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Buying tips

Useful Tips - Printer Buying Guide

Laser Printer

  1. Price Range  
  2. $200 & up

  3. Advantage & Disadvantage  


    • Faster than inkjets
    • You need to change cartridges less often

    • More expensive
    • Only higher end models print in color

  4. How Laser Printers Work 
  5. Laser printers use a revolving drum to capture an image onto paper with electrically charged toner. The image is then passed though heated rollers to melt the toner onto the page.

  6. Which Laser Printer is Right for Me? 

    Are you going to be printing primary black and white documents or are you going to be printing color graphics? Is the printer for personal home use or for a small office? Whatever your printing needs are going to be will determine what printer you will need.

    • Monochrome Laser Printers:
      If you are going to use a laser printer for home offices or in business, monochrome laser printers offer the best balance between print quality, price and speed. Personal laser printer prices have dropped down around $200 making them an alternative to inkjet printers. For almost the same price of some of the higher end inkjet printers, some monochrome laser printers are faster and are less expensive to maintain. If you are going to need a printer to print primarily text as well as the occasional graphic/picture, you might want to consider buying a monochrome laser printer as well as an inexpensive inkjet printer.

    • Color Laser Printers:
      Small business needing to print color brochures, photographs, or other high quality graphics should look into buying a color laser printer. Color lasers are one of the most expensive printers making them best suited for offices and small business. Inkjet printers will be a better solution for home users needing to print in color. Inkjets offer great print quality for less money.

      When it comes to printing photographs, color lasers can print good quality prints but it is no comparison to the photo quality to an inkjet printer.

    • Personal Laser Printers:
      Most personal laser printers are monochrome printers. They work best in printing text and simple graphics. You won’t find many personal color printers because of their high prices. However, with several color lasers being priced less than $1,000, it is making color lasers more affordable and a possible alternative to inkjet printers.

    • Workgroup Lasers:
      Workgroup laser printers have the same features as a personal laser but have added features designed for multiple users. These features could include input/output trays, duplex printing, sorting and stapling. Workgroup printers will have faster processors and more memory to be able to handle multiple tasks.

  7. Things to Consider 

    • Resolution:
      If printing mainly text look for a laser printer with a resolution of 600x600 dots per inch. If you will be printing more than text, consider a printer with a resolution of 1200x1200 dots per inch.

    • Speed:
      Most people considering a laser printer are doing so because they are faster than an inkjet printer. A personal laser printer should be able to print 15-20 pages per minute. The price will go up the faster the printer.

    • Toner Cartridges & Drum:
      You can find printers with separate toner and drum units or with the toner and drum is one disposable part. Having a separate toner cartridge and drum unit will save you money because you will only have to replace the toner cartridge when it runs out. Having the units combined might be easier to replace but you will have to replace the whole thing when one goes out. Depending on how much printing you will be doing will determine what will be the best for you.

    • Network Ready:
      If the printer is going be used by more the one user, check to ensure the printer will be network ready. Most personal laser printers are not designed to be set up on a network.