Color Inkjet Vs. Laser Printers for Photographs

Written by d.m. gutierrez
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Color Inkjet Vs. Laser Printers for Photographs
Colour inkjet printers print better-quality digital photos--at a price. (digital camera image by Jeff Dalton from

As colour inkjet printers and laser printers become increasingly similar in cost and quality, it becomes more difficult to weigh the relative pros and cons. Inkjet printers produce better photos than laser printers but can be more expensive to operate.

Inkjet Advantages

Colour inkjet printers produce high-quality vibrant photos. These printers are less expensive to buy than laser printers, and some are even free with a computer purchase.

Inkjet Disadvantages

Inkjet cartridges are extremely expensive when printing high-coverage colour photographs, especially in high-volume situations. An inkjet ink cartridge costs less than half as much as a laser printer cartridge but produces only 1/10 the number of pages.

Laser Printer Advantages

Colour laser printers are initially more expensive than inkjet printers, but new colour toner cartridges will print up to 10,000 pages, about 2 cents a page versus 20 cents per page for an inkjet printer.

Laser Printer Disadvantages

Laser printers are most efficient at printing colour documents (web pages, PDFs, corporate reports) but do not produce photographs as well as inkjet printers. Since most colour laser printers require four separate toner cartridges, restocking can be almost £260.


A viable alternative to printing photographs from either a home inkjet or laser printer is to have the digital photo professionally printed. Upload the image to a printing website or take your camera to digital photo processing outlet.

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