Though the technology has been around for years (Hewlett-Packard introduced its first Laser Jet in 1984), laser printers are still going strong because they combine fast print speeds, sharp output, and a low cost per page. Like copiers, laser printers use a photographic drum to attract electrically charged toner and transfer it to paper, where the image is fused using a heated roller.
Black and White Laser Printers
Black and white laser printers are among the most common printers found in modern office environments. Because black and white printing is their only capability, these printers work quickly and can handle a high number of pages per minutes. These types of printers are also ideal for office environments because there is no worry that employees may forget to change their print settings and accidentally print color photos and graphics, wasting company resources on unnecessary color printing. In terms of purchase price, black and white laser prints are also more affordable than most color laser printers. Because these printers use only black toner, they are also referred to as “monochrome printers.
Color Laser Printers
Although laser printers are still at their best when they are printing documents, in recent years laser printing technology has improved to the point where a color laser printer can offer nearly the same quality as an inkjet printer. Color laser printers use the same basic technology as monochrome laser printers, but instead of one drum of black toner, they have three additional drums of cyan, magenta, and yellow, which are combined to make print outs in virtually any color. Color laser printers usually have slower PPM rates than black and white laser printers. It is also more expensive to replace color toner than black toner, which can be a drawback for some consumers
Black and White vs. Color
Color laser printers cost significantly more than black and white only, so determining the printer’s expected use helps figure out whether black and white or color is needed. Also, a color toner is required in addition to the black toner for color printers. If most of the printing consists of meeting minutes, office memos, and similar text-based items, a black and white printer most likely suffices.
Advantages of Wireless Laser Printers
A laser printer has many advantages over its inkjet counterpart. One of the most significant is the price of the toner. Unlike inkjet cartridges, a toner cartridge lasts for thousands, or tens of thousands, of pages. While the initial price is more expensive than inkjet cartridges, the toner lasts much longer.
Laser printers are also higher-quality printers than all but the higher-end inkjet printers. The quality comes from the way that the image is transferred onto the page. The toner is electrically bound to the paper, so it avoids any issue of smudging that comes from fresh ink that gets on the paper in the inkjet method.
The method laser printers use for printing also makes them significantly faster than a standard inkjet printer. This makes laser printers good for high-output environments such as offices and schools. The amount of time saved by not having to wait for printing is well worth the additional cost for the base unit, as the rest pays for itself quickly.
The wireless feature also conveys significant advantages. The main benefit is being able to set the printer up anywhere within wireless range of the network. Instead of trying to find space on the desk for a large laser printer, it can be set up in a dedicated printer room, within a central location, or in an out-of-the-way location so people aren’t tripping over it every time they walk by. It also doesn’t require a direct cable connection to any computer or router, making the setup relatively simple, depending on the structure of the wireless network.
If you can purchase a single device that solves many problems, you may wonder why you’d ever want to buy multiple devices to perform those same tasks. All-in-one machines combine the features of a fax machine, copier, and scanner into the printer. The top of the printer has a flat-bed scanner that works for traditional scanning, copying, and faxing purposes. Instead of buying four different devices, the all-in-one brings them together into one machine. This saves on cost and space, although the initial price of the all-in-one is higher than base model printers.
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