Color Laser Printer vs Monochrome

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Updated February 6, 2023

When looking into the best printers for your needs, you’ll likely run into a slew of options. The type of printer you choose will determine the success of your future projects. So, it’s essential to choose correctly. Researching a color laser printer vs. a monochrome printer will help you be prepared for the investment you’re about to make. Obviously, the biggest difference between these two types of printers is that one prints color while the other is only black and white. Additionally, there will be differences in the upfront and printing costs to use each type of printer.


  • The first point of comparison is the initial cost. A monochrome printer will cost less than its color-enabled counterpart. For this reason, this round goes to monochrome.
  • Next up, we continue with the real cost of operation or general printing costs. In this category, you’ll find that a monochrome printer costs less to operate over time.
  • Finally, we looked at their ability to handle color print jobs. There is one clear victor here, which is the color laser printer. Monochrome models are unable to produce color at all.

Comparing Color Laser and Monochrome Printers

While most people have a color printer, there is a time and place for those that don’t do color printing. In fact, some people do prefer to invest in a monochrome printer for a few different reasons. For more information, you can always ask, “What is a monochrome laser printer?” If you want further research, try looking into a white toner printer.

Insider Tip

Monochrome printers tend to have lower operating costs than color printers.

Initial Cost

When it comes to the upfront cost, you’ll always want to go with a monochrome printer. They tend to be far cheaper and have fewer operating costs overall. This means that the monochrome option beats out the color version this time. Another great comparison for your research is between a digital printer vs. a laser printer. You can also look into the comparison between a solid ink vs. a laser printer.

Printing Costs

Cost of ownership is a huge part of having a printer, and there’s more than just the upfront cost of the equipment to worry about. Since a color printer requires so much more ink, it will always be the more expensive option. For this reason, monochrome printers come out on top. If the costs don’t scare you away, try looking into the best color laser printer for home use.


Laser printer cartridges tend to be more expensive, so prepare for this expense if you go this route.

Color Print Jobs

Naturally, there is one clear winner in this round. If you need to create colored documents, you have no choice but to invest in a color device. These printers can handle the color print jobs you have planned. A monochrome printer cannot produce colored documents. If you’re looking for a new, quick printer, try looking into the best 11×17 printers.

STAT: In 2021, some 60 percent of respondents in the United Kingdom stated that their household owns a printer or copier. (source)

Color Laser Printer vs Monochrome FAQs

What are inkjet printers?

Inkjet printers form visuals by using tiny streams of ink sent out from their inkjet cartridges. Inkjet printer technology has become wildly popular and is widely used.

Can I print from my mobile devices?

Some printers allow you to send print jobs right from your mobile devices. This could include your phone or your tablet. Ensure your printer is enabled before investing if it’s an important feature.

How often should I replace ink cartridges?

That depends on the ink cartridges and how often you print things. For example, a busy office setting will need changing more frequently than a home. Your printer will tell you when your ink is running low.

Is it worth investing in cheap printers?

If you’re willing to sacrifice faster print speeds, sure. Keep in mind that you can choose an affordable option while still ensuring you aren’t going for the bottom of the barrel.
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