20+ Differences between Laser and Inkjet Printers (Explained)

A printer is a device that receives input from a computer in the form of text and graphics and outputs printed information on paper. It differs in terms of size, speed, sophistication, and cost. When it comes to printers, you only have two options: inkjet printers or laser printers.

Both printers are good and perform well based on the user’s needs. This article will compare and contrast inkjet printers and laser printers.


Key Differences Between Laser and Inkjet printers:

Laser Printers:

  • A laser printer prints on paper using a laser and an electrical charge model.
  • The output from a laser printer is produced using a laser and an electrical charge model.
  • Laser printers are pricey.
  • Unlike inkjet printers, laser printers lack a nozzle.
  • The ink for a laser printer is available as a powder.
  • If we don’t use the laser printer for long, drying out of the ink is not an issue.
  • We don’t need to restock the ink here quickly.

Inkjet Printers:

  • An inkjet printer is a piece of hardware that prints hard copies by spraying ink onto paper. This printing recreates a soft copy image by moving drops of ink onto paper.
  • Ink is jetted onto paper by an inkjet printer to create hard copies.
  • In comparison to a laser printer, it is less expensive.
  • A nozzle is attached to an inkjet printer, and it is through this nozzle that the ink is sprayed onto the paper.
  • If we don’t use an inkjet printer’s cartridge for a long time, the liquid ink it contains can easily dry out.
  • Here, we must quickly refill the ink, which is costly.

Comparison Between Laser Printers and Inkjet Printers:

ParametersLaser PrintersInkjet Printers
DefinitionA laser printer is one that prints data onto paper using a laser and dry ink.The inkjet printer prints onto paper using wet ink and a Nozzle assembly.
PrintingA laser and an electrical charge model are used in a laser printer to produce the output.By sprinkling ink onto paper, an inkjet printer creates hard copies.
Printed copyLaser printer creates soft printed copiesInkjet printers create hard printed copy.
PriceExpensiveLess expensive
Ink UsedLaser printer uses dry ink powder, which is known as tone.Inkjet printers use wet or liquid inks for printing
NozzlesIn laser printers, nozzles are not present.Inkjet printers have nozzles to spray the ink onto the paper during printing.
CartridgeThis printer uses a toner or dry ink powder as the cartridge.It uses ink cartridges for printing
Colour printingBy a laser printer, color printing is not possible.We can print color prints with an Inkjet printer.
Refilling of inkIn a laser printer, we don’t have to refill the ink quickly.In an inkjet printer, we have to refill the ink quickly. Otherwise, it will dry quickly.
EfficiencyLaser printers are relatively highly efficient.An inkjet printer is less efficient.
SizeLaser printers are larger in size than inkjet printers.Inkjet printers are generally smaller in size than laser printers.
The capacity of the trayThe tray attached to the laser printer has a higher holding capacity.The holding capacity of the tray of an inkjet printer is comparatively lower than laser printers.
SpeedLaser printers print faster than inkjet printers.The printing speed of an inkjet printer is lesser than laser printer.

Major Differences between Laser printers and Inkjet Printers:

Inkjet Printer:-

The term “inkjet printer” refers to a type of printer that prints data and information on paper using microscopic ink droplets. Cartridges are plastic containers from which this ink is dispensed.

There are numerous ink colors available for these cartridges. To print text and graphics on paper, they are made up of nozzles from which wet ink is sprayed.

Inkjet printers can create both color and monochromatic prints. Black, cyan, magenta, and yellow are the only basic colors found in many printers.

However, inkjet printers available can accommodate up to 9 different cartridges. Because of this, an inkjet printer can produce stunning color prints.


  • Less costly machine
  • Lower-cost ink cartridges
  • Size-wise, smaller
  • Amazing for photos


  • Low-quality printing
  • Slower
  • Page output is low
  • Less efficient use of the ink

Laser Printers:

A laser printer prints data from computers and other electronic devices. It uses a technology where the keys do not strike the paper, making it a non-impact printer. Instead, the document is drawn using electric charges and the laser on a drum coated in selenium.

Instead of using ink, a laser printer prints with toner. Toner is a powder that melts at a high temperature and is applied to a page.

It comes in large toner cartridges, so you won’t need to replace it for a while. Toner is less expensive than ink, but it’s not as good for color prints. In the office, laser printers are ideal because they are frequently quick and effective.


  • Improved print quality
  • speedier printouts
  • More effective
  • Lower print costs


  • More costly machine
  • Higher-priced toner cartridges
  • Greater footprint


Laser printers vs. Inkjet Printers- all you need to know:

Laser Printers:

  1. Compared to inkjet printers, most laser printers print pages much more quickly. This shouldn’t be a major selling point for occasional printers, but heavy users will see a significant improvement.
  1. Laser printers produce sharp text. Laser is the best option if you’re a high-volume printer who only needs text documents.
  1. They are better equipped to handle high-volume jobs because they have a higher monthly duty cycle.
  2. In a price-by-price comparison, laser printers win out over inkjet printers if you print frequently and don’t create documents with intricate graphics.
  1. For high-volume printers, toner typically costs less over time because its cartridges can print thousands of pages more than ink cartridges can.
  1. The inks used in laser printers are long-lasting. As a result, there’s no compelling reason to keep filling in the strips.
  1. Regarding text and images, laser printers produce better results.

Inkjet Printers:

  1. Since inkjet printers are typically lighter and smaller, they are perfect for a bedroom or home office where efficient use of space is important.
  1. Excellent for printing photos in high-quality and producing documents with lots of images because inkjet printers blend and produce colors more vibrantly than laser printers.
  1. A typical laser printer costs more than an inkjet printer.
  1. Inkjet printers can print on various media, such as fabrics, textured art paper, and glossy photo paper.
  1. Inkjet printers can handle larger paper sizes.
  1. Inkjet printer ink must be filled in a short period, and because time is limited, the cost is very high.
  1. Inkjet printers are skilled at printing shading images and can produce excellent shading images.

contrast between Laser Printers and Inkjet Printers:


  • Laser Printers: The primary distinction between laser and ink printers is the type of cartridges each printer employs. Toner cartridges are used by laser printers, whereas inkjet printers use ink cartridges. An electrical charge is used by a laser printer to instruct where and when toner should be dispensed onto the paper.
  • Inkjet Printers: On the other hand, inkjet printers use a simpler technology in which ink is dispensed as the cartridge moves across the page.


  • Laser Printers: If your printing station doesn’t have much room, inkjet printers might be your best bet. Inkjet printers can be taken anywhere because they are compact enough to fit on a desk or shelf. If you plan to move your printing station in the future, they are also much more portable.
  • Inkjet Printers: On the other hand, laser printers are typically larger and may require a dedicated space to house them.


  • Laser Printers: Laser printers, and thus toner cartridges, print faster than inkjet printers. However, once again, the speed is determined by the printer’s functionality.
  • Inkjet Printers: In addition to being slower, inkjet printers may require more frequent paper refills, further slowing down your printing process.

Printing speed

  • Laser Printers: Compared to inkjet printers, laser printers are quicker. They can print 20 to 75 pages per minute on average.
  • Inkjet Printers: Inkjet printers have a slower print speed; they typically print 5 to 40 pages per minute.

Printing results

  • Laser Printers: High-volume printing is possible with laser printers.
  • Inkjet Printers: Inkjet printers cannot handle high-volume printing.


Printed text and images: Laser Printer vs. Inkjet Printers

Inkjet printers and image printing:

An inkjet printer shines when printing photos and graphics. Inkjet printers typically support four different ink cartridges: black, cyan, magenta, and yellow. These four color cartridges enable the printer to capture millions of color tonal combinations on paper. 

Some inkjet printers go beyond these four colors, offering specialized colors like light magenta, grey, matte black, and red. 

As a result, you can achieve more accurate color rendering. So, naturally, this inkjet printer is ideal for producing detailed, professional-quality photographs with vibrant colors.

Text printing with laser printers:

On the other hand, a laser printer’s strength is its ability to print crisp text. As a result, photo printing is less suitable for laser printers. In addition, laser printers, with a few exceptions, cannot print in more than four colors, unlike many inkjet models.

 Laser printers’ print resolution is frequently lower than that of inkjet printers. This level of resolution is not required to produce the razor-sharp text that laser printers are known for. Documents and reports are legible and presentable when printed on a laser printer. 

As a result, laser printers are ideal for use in the office or at home, where text alone is sufficient and speed is a priority.

Size of the tray

  • Laser Printers: A laser printer’s tray can hold about 250 sheets of paper, a high amount.
  • Inkjet Printers: About 50 to 100 sheets of paper can fit in an inkjet printer’s small paper tray.


  • Laser Printers: Laser printers have a comparatively high level of efficiency.
  • Inkjet Printers: Laser printers are more effective than inkjet printers.


  • Laser Printers: Regarding print quality, a laser printer and toner cartridge will yield better results. A laser printer’s accuracy can be difficult for an inkjet printer to match.
  • Inkjet Printers: While the ink is still wet when printing with ink, the paper may be more susceptible to smudging or degradation.


Best Applications: Laser Printer vs. Inkjet Printers

What are the best applications for an inkjet printer?

  • If you need to print high-quality color images, you should invest in an inkjet printer.
  • Inkjet printers have more tonal variety and are better at color blending. Inkjet printers can also print on various types of paper, including glossy ones. Laser printers are unable to print on any heat-sensitive paper.
  • Inkjet printers are slower to print than laser printers, and their paper trays are smaller.
  • Inkjet cartridges are also more expensive, though some programs, such as HP Instant Ink, can help reduce costs.
  • Inkjet printers are better if you print less frequently or only a few pages at a time.

What are the best applications for a laser printer?

  • You should invest in a laser printer if you print many black and white documents.
  • Compared to laser printers, inkjet printers operate more slowly. Most have high-capacity paper trays, allowing them to print more pages simultaneously. They are also designed to withstand printing thousands of pages per month without succumbing to wear and tear.
  • Color photos are not printed as well by laser printers as they are by inkjet printers. They can print basic photos for everyday use but are not designed to print gallery-quality photos. As a result, they’re not ideal for photographers or designers.
  • Laser printers are bulkier and heavier than inkjet printers, making them difficult to accommodate in a home office.
  •  However, they are ideal for office use because of their high printing capacity.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Which printer is better, inkjet or laser?

Compared to laser printers, inkjet printers operate more slowly. However, most have high-capacity paper trays, allowing them to print more pages simultaneously.

They are also designed to withstand printing thousands of pages per month without succumbing to wear and tear.

Q2. Which is more durable, laser or inkjet?

Inkjet printers produce 5 to 20 pages per minute, depending on resolution and color. In contrast, typical home laser printers produce 20-40 pages per minute, with some top-of-the-line laser printers producing more than 50 and up to 100.

Q3. Do laser printers run out of ink?

Laser printers use toner, which does not dry like an ink cartridge. Toner, instead of ink, is a dry powder composed of plastic components that will not dry out.

You can leave an empty toner cartridge in your printer for weeks, and it will still print.

Q4. Is it worthwhile to invest in a laser printer?

Laser printers are more expensive than inkjet printers at first and use more expensive toner cartridges, but they are a more cost-effective option in the long run due to their lower cost per page and faster print speeds.

Q5. Which is superior, toner or ink?

Toner, on average, outlasts ink. Because toner produces more images before running out than ink, you won’t need to replace the cartridges frequently.

In addition, toner dries out quickly and lasts longer on the shelf than ink. Both ink and toner, however, will degrade over time.

Q6. How can I tell if my printer requires toner?

Poor print quality is the most obvious sign of a low-toner cartridge. Streaking, lines, or missed prints indicate that a cartridge replacement is on the way.

If you’ve tried rocking the toner cartridge but are still getting poor prints, it’s time to replace it.

Q7. Is toner required for laser printers?

Toner powder is used in laser printers instead of dye or pigment-based ink. Electrostatically charged dots on a light-sensitive drum attract toner powder in laser printers. A heating process transfers the toner to the paper and fixes it.

Similar Posts:

Was this article helpful?

Leave a Comment