What is a Monochrome Laser Printer?

Updated: Feb 13, 2024 8:56 AM


Monochrome laser printers are a type of printer that excels at creating black-and-white reproductions. Laser monochrome top-performing printers typically work quickly, pumping out many more pages per minute than their inkjet counterparts. This makes them ideal for highly trafficked office environments.

In short, they’re great printers to reduce printing costs for businesses. This makes them ideal for highly trafficked office environments.

Key Takeaways_

  • Monochrome laser printers excel at making high-quality black-and-white reproductions.
  • When shopping for one, ensure you are happy with its speed, as monochrome laser printers average about 30 pages per minute.
  • Other options to consider are the resolution (DPI) and any additional functionalities, like Wi-Fi printing.

Understanding Monochrome Laser Printers

It may help to start by explaining what a few terms mean.

  • Monochrome refers to a visual or artistic representation using only one color or shades of one color, usually black. It can be used in the production of art, photography, design, etc., and in this case, printing.
  • Laser printers are printers that use a laser to beam the image onto a drum inside the printer that creates an electrical charge. Toner is used instead of ink to create whatever is to be printed on the page.
    • Toner is a fine powder that is attracted to the static electricity created by the laser. It is then heated to adhere to the page.
Toner vs ink cartridge

A Guide to the Best Monochrome Laser Printers

The biggest difference between monochrome vs color laser printers, is that monochrome is just a black-and-white printer without color ink. That’s really how you can best tell them apart.

Are they the best types of printers? That’s heavily debatable, but it’s only the best if they fit your immediate needs. There are some features and functionalities to look for as you shop around for the best monochrome laser printer.

Monochrome Laser Printer Speed

If you are buying a laser printer that will be relied upon often, you will want to take a look at this PPM speed metric. Of course, try not to sacrifice print quality in favor of printing speed. Find a happy medium.

When it comes to speed, laser printers typically outshine inkjet printers by an order of magnitude. Inkjet printers tend to crank out around 15 pages per minute when printing using only black, while laser printers average about 30 pages per minute. Even budget laser printers will tend to print 20 pages per minute.

insider tip

Inkjet printers average around 15 pages per minute while printing in black, while laser printers average about 30 pages per minute.

So if you need to print mostly text documents, a laser printer is the way to go to save yourself some time waiting on lengthy print jobs.

Print Quality Matters

The prints’ quality should be considered premium while shopping for a monochrome laser printer. One of the key advantages to going with a monochrome printer over a color printer is the fact that monochrome printers tend to traffic in high-resolution black-and-white reproductions.


Due to the nature of their design, laser printers do not always excel at making color reproductions, which is something to keep in mind.

A laser printer’s overall resolution is measured in dots per inch, otherwise known as DPI. Most laser printers print at resolutions of 600 or 1200 dots per inch. If you will be regularly printing out important documents, you should choose a printer that can handle ultra-high resolutions.

Additional Features

Monochrome laser printers can boast a number of additional features, including larger-than-average paper trays, the ability to accept high-yield toner cartridges and wireless connectivity. Make a list of your must-have features and keep them in mind as you shop for a new printer.

STAT: HP’s toner printer cartridges really are a little expensive, adding the cost per page about 15% higher than competing products. (source)

You should consider the size and weight of the printer, especially if you plan on using it in a home office. Also, suppose you scan or photocopy large volumes of documents. In that case, you can check whether your monochrome laser printer has ADF, which is an automatic document feeder. It allows a printer to take multiple document pages feeding them one after the other to be scanned by the device.


What are the advantages of a monochrome laser printer?

As with all laser printers, the key advantages are speed and the capacity to create pages at high resolutions. Another potential advantage is that monochrome laser printers have become relatively affordable in recent years.

Why choose a monochrome laser printer?

A monochrome laser printer could be a good bet if you use a printer primarily to reproduce text onto paper. They are generally fast, reliable, and efficient.

Inkjet VS laser: which printer should you get?

This depends on your individual needs and your budget. Inkjet printers are cheaper and excel at making color reproductions, but ink replacement cartridges can become costly. Laser printers are initially more expensive but faster, and the toner cartridges last much longer.

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