And again the same question: laser or inkjet printing?

    A previous post comparing laser and LED technology in detail caused a lot of discussion. But we will add more oil to the fire and compare the inkjet technology.
    Just a few years ago, it was believed that laser printers were ideal for the office, but due to lower print costs and the additional ability to print in color, inkjet printing has become increasingly popular in the SMB and SOHO segment. Of course, aggressive marketing is played by manufacturers who have invested a lot in promoting their inkjet products (for example, HP). Today, we once again return to this issue to compare the capabilities of color and monochrome devices of various technologies.

    Inkjet, laser, LED
    When printing on an inkjet printer, liquid dyes are used - soluble or pigmented. They are applied to paper or other media with microscopic drops of 1.5-3 picoliters. For this, thousands and tens of thousands of nozzles are formed on the print head, mainly by photolithography. For printing, the head moves from one part of the sheet to another, spraying dye of various colors (however, there are printers with a static head on the market, but they are much more expensive than their "traditional" counterparts). This explains the slight discrepancy in the printing speed of color and black and white images - all the same, the head should move and most of the time is spent on this. The efficiency of inkjet printing is more likely affected by the resolution of the print and its filling.

    To date, there are two technologies for the injection of ink - thermal inkjet and piezoelectric. In the first case, a drop of ink shoots out of the nozzle due to its heating, and in the second - due to an electric pulse. You can argue for a long time which method is better, but for the user, these differences only mean that printers with different technologies require different inks - both thermal inkjet and piezoelectric printing can provide very good output quality with a resolution of up to 6000 dpi.

    As for laser printing technology, everything happens here in a completely different way. The printer uses solid dye (toner) and a special drum that “magnetizes” the paper for subsequent exposure of the toner. The sheet is simply pulled through the printing mechanism, and in the case of monochrome documents, the print speed depends only on the characteristics of the printer.
    Color laser printing is a slightly more sophisticated technology. Conventional laser printers and multifunctional devices print more slowly in color, since the application of toners of different colors occurs in turn. At the same time, laser color printers are quite large, and also cost more than inkjet printers and MFPs. This determines the choice in favor of the latter in small offices with limited printing needs.

    An interesting solution in this context is LED printing. The main supplier of such solutions in Russia is Oki, which produces fairly compact and fast printing devices. This has been made possible through the use of single-pass LED printing technology. For its implementation, toners of four colors are arranged horizontally together with a line of LEDs that expose dyes to paper. A sheet passes the printing mechanism only once, and the print speed as a result reaches 36 pages per minute without loss of quality (1200 dpi).

    Print technology for specific applications
    The determination of the preferred printing technology in the office should take into account the real needs of employees for printing. Of course, even within the framework of one technological group, printers will differ from each other depending on the price and manufacturer, nevertheless, we can distinguish common differences “all other things being equal”. In general, inkjet printers have such advantages as:
    • Availability of the device
    • Low cost of printing
    • Ability to install a CISS
    • Color printing as a “bonus”
    Laser printers and MFPs can also solve most of the office tasks. They, in turn, can boast of:
    • High toner resource
    • Low print cost
    • High load capacity
    • High speed printing in color (single-pass printers)
    Thus, with large print volumes, laser printers are preferable for office use. At the same time, LED printing devices provide additional flexibility in operation by increasing the speed of color printing, but we discussed this in detail here

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