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Choosing a Home Office Printer: Inkjet Versus Laser

May 19, 2008
Your home office printer is going to be an important part of your home business. While making the right choice of printer seems like a daunting task, your major decision is going to be between an ink jet and a laser printer. Along with a different way of delivering ink to the page, these two types of printers have their own benefits and drawbacks.

The key difference between the two printers is the type of ink that they use. Ink jet printers use liquid ink and laser printers use powdered ink. Laser printers come in two varieties, monochrome (black and white) and color. Each type of printer serves different purposes.

Most businesses use monochrome laser printers because they print a lot of black and white documents. If you're using your printer for the same reason, you may want to consider a monochrome laser printer. They have a better page output than ink jets and come at a midrange price. They are normally priced higher than ink jets, but their ink refills cost a lot less. Monochrome laser printers are perfect if you need to print lots of pages of text. The only drawback to this type of printer is that you can't print color.

If you need any color printing done, an ink jet printer will be your least inexpensive option, at least in terms of initial cost outlay. Ink jets offer a lot power for their speed, but they are definitely slower than laser printers. The main advantage is their price and their portability. Compared to laser jet models, ink jets are very lightweight and are generally smaller. This makes them a good option if you don't have a whole lot of space for your printer.

The major drawback to ink jet printers is the cost of their ink. Compared to laser printers, refills for ink jets cost substantially more. Even though you're saving more at the onset, you'll be paying a lot in the long run. The price of ink over the life of your printer can be a deterrent to getting an ink jet. But if your budget for your printer at the outset is small, then an ink jet might be your only option. They are generally cheaper than laser printers.

When it comes to quality of printing, speed of printing and overall quality, color laser printers are the best choice. All of this comes at a higher price than you'll pay for an ink jet printer or monochrome laser printer, but it may be worth it if you need to print high quality documents. A color laser printer has ink that is relatively inexpensive compared to ink jet ink. In addition, a color laser printer will allow you to print high quality photos along with black and white documents. This can save you money on having your pictures printed, and allow you to print as many copies as you need.

Depending on the kind of business you're in, the quality that you get from a color laser printer may well be worth the initial cost. If you have the money to spend, a color laser printer is your best bet. But if you'd rather keep those initial costs low and print color, then an ink jet printer might be the better way to go.
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Jamie Jefferson shares the best office supply coupons where you can subscribe for free coupon updates for your favorite office supply stores or products. She also posts office supply coupons here.
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