Be sure to consult our handy guide before you buy a printer for your home or office
Choosing the right printer for your home or small office can at first seem like a daunting experience — at least until you are familiar with some of the basics.
Traditionally, inkjet printers have provided affordable printing solutions and high-quality photo output on a wide range of printable media. Laser printers, on the other hand, are reliable for their sharp text and colour documents featuring highly saturated colours, suitable for presentations and graphs.
Given these fundamental characteristics, the inkjet printer makes an ideal home printer while the laser printer finds its niche in the office environment. Interestingly, inkjet printers are gradually finding their way into the SMB space too, while falling prices of laser printers are making them attractive to consumers as well. Then, there are additional features to consider, such as the ability to scan and copy through wireless, cloud or from mobile devices. With the lines blurred, which printer should you turn to for your home or small office needs?
Inkjet technology excels in colour accuracy and producing photo prints with true-to-life colours. The printers are generally more cost-effective for small volume outputs, and recent innovations have reduced their costs-per-page substantially. Performance wise, some inkjet printers are on par with their laser counterparts. For example, Canon’s MAXIFY series can attain ISO speeds of up to 23ipm and 15ipm for black-and-white and colour prints respectively.
Characteristics of inkjet printers
Laser printers are excellent for reliably producing documents that feature crisp text and punchy colours. Unlike inkjet printers, laser printouts are delivered dry-to-touch, making them an ideal choice for large volume, time-sensitive printing. For instance, Canon’s 324 II toner cartridge offers a significant ISO page-yield of up to 12,500 pages, greatly reducing the number of times needed for cartridge replacements for high-volume printing.
Characteristics of laser printers
Multi-function printers (MFPs) integrate more functions into the device body, enabling users to print, copy, scan or fax. When it comes to their price tag, MFPs cost a little more than their single-function cousins, but their space-saving design makes them popular choices for your business necessities.
Of course, there are many other factors to take into account aside from the printer type and function. First and foremost, what is your budget? Simpler designs with basic functions can cost less than S$100, whereas flagship business models cost more because of device complexity and additional features.
Other questions you should be asking include the following:
Ultimately, the choice of an inkjet or laser printer for the office has less to do with the printing technology employed, but rather, the type and volume of documents to be printed. Laser printers perform excellently when documents printed in the office are predominantly text-based with less colour coverage — but the operating cost of colour lasers is also significantly higher than colour inkjet printers.
However, when it comes to business inkjet printers that won’t break the bank, nothing comes close to Canon’s high performance MAXIFY series for its wide array of features and flexibility in printing quality documents — all at a comparable price point to many laser printing devices in the market.