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Cost effectiveness of laser versus inkjet discussed

April 2, 2013

Laser printerArticle highlights factors which should determine whether to use inkjet or laser devices when printing.

A number of industry veterans have discussed the use of laser versus inkjet printers, with Gulf Times reporting on the various factors that can influence the cost effectiveness of both types of devices.

Noting that laser printers have traditionally been used as “business-only” products due to their large size and cost, whereas inkjets have been favoured for home printing, the article points out that the reduction in the size and price of laser printers means that they could be more widely used in domestic environments as well as businesses.

While laser printers are still significantly more expensive than inkjet, the article states that in some cases it could be more cost effective to use laser printers “if the savings on ink outweigh the extra cost of the machine” and the device is expected to print “more than 2,000 pages a year” as “the savings increase the more you print”.

Patrick Stead, CEO of Environmental Business Products, agreed: “It depends on how many pages you print. Laser can be better value over the longer term, but the initial outlay can be a lot more.”wireless AIO inkjet printer

Not only the cost of the device itself comes into play when choosing which type of printer to use, with the differing costs of ink and toner cartridges also being an important factor. While laser cartridges “contain intricate components” and can cost between £60 ($91/€71) and £120 ($182/€142), the article points out that the cartridges are able to print “anything from 1,500 to 3,500 pages”, whereas a standard inkjet cartridge costs “around £15 ($23/€18)” but only produces approximately 200 pages.

“Do not buy a laser cartridge on price alone. Always look at the cost of the replacement cartridges and their print yield,” warned Laura Heywood, Managing Director of Kleen Strike. “If you print a lot of black and white documents then a laser can save you a lot of money […] if you print mostly photos then you probably want to stick with an inkjet printer.”

Editor of The Recycler, David Connett, commented: “If you’re buying a laser printer, it’s important to work out what you’re going to use it for before deciding on a model. As a rule of thumb, the cheaper the printer, the smaller the cartridge, and the lower the page yield.”

Connett added that the use of duplex printing can also cut costs, and so printers accommodating this could be worth investing in: “Some laser printers automatically print on both sides. Other models allow you to reinsert pages manually to print the second side. And some do not support duplex printing at all.”

The use of remanufactured laser cartridges is listed as another way of saving money when using laser printers, with cartridges being “30 to 50 percent cheaper than the original price”.

Peter Thompson, Director of PBT International, said: “Properly remanufactured laser cartridges are excellent value. But some producers find ways to cut corners, which can result in leakage and sometimes uneven printing. Try to buy from a reputable seller.”

Thompson added: “If you think how little ink is in the average inkjet cartridge compared to the average laser cartridge the economics are in favour of laser. Sometimes the cartridge prices aren’t that different. But those for the laser can last an awful lot longer.”

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