laser printer and how your images come to be so vividly printed on a blank sheet of paper.
What Is Laser Printing?
Laser printing is the process of electrostatic digital printing which creates a very high-quality output of graphics and text through laser beams. These laser beams are repetitively projected within the printer to collect certain ink to be transferred from the image to the page. This process is happening at a high heat so that the image or text is bound to the page. While it sounds very advanced, it is the natural progression of more analogue forms of printing wherein the photocopier would create an image on a page through light reflection.
So, who do we have to thank for our quick laser printers? Xerox actually invented the first laser printer in the 70s and before long it was rolled out across every other popular printing brand and continues to be fine-tuned to this day.
Benefits of Laser Printing
Now that we know what happens every time you hit print, let’s discuss the key advantages of printing with lasers over other printing formats. One of the biggest benefits is the speed with which you can print, as laser printing is not doing a line-by-line inkjet dot matrix but rather the fast lasers are heating and transferring the ink quickly. Another key advantage is that laser printing can be incredibly quiet, making it an attractive option for offices that need to remain quiet due to a number of reasons. The last benefit is the cost per print, which is a lot lower than other printing units that use the ink dot matrix.
Limitations of Laser Printing
Laser printing is not always going to be the best option for every individual, so let’s understand what the limitations are of laser printing. When you are shopping online for a new printer and comparing inkjet and laser, the laser printers are going to be more expensive. If you are looking for a color laser printer then that cost will climb again, and the same goes for the maintenance and repairs that will happen over the life of the printing unit. Another consideration is that the toner is more expensive than inkjet, and once again that is because of the mechanisms that are happening inside of the printer and how they interact with the ink. You can also assume that laser printers will be bulkier than your typical inkjet, so if the size is a concern be sure to look at the specifications of each unit before you order sight unseen.
Questions To Ask Before Buying a Laser Printer
Taking into account the respective benefits and limitations of laser printing, they will make a fine addition to just about any office provided you are aware of what you need and understand what your laser printer is capable of. If you still have some questions around what can be achieved on a laser printer, here are some questions you can ask of your printer provider:
- How many pages will this laser printer print in one minute?
- What quality will this laser printer print photography (low, medium, or high quality)?
- Is this a printer for text or creativity?
- How can I get the best output from my laser printer?
- How many years can I expect to get from this laser printer?
Next time you use a printer, find out what type of printer it is (laser or inkjet) and assess the quality of the work. There is an enormous variance in price when it comes to printers, so you might even consider renting a model initially until you decide that you like it and what to buy your own.