There are all kinds of types of impressive printers out there. One such sub-category of printers is known as a laser printer.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Laser printers use beams of light to transfer text and images to paper or related materials.
  • Laser printers use toner cartridges, as opposed to inkjet printers that use ink cartridges.
  • Toner cartridges tend to last much longer than ink cartridges, allowing for thousands of prints before needing to be replaced.

What Exactly is a Laser Printer?

Specifically, a laser printer uses highly specialized laser beams or light beams to transfer text and images to paper or related materials. These laser printers do not use ink, such as what is found with inkjet printers, instead they use toner and have to be supplied with toner cartridges. However, if you use an inkjet printer, always use the best kind of Ink cartridges.

Insider Tip

A laser printer uses highly specialized laser beams or light beams to transfer text and images to paper or related materials.

Features to Look For When Buying a Laser Printer

Laser printers offer a number of key benefits over traditional inkjet printers. Here are some things to look out for while shopping for a laser printer.

Speedy Prints

Laser printers are known for speed and efficiency, so you will want to take a look at the PPM available with any laser printer you are thinking of purchasing. Inkjet printers usually have a PPM rate of 3 to 13 PPM, while laserjet printers tend to run significantly faster with rates between 12 and 20 PPM. If you are buying a printer for a highly trafficked office environment, we recommend choosing one on the higher end of that spectrum. As a warning, laser printers that can pump out 20 pages per minute can be on the expensive side.

Insider Tip

Inkjet printers usually have a PPM rate of 3 to 13 PPM, while laserjet printers tend to run significantly faster with rates between 12 and 20 PPM.

Long-lasting Toner Cartridges

You should err on the side of longevity when considering the toner cartridges accepted by a particular laser printer. Toner cartridges average around 2,000 to 4,000 pages before needing to be replaced, but some extra-large cartridges can print up to 10,000 to 12,000 pages before needing to be replaced. If you are serious about printing and plan on pumping out plenty of prints per day, you should consider a laser printer that integrates with these high-capacity toner cartridges.

Accurate Image Reproduction

Laser printers are known for being able to reliably produce extremely accurate prints, due to the nature of their printhead design. Read the specs before making a purchase to ensure that the laser printer you are thinking of buying excels with making accurate reproductions. As a note, laser printers tend to be highly proficient at making monochrome prints and prints in which color is not a primary consideration. For full-color reproductions, you should go with a high-quality inkjet printer, despite the recent strides in laser printing technology regarding colors. If you need a printer that can print, scan, send and receive a fax and has a wireless connection option, the multi-function printer is the best option.

Warning

As a warning, laser printers that can pump out 20 pages per minute can be on the expensive side.

F.A.Q.

What is the difference between thermal printers and laser printers?

The difference is stark, as a laser printer uses a highly focused beam of right to print and a thermal printer uses specially designed thermal paper that changes when heat has been applied.


Can a laser printer print on thermal paper?

Sort of. Though laser printers can technically print on thermal paper, the image will end up all black because the laser will activate the thermal sensors.


What’s the difference between an inkjet printer and a laser printer?

An inkjet printer uses ink cartridges to make prints while a laser printer uses toner cartridges.



STAT: Most text-only pages have about 7 percent coverage, and graphics bump the figure up to at least 10 percent. (source)

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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