Things to note when choosing to buy a color printer

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Do you own great photos and want to display them in your own home, or do you want prints with vibrant colors that will help maximize the efficiency of your current work? And how to choose the best color printer with so many choices today?

With the development of color printers over the years, you can now feel secure in choosing a printer with a modern design, providing outstanding image quality but also integrating many features. functions such as: copy, scan, fax…


When looking for a color printer, there are usually two choices: Inkjet Printer or Laser Printer. Making the most optimal choice largely depends on your needs and printing frequency.

First, let’s consider Inkjet Printers.

What is an Inkjet Printer?

An inkjet printer is a type of printer that works by spraying ink into drops onto paper. Such printers use liquid ink from individual color cartridges inside, which are then pushed out through separate nozzles — with each nozzle a different color of ink.

Advantages of Inkjet Printers

Reasonable price

Cost is one of the biggest advantages of inkjet printers, as even the cheapest inkjet printers can produce images of excellent quality.

If price is a top concern for you, then an inkjet printer will be your best choice for cheap color printing in a home/small office setting.

Outstanding print quality

Advancements in ink technology have allowed inkjet printers to produce high-quality photo and text prints, plus, with their ability to deliver consistent and smooth colors, inkjet printers are preferred for printing high-resolution photos.

With the quality of most color inkjet printers today, it can be difficult to distinguish between photos printed by a professional photo printer and photos printed by an inkjet printer, especially when printed on photo paper.

Compact size

Color inkjet printers also tend to be more compact in size than color laser printers. Even multifunction inkjet printers are very compact. This makes them suitable for homes or workplaces with tight spaces.

Disadvantages of Inkjet Printers:

Print speed is slow

Most inkjet printers are designed for low-volume printing. As a result, it may take you longer to execute large print jobs.

However, the slower printing speed of an inkjet printer will also be limited because the inkjet printer will print immediately after the printer is turned on without waiting for any warm-up time.

What is a Laser Printer?

Color laser printers combine the speed of traditional monochrome laser printers with the ability to print in color. In laser printers, color is added by melting toner onto the paper.

The initial cost of a laser printer may be higher than an inkjet printer. Likewise, the ink cartridges used in laser printers are also more expensive than the ink used in inkjet printers. However, in the long run, color laser printers can still be an economical choice due to their lower cost per page and faster print speeds.

Below is an analysis of the main advantages and disadvantages of color laser printers.

Advantages of Laser Printers:

Fast printing speed

Laser printers traditionally produce speeds of around 50 ppm, while inkjet printers print slower at around 16-20 ppm.

When comparing printers’ pages per minute (ppm), remember that this is printing under optimal conditions — usually with black text. For other factors such as color, image, and document format, printing speed will tend to slow down.

Low cost of printed pages

The cost you pay for laser printers and toner cartridges is partially offset by their lower cost per page. This is because laser toner cartridges can print significantly more pages than inkjet cartridges — even when printing in color.

​ How is the cost of printed pages calculated?

Cost per printed page is the most accurate way to measure a printer’s cost efficiency. To calculate the cost per page of a printer cartridge, simply take the cartridge price and divide it by the expected page yield of a cartridge:

Black and white printing:

Printed page cost = Cartridge price / Number of printed pages of the cartridge

Color printing:

Cost of printed pages = (Price of black ink cartridges/ Number of printed pages of black ink cartridges) + (Price of color ink cartridges x 3)/ Total number of printed pages of color ink cartridges) + (price of blank words/total quantity printing page)

High quantity printing

Color laser printers can be considered high-productivity machines because they are built with the ability to quickly process large numbers of documents and printed pages.

Sharp print

With technological advances in laser printers, the quality of color prints has improved significantly in recent years. So whether you’re printing photos for personal or professional use, you can expect great color prints from your laser printer.

Disadvantages of Laser Printers:

Suitable for printing text documents

Color laser printers are designed to print text documents. Although they can also handle text documents with images, color laser printers by their nature are not really optimal for printing images.

Larger size

Due to their relatively larger size than inkjet printers, color laser printers work best in large offices and professional workspaces. If size is not an issue for you, you may want to consider a color laser for your home printing needs.

Simple tips to improve color print quality

How do professional photographers and designers create high-quality color prints? This is the question we will address in this next section.

RGB and CMYK color systems

There are 2 printing color systems: RGB and CMYK.

RGB stands for Red, Green, and Blue. The RGB color system combines these primary colors in different ratios to create any color you want. For example, if you want to create a yellow color, you just need to combine green and red.

CMYK works completely differently from RGB, with a subtractive color system mechanism, including C = Cyan (blue), M = Magenta (pink), Y = Yellow, and K = Black. Being in CMYK mode essentially means that the more colors you add together, the darker the resulting color will be.

When printing a document on a CMYK printer, make sure you are creating your document in CMYK color mode. If they weren’t designed in CMYK, you can also convert them to CMYK through a photo editing program like Adobe Photoshop or layout programs like Quark Xpress or Adobe InDesign.

Print resolution

Print resolution is measured in DPI (dots per inch). The more dots per inch of paper, the sharper the resulting image.

Your printer needs a resolution of 600 dpi to print high-quality documents (and 1200 dpi to achieve sharp, detailed images).

When shopping for a printer, you may notice that print resolution is always presented as a set of two numbers, for example, 1200 x 3600 dpi. This means that the maximum resolution of that printer is 1200 times 3600 dpi.

Kind of paper

Using substandard paper can lead to substandard color printing quality, so don’t ignore this small but important factor! Often, printing problems such as smearing or dullness can be due to the fact that you are using low-quality paper.

How to choose the best color printer

Now that you understand the difference between laser and inkjet printers, let’s choose the best printer for your needs.

Print Quality

If your need is to print photos on glossy or matte photo paper, choose an inkjet printer to achieve the highest quality when used with photo paper.

However, if printed on regular printer paper, the print quality of a color laser printer is on par with an inkjet printer

Print quantity

A color laser printer will work well for printing multiple documents per day, but most personal users will only need to print a few documents a few times a day.

So, as you can see, the right color printer for you depends on your anticipated printing needs and your preference for print quality.

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