In today’s fast moving office and business environment printing plays vital role. The basic function of printers whether LaserJet or InkJet is the same i.e. printing. Anyone visiting a store with the intention of buying a printer will have to make a choice between InkJet and LaserJet printer. Many people take into consideration two things while buying a printer - the initial cost and the space requirement. This paper compares and contrasts LaserJet and Inkjet Printers in terms of toners, cost, papers used and speed.


Both the inkjet and laser printers require cartridges. In fact, the inkjet printer requires multiple cartridges of coloured ink, while the laser printer utilizes a big single toner cartridge as its ink. In addition, their printing material is stored in the cartridge, that is, ink in inkjet cartridges and powder in laser cartridges.

The difference is that the toner of LaserJet printers lasts long because it exists in solid state. The powdery toner has the width equal to the width of the paper that may be 9 to 12 inches whereas the ink cartridges are only three to five inches wide (, 2010).  Inkjet printers use a tiny head that sprinkles the ink in tiny droplets onto the paper.

Types of paper used

The comparable thing is that both printers use paper. In addition, their tolerance temperatures do not vary significantly (Demand Media, 2012). That is the paper designed for laser printer has only a slightly higher temperature tolerance compared to the paper designed for inkjet printer.

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The difference is that inkjet printers require a paper that is less absorbent so that the tiny dots of ink from the printer do not spread with deep absorption to give a feather like effect of the printing. On the other hand, the LaserJet printers support a paper with deep absorption, as it has to be good for absorbing the static charge to burn an image onto it.

Print Speed and Text Print Quality

For normal print sizes, the quality of text printing is similar between both inkjet and laser printing platforms. In addition, both printers deliver quality printed texts and images.

In case of printing white and black text pages, a laser printer is unbeatable. Even with cheaper monochrome laser models, the print speed is up to 20 pages a minute (Demand Media, 2012). On the other hand, inkjets are considerably slower, with budget printers hardly printing over six pages in a minute.


In both printers the cost of new cartridges is about the same. The cost of new cartridges for both printers ranges from USD 12 to USD 60 each (Demand Media, 2012). The maintenance cost apart from that of replacing cartridges is low in both printers.

The difference is that an inkjet printer can print just 100 to 200 colour pages, before changing cartridges, and in laser printers the toner cartridges can print 2,500 to10, 000 pages before a replacement. When it comes to cost, a laser printer is more expensive than the inkjet. The cost of inkjet printers ranges from US$50 to US$ 200, whilst the cost of laser printers ranges from US$150 to US$ 400 (Yahoo, 2012).


Both Inkjet and laser printers, even though perform similar functions, have differences. The differences come in term of cost, cartridges, toners, the speed and even the quality of printed materials.

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