Printer Tip No. 11
Ink vs. Toner: What’s the Right Choice?
With the new emphasis on the SOHO and SMB markets from a range of manufacturers, the clear line that had been drawn previously for customers – inkjets for consumers and laser-class for businesses – has become fuzzy. Inkjet manufacturers continue to release inkjets specifically targeted at home offices and small offices while laser-class manufacturers are focused on making their machines smaller and more affordable to hit the consumer and at-home professional market.
So which is right for you? It depends on the type of printing you plan on doing over the long term and who the device will be shared with. Inkjet printers are well-suited for home or small office environments for day-to-day document printing, basic photo printing, creative projects and personal use applications. Most feature low energy consumption, and a small initial price tag. Ink cartridge costs are usually the sore spot here, but manufacturers like Lexmark have started releasing office inkjets that promise saving up to 50 percent thanks to new high capacity inks.
Laser and LED printers use a more efficient dry ink (toner) technology and typically feature high print speeds, large monthly duty cycles, low cost per page, and secure printing and processing for large and confidential files. With the release of small, affordable systems from Samsung and HP, it?s possible for at-home professional to purchase a single function laser-class device for less than $100 and an MFP for less than $200, falling squarely into the inkjet market.
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