Epson Article

Lifestyle & Home Office

Inkjet VS Laser - What's right for you

16 Mar,2021

More than ever, the home printer has become an indispensable part of many Australian’s lives, as workers continue to discover the convenience of having work from home capability. Easy access to important documents is indispensable, especially as more work is conducted from home offices. A home printer is the ideal solution for such a transition, in addition to a multitude of other daily applications.

But what kind of printer is best for you and your needs? This question will often boil down to a binary choice: inkjet or laser printing?

As you decide between a new inkjet printer or laser printer be sure to consider the amount and type of printing you’ll need it for, the costs of ink or toner and the potential environmental impacts. With high-quality products from Epson, the right home printer for you is out there!

What is inkjet printing?

Inkjet printing is the traditional, tried-and-true method, now with an innovative twist from Epson.

These printers work by placing miniscule droplets of ink, either black or multi-coloured, onto the page. The printer’s ink, typically sold in small cartridges, is stored in the machine’s print head.

A page is fed into the machine’s paper tray where rollers pull it into the print head, which moves in tiny increments, dropping ink to create letters and images to specification. Ink droplets are typically formed through either heat from a thermal bubble or vibrations from piezo crystals. Epson pioneered and patented the piezoelectric technology. With this process, Piezo crystals eject the ink directly onto the paper, instead of using heating elements, therefore reducing the risk of blocked nozzles and applied stress onto the print head from constantly heating and cooling.

While inkjet printers often have some of the cheapest starting prices around, the needed ink can be expensive and cumbersome to install. Until now.

The new EcoTank line from Epson sidesteps many of the pitfalls that have traditionally plagued inkjet printers.

EcoTank printers, like the award-winning ET-4750 and the do-it-all ET-4700, hold their ink in refillable tanks, rather than expensive cartridges. This means that users can buy ink bottles that contain a ridiculous amount of ink and fill as needed, rather than worrying that their cartridges will dry out. Each new EcoTank printer comes thousands of pages in the box so you won’t have to worry about a refill for a very long time.

Ink tanks are also significantly easier to refill than installing a cartridge. Take advantage of each ink bottle’s drip free nozzle and resealable cap to cut down the risk of accidents. EcoTank means no last minute trips to the store to get a document printed out before a big meeting. No more black ink stains on your nice work shirt or skirt. No cartridges, no joke.

What is laser printing?

Laser printers use melted toner powder, instead of ink. Rather than being squeezed from a droplet onto the page, like ink in an inkjet printer, laser printers use static electricity to set a pattern and have the positively charged toner powder stick to negatively charged areas of a device called the drum. From there, the toner is transferred onto paper by the fuser, two heated rollers that the page is run through. Laser technology is used to turn digital data from a device into a printable pattern.

Laser printers are preferred by some because they sidestep the ink-buying process entirely and are often very durable and long lasting, with the ability to print hundreds of pages at a rapid clip. However, Epson’s EcoTank inkjet printers also have each of these attributes and you don’t have to worry about toner dust and the mess involved with changing Laser toner cartridges.

When deciding between an inkjet or laser printing model be sure to consider all of the following:

The cheapest cost for you

Whether you’ll be using your home printer to print lengthy documents on a daily basis or for the occasional chart or form, you’ll obviously want the absolute best value for your dollar. In that regard, laser versus inkjet is often presented as being two different paths to reach the same end goal.

In general, the upfront cost of an inkjet printer is typically significantly lower than that of the laser equivalent. However, due to the marked-up prices of ink cartridges, the cost of an inkjet printer can sometimes turn out to be greater in the long run. While inkjet toner does need to be replaced, buying new ink cartridges usually has to be done more frequently.

With so many options and variables to consider, the best way to think of your purchase is not by the sticker price of the printer but the ultimate cost per page and running costs. Epson EcoTank printers offer unbeatable cost per page when compared with laser printers due to the extremely low cost of replacement ink and extremely high yield. With an EcoTank printer, printing costs are less than half a cent per page. In comparison, a typical laser printer will average about five to ten cents per page. That can add up to big savings, fast.

Ultimately, Epson’s refillable ink tank printers may offer an ideal middle ground, with the extremely low running costs and massive savings in ink.

Your printing needs

The right printer for you will also depend on how often you will be printing and on what material.

Do you need a device with a high print volume that can turn out hundreds of pages rapidly?

Does your job require shorter documents but on a regular basis?

What about high-quality photographs?

While laser printers are built to be office workhorses, with a high print volume and the ability to create pages at a rapid clip, they may not be necessary for everyone. In addition, a colour inkjet printer works better for high-quality prints, photographs and other artistic considerations, in most cases.

The size of your printer is also an important factor to consider, especially if placed in a home office where space is limited and every extra metre of floor or desk space matters. Epson EcoTank printers range in size across their 17 different varieties.

Inkjet VS Laser Printers

Giving the planet a leg up

Printer ink cartridges are generally a suboptimal choice for our planet.

Cartridges can take hundreds of years to decompose, and there are millions of them clogging up landfills across Australia and the world. While solutions exist, including recycling options, like Epson’s collaboration with Planet Ark, and cartridges made from reused materials, the truth is that an environmental footprint will always have to be a factor to consider if purchasing an inkjet printer that utilises cartridges.

Laser prints, however, aren’t the only way to mitigate your environmental impact, while still printing all of the documents you need.

The Epson EcoTank reusable refillable tank means that you can avoid cartridges, and the landfill clog that is associated with them, altogether, while still enjoying an inkjet printer. EcoTank printers utilise Epson’s patented piezoelectric technology for a printing experience that is heat-free and needs little electricity. That’s not only good for the planet, but also your electricity bill.

The right choice for you

Deciding between a laser and traditional inkjet printer may seem like a daunting task, where the smallest details can make a difference to your bank account balance and ability to get the job done. Maybe you’ve wanted a home printer for domestic needs for a while now but never gotten around to doing the necessary research. With the COVID-19 pandemic, and work from home measures impacting companies in Australia, a home printer can be a dream purchase and a necessity. Making the right choice matters.

The best inkjet and laser printers each offer qualities you can love. Traditional inkjet printers have lower immediate costs, with initial price points that are truly accessible to anyone, and have stood the test of time as the ideal home printer. Laser printers use a high-tech setup to allow their users to avoid the cost and inconvenience of regular trips to the store for ink cartridges. They also tend to cost far more than their inkjet counterparts and may not be worth it if you’re not printing a high volume of documents on a regular basis.

Luckily, EcoTank from Epson truly offers the best of both worlds.

The EcoTank line offers the quality, versatility, detail and low initial cost of the best inkjet printers, combined with the “get it and print” convenience of a laser machine. With 17 different models of EcoTank, Epson has something for your printing needs, with features that include auto double-sided printing and high-tech LCD screens.

A two year supply of ink right out of the box could save you thousands of dollars in the long run, and when you finally use it up, a full bottle of ink is yours for less than a few cups of coffee. Whether for work, personal needs, or a little of both, EcoTank from Epson has you covered.

To learn more about how Epson is transforming inkjet printing, and all of the products and innovations Epson has to offer your home, visit our home printer product page today.

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