Laser Printer vs Inkjet – Which is the Best?

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Updated February 4, 2023

It can be hard when shopping for the best inkjet printer or laser printer. That’s because there are some significant differences between the two. You’ll even see differences in the printer output with laser printing vs inkjet printing. The key difference between laser printers and inkjet printers is the technology used in each device. Laser printers use a toner cartridge containing a fine powder and heat transfer that powder onto paper, while inkjet printers use liquid droplets of ink to create an image. Laser printers are generally faster than inkjets because their paper-to-print process is quicker. They also typically produce better quality prints, especially on plain paper, because the toner powder is fused directly to the page. Inkjet printers are more affordable than laser printers and can print photos with much greater color saturation and detail. In addition, inkjet cartridges usually come in a wider range of colors, making them a better choice for printing colorful images. However, the ink can smear easily if it gets wet, and the cartridges need to be replaced more often than laser toner.

Key Laser Printer vs Inkjet Models

Your choice will depend on how you print and your budget. You may also consider that the best Printer Chromebook or any other computer, may have more to do with your printing habits than your device. Color laser printers, for example, might be just fine.

Depending on your printing needs, you may be looking into a new laser printer vs. an inkjet printer. There are pros and cons to both, and many variations, from an all-in-one printer to Apple AirPrint. The printer manufacturers have done their best to provide alternatives for a multifunction printer, with different options for print head, the ability to print high-quality photos, and more.

So, you’ll need to decide if you want an all-in-one printer vs a single function. It mostly depends on your immediate printing needs. And, if you know you’ll be doing a lot of printing, then you’ll want to ensure the ink you choose is printer ink compatible vs buying original cartridges.

One type uses ink cartridges (liquid ink and inkjet technology), and one uses toner cartridges. One is better for low-volume home use, and the other is better for high-volume office use. One is relatively cheap and small, and the other is larger and more expensive.

Moreover, as you search for which printer works for you, consider getting the best printer with cheap ink. This way, you’ll save on repeated ink costs. If you’re ready to buy, read our Epson WF-3720 WorkForce wireless printer review for an ink-efficient model.


If you print at home occasionally, the logical choice is an inkjet printer. They are cheaper and smaller than laser printers. Users only complain that the ink can dry out if they don’t use it often, which can vastly increase the price of the printer. They are still the best printer for home use.

You can also use an inkjet printer for frequent small-volume jobs at home or possibly in an office. An inkjet printer also handles color photos better than a laser printer. Although, read our guide about what is a laser printer, if you want more details on how they work.

A laser printer is better equipped to handle if you plan to print high-volume printing jobs or use the printer a lot. The toner doesn’t dry out and can print more pages before needing to be replaced. You can refill a toner laser printer easily, too.

You can compare the MF743CDW vs FM733CDW laser printers to see which one has the better value.


An inkjet printer uses ink, and a laser printer uses powder. An inkjet printer deposits ink droplets onto your paper via a nozzle, while a laser printer has a drum that uses heat to fuse toner powder onto the surface of the paper.

It might make sense that inkjet printers cause more smudging than laser printers, but that’s not always the case. It can take longer for the ink to dry and set, but some inks dry very quickly, while others take more time. It can also depend on the paper you use.

However, if you’re using an inkjet printer for fabric printing, there may be a higher chance of smudges unless you let it dry.

For a comparative look at inkjets, read our mashups of the Canon Pixma TS6320 vs HP Envy 6055 and the WorkForce Pro WF-3720 all-in-one printer vs WF-2860.

Print Quality

Both printers work well but in different circumstances. You won’t be pleased with the quality of a laser printer for vivid images and bright colors. It’s not fair to say a laser printer doesn’t print quality pages, but it is fair to say that it does not print quality pictures.

However, if you are printing pages full of text and you need sharp readability, a laser printer is better for that job. That’s not to say laser printers can’t handle color images; it’s only to say that they each have their strengths. In addition, you’ll want to find the right laser printer paper, so you don’t end up with poor output quality or paper jams.

Print Speed

Laser printers are designed to handle high-volume print jobs, which means they can print more pages per minute than an inkjet printer. A laser printer can handle up to 100 pages per minute, while an inkjet printer can print up to 16 pages per minute. The best photo printer, of course, is more demanding.


The upfront cost of an inkjet printer is relatively low compared to a laser printer. They are designed for in-home use, so they are smaller and cheaper. A large laser printer can handle more, so they are expensive to purchase. Also, remember that the best all in one printer does more, so it is a good value.

Your intended use will help you decide which type of printer is best for you. Always factor in the cost of the best printer ink.