Choosing the right printer can raise a lot of questions. The first question that often comes up is: what is a cheap printer but… also a good printer?

The choice for cheap printing starts with choosing a printer. But what is the cheapest printer for you and what are the differences between an inkjet printer and a laser printer?

In the article below we explain the differences between an inkjet and a laser printer!

Differences between an inkjet printer and laser printer

In the table below we have clearly listed all the differences for you.

Type of printer inkjet printer Laser printer
Purchase value printer Cheap Duration
Print Speed Low High
Suitable for Home Office
Cartridge or toner size Small Big
Ink cartridge Cartridge (cheap) Toner (more expensive)
printing technique The print head sprays the ink onto the paper The document is projected onto an electrically charged roll and this is burned onto the paper
Type of ink liquid ink fine powder
Fixation of the ink The ink needs to dry The powder particles are burned onto the paper
Capacity per cartridge About 500 pages Minimum 1,000 pages up to 2,000 pages
Cost per print (relatively speaking) more expensive Cheaper
Suitable for Average printing in small quantities Many printing in large quantities
Print speed (relatively speaking) slow Fast
Printing photos Good Less
print quality + (Generally) strong at printing photos and graphics + Can print excellent sharp letters
– Less strong in printing photos and graphics



Example of an inkjet printer. An inkjet printer prints with ink!

Example of a laser printer. A laser printer prints with toner!

What is an inkjet printer?

To be able to print with an inkjet printer, you need ink cartridges. As the name implies, ink cartridges contain liquid ink.

This ink is dispersed on the paper during printing through small nozzles in the print head. The print head is in the printer or in the cartridges.

Ink cartridges come in four basic colors, namely black, cyan, magenta, and yellow. With these colors, the inkjet printer is able to print all other colors. We sell these colors in complete sets. These complete sets are called ‘multipacks’.

Example of a multipack (HP 364XL) for an inkjet printer

Some inkjet printers, such as the HP ENVY Photo 6234 All-in-one, use two cartridges instead of these four (or five) cartridges. One of these so-called ‘blocks’ contains the color black and the other block contains the colors cyan, magenta, and yellow in one.

Example of blocks (HP ENVY) for an inkjet printer.

Most cartridges contain a chip that can communicate with the inkjet printer. A chip ensures that information about the cartridge is sent to your printer. only sells ink cartridges with a chip.

What is a laser printer?

Unlike an inkjet printer, a laser printer does not use an ink cartridge, but a toner. Toners contain no ink, but fine color powder. A laser printer, such as the HP Laser 107w, projects the document to be printed onto an electrically charged roller called the drum.

The toner powder will stick to the drum according to this indicated pattern. The laser then burns these powder particles onto the paper; hence the name ‘laser printer’. As with ink cartridges, most toners also contain a chip.

Example of toner for a laser printer.

Which is cheaper, an inkjet printer or a laser printer?

Quite simply, the purchase price of an inkjet printer is cheaper than that of a laser printer. The ink cartridges are also cheaper than toners. You would therefore think that using an inkjet printer is cheaper than using a laser printer. However, this is not always the case. This is because much more can be printed with a toner than with a cartridge.

An ink cartridge can print around 500 pages on average. The printouts for toners can sometimes be up to 2,000 pages. The costs per print for toners are therefore lower than for cartridges.

This makes it more difficult to say whether one system is better than the other. For people who print limited, it is cheaper to purchase an inkjet printer, because the purchase price of the printer is low.

For people who print a lot or for companies and schools, for example, it is cheaper to buy a laser printer. The purchase price of this printer is high, but if there is a lot of printing, the low cost per print will compensate for this.

These printers print the cheapest!

In addition to the ‘normal’ inkjet printers that use cartridges, there are also inkjet printers with an ink tank. These are printers where the ink can be refilled with ink bottles in the ink tank. The bottles of ink are a lot cheaper than cartridges and toners. A well-known printer series with an ink tank is the Epson EcoTank series. In our range, we also have private label bottles of ink for this series of printers. This allows you to print even cheaper with this series of printers.

However, the purchase price of this so-called EcoPrinter is somewhat higher than both inkjet printers with cartridges and laser printers. But this too is easily compensated if you (as a company) print a lot. So do you print (reasonably) a lot? Then the EcoTank could be a cheap printer or a laser printer.

It is also important to look at the specifications of a printer. Every printer model is different and has its pros and cons. So do not only look at the costs and choice between inkjet or laser but also at the qualities of the individual printer models.


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