Color: Ink Jet vs Laser?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Sam Favate, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Producer

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    Was considering getting a color laser printer as my black laser printer is old and on the fritz. My question is: does a color laser printer have better resolution for photographs and graphics than an ink jet printer with relatively high DPI?
     
  2. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Most of the home color laser printers are 600x600 dpi, which is not considered photo quality. I've never seen one marketed as a photo printer, either. By contrast, photo quality ink jet printers are usually 4800x2400 dpi or 9600x2400 dpi.

    We use two printers at home -- a b&w HP Laserjet for the majority of our printing, and a Canon photo inkjet for printing out digital photos or when we need a color document (which isn't very often). The Canon does not get used very often, since we usually view most of our digital photos on the computer monitor, and do not print them very often.

    However, with the prices of color laserjets dropping, if/when my HP Laserjet dies I'll probably replace it with a color one just for printing documents. Considering what workhorses HP laser printers are, though, it may be quite a few years before I need to replace our current one (which is at least 5 years old now).
     
  3. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    If your main goal is photos, buy an inkjet. At work we have a couple of different, industrial strength color laser printers (one is 1 year old, another is 3 years old) in the multiple thousand dollar range. They do things like presentation graphics really well, but are subpar in photo resolution. I think color lasers are more for businesses that want to do colored documents. For the home user wanting to do a fair amount of photo printing, I think inkjet is the way to go (especially when you couple it with the specifically formulated paper that each manufacturer has for their lnes/models).
     
  4. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    HP was just selling a color laser for $300 after rebates. At that point the cost per sheet and total cost of ownership have got to be real competitive with inkjet - and the photos I've done on office color lasers look real good, especially on premium paper. By all means stop at a retailer and check the output from both technologies, but when my ($1,000, 12 year old) HP LJ4 finally gives up the ghost, I'll definitely go for a color laser. Makes more sense than color LJs where the ink costs as much (or more) than the printer. (I bought my Lexmark all-in-one because on sale it was only $10 more than two new ink cartridges for my old Xerox inkjet/scanner/copier.)

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  5. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    As far as I know, inkjets have a much wider color gamut (range) than anything color laserjets can achieve.

    If you care about print quality, inkjets win hands-down. If not, well, pick whatever you feel like. [​IMG]
     
  6. Andrew W

    Andrew W Supporting Actor

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    Keep in mind that these numbers are not real resolution which is pixels/inch. The dpi advertised by inkjet mfgs is dots of individual colors. It may take from 9 - 12 dots to be equal to a pixel. Try and compare effective resolution which is going to be in the 300 ppi range.

    Here's a decent article on the subject.

    http://www.ideastraining.com/PDFs/Un...Resolution.pdf
     
  7. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Also note that LaserJets use toner. If you want to print photos on photo paper you won't get the same results on a LaserJet as you do on an InkJet.

    They make photo paper for LaserJets, but considering the toner covers up the 'shiny' emulsion...the dark areas of the photo are going to be dull and flat.

    InkJet is really the only way to go for photo printing.
     

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