The cost per page of inkjet and laserjet printing depends on a variety of factors such as the initial cost of the printer, the type of ink cartridge used, maintenance costs and how long it takes to print a page. Also take into consideration how much use your printer will get.
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The initial cost of the printer is the first factor to take into consideration. Inkjet printers are available from about £26 to £130. Laser printers are typically more expensive to purchase, and cost from £65 to £325. In both cases, the higher end options do not usually introduce many significant features, but feature faster and better quality printing.
Inkjet printers are equipped with inkjet cartridges that are relatively inexpensive, but require frequent replacement. Inkjet printers use one black and one colour cartridge, but other configurations are also common. In most cases, an inkjet cartridge costs £9 to £16, and produces 150 to 200 pages. For example, Canon inkjet cartridges average about £12 each, and yield 170 pages, which costs about 11 cents per page.
Laserjet printers are equipped with toner cartridges that are relatively expensive, but do not require frequent replacement. Like inkjet printers, they typically use one cartridge for black and one for colour. One toner cartridge costs £32 to £97, but produces thousands of pages. For example, an HP toner cartridge costs about £74, and yields 8,000 pages, so printing costs 1 to 2 cents per page. Laserjet printers also require replacement of a drum about every 20,000 pages; this ultimately brings the cost to about two cents per page.
In most cases, inkjet printers wear out faster than laserjet printers, so after a few years of use, it may become necessary to replace the printer. Laserjet printers have more moving parts and are more prone to breaking down, although it is usually possible to replace individual parts as needed to restore the quality of the printer. Laserjet printers are usually faster than inkjet printers, particularly with complex images requiring a significant amount of ink. If efficiency is an important factor, the printer speed is worth considering.
In most cases, inkjet printers feature a lower cost per page for relatively infrequent printing, while laserjet printers feature a lower cost per page for frequent and high volume printing. Users who do not intend to print more than a few pages per day should probably stick to inkjet printers, while those who intend to print more should consider the potential long-term savings of using a laserjet printer.
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