Inkjet vs Dot Matrix

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Updated February 6, 2023

When you’re searching for the best printers, you come across a whole lot of options. Figuring out which mode works best for you will involve comparing and contrasting these different models. That’s why today we’re going to compare inkjet vs. dot matrix technology. Printing technology has come a long way. There is no better way to see this than to look into these styles. An inkjet printer uses an electrical signal to squirt ink onto a page. On the other hand, dot matrix printers use a pin that presses through an inked ribbon. Keep reading to find out more about them.


  • If you’re looking into printers, quality printing will matter. When it comes down to printing quality, you’ll find that inkjet printing is the way to go.
  • Next, we looked at them in terms of upfront cost. You’ll find that dot matrix devices cost a few hundred at entry level, while inkjet models can cost as little as $100.
  • Finally, we looked into printing speed. Between the two, you’ll find that there isn’t much difference in images. However, inkjet is faster for walls of text.

Print Quality

The inkjet printer can produce higher-resolution images and is a better choice for making a quality print. Dot matrix printers produce satisfactory work but can’t quite compare with their inkjet counterparts. Another great comparison can be made between an inkjet vs. a dye sublimation.

Insider Tip

Inkjet printers are great for producing large walls of text.

Upfront Cost

When it comes to upfront costs, you will want to stick with an inkjet printer. They are significantly cheaper than those using dot matrix technology. You could be looking at as little as $100, whereas dot matrix printers will sell for a few hundred. For this reason, inkjet technology comes out ahead in this category. If you’re looking for a new model, try looking into an IPM printer.


If you have a smaller budget, a dot matrix printer may be prohibitively expensive and is an older technology.

Printing Speed

This category depends on whether you’re talking about images or text. When it comes to images, the two are generally pretty similar. However, when it comes to walls of text, you’ll find that the inkjet printer pulls ahead because of how its technology works. Those searching for more comparisons should look into the Canon Pixma TR4520 vs. the TR8520.

STAT: Wholesale sales of 3D printers in the United States are forecast to amount to 214 million U.S. dollars in 2017. (source)

For more information, you might want to ask, “What is a thermal inkjet printer?”

Inkjet vs. Dot Matrix FAQs

How do I know when to change ink cartridges?

Generally speaking, your printer will tell you when it’s time to replace the inkjet cartridges. You’ll also notice that your print jobs become fuzzy and spotty.

What is a laser printer?

A laser printer uses laser technology to beam imagery or text onto a page. These offer a faster print speed than competitors and are a popular choice for offices and businesses.

Are thermal printers worth investing in?

Whether thermal printing suits you or not depends on your individual needs. Thermal printers tend to be cheaper in the long term, and they also tend to be highly durable.

What type of printer is best for a small home office?

There are all sorts of different types of printers. You’ll likely want to invest in laser printing for a small home office. Laser technology provides some great features that a small business needs.
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