Inkjet Vs Laser For Photo Printing : Which To Choose?

Printing has become an indispensable part of our daily jobs. We need to generate hardcopy of so many documents, diagrams and other essential reports on a regular basis to maintain a proper workflow

While printing may seem like a pretty basic and straightforward task, it can actually affect the overall productivity of a workplace. This is especially true for businesses involving images since not all printers are well-equipped for printing photographs.

That is why we are here to discuss the perks of inkjet vs laser for photo printing purposes. These are two of the most common printers available to masses. Let’s see which one excels at generating the highest quality of tangible images!

What Are Inkjet Printers

If you have ever noticed a printer in a household, it was most likely of the inkjet variation. That is because they have been available for a longer time and come at a cheaper price than most of other competing printers.

It is called inkjet because the printer propels liquid ink from a container onto the paper through microscopic openings like a jet! The modern models do much more than just printing documents or images. For instance, scientists and researchers rely on their technology for studying living cells to be used in tissue engineering.

They were first manufactured back in Japan during the early 1950s. Then these machines started to print out digital images in the late 1970s. Since their initial run in the digital space involved photo printing, inkjet is one of the more popular choices for this task.

Advantages of Inkjet Printers

Crystal Clear Details

The inkjet printer is well-known for its capability to print images maintaining the high definition and superior quality of their digital versions. The original high resolution of these photos does not suffer through inkjet printers. As a result, you are able to marvel at the minute photographic details laid out smoothly on paper.


We may have tons of space in most large offices to place the printer comfortably. However, when it comes to household operations or congested workplaces, inkjet printers offer a better solution. These are built as a compact piece which does not require too large an area. So you can choose inkjet printers for small apartments.

Quiet Operation

For those of you who are annoyed with the loud sound produced during a printing job, you can find some solace in inkjet printers. Compared to other categories like daisy-wheel and impact dot matrix, inkjet printers operate much more quietly. As a result, you can continue your sound sleep even if your housemate is using it!

Fast Operation

These printers can also give a boost to your daily productivity by making the prints much faster. They have nearly zero warm-up time which surely gives a head start to the task. Since it began earlier than other devices, the inkjet printer also manages to finish the job before its competitors

Disadvantages of Inkjet Printers

High Operational Cost

Inkjet printers will be an economical choice only if the printable quantity is not too much. While the printer devices themselves come at a considerably lower price point, their operational cost can turn out to be high. Especially in case of printing out black and white photos, the expense for each page or screen can be costly.

Clogged Ink

Since the nozzles of an inkjet printer are very narrow, they are likely to get clogged by the ink. This can happen while manually cleaning the nozzles or when the printer decides to do it automatically following its predetermined schedule. So remember to clean them up maintaining the necessary precautions

What Are Laser Printers

As you can guess from the name, these printers rely on laser beams to transfer a digital file on a tangible surface. The printing surface is exposed to these beams at specified spots or areas for drawing the content there.

A drum coated with selenium makes this possible. It uses electric charges to print the document or image in a non-impact technology. This particular process doesn’t need the keys to touch the printing surface. The printer can only rely on the laser beam, dry ink powder and drum to achieve the hardcopy

Laser printers were first used by IBM in 1975 for working with its mainframe computers. Since the reinvention of this technology by Hewlett-Packard in 1984, laser printers have become faster, more compact and more accessible for the masses.

Advantages of Laser Printers

Large Volume

If you run a business from home which requires printing a large number of photos every day, this kind of printer should be one of your first choices for the job. Because of the capability of laser printers to print in huge volume on a regular basis, they are a popular choice for professional or office use.


Laser printers can last a long time. The average lifespan of desktop laser printers is about 5 years. Moreover, you can extend the longevity even further by only replacing the particular component which has been damaged or worn away. This way, you can get the maximum utilization of a single unit of laser printer!

Low Operational Cost

Although this device can be more expensive than other printers, its operating cost is actually much more budget-friendly. The expense per page for laser printing is pretty low. This cheap operational cost in addition to the high durability makes laser printers a very cost-effective choice.

Disadvantages of Laser Printers

Environmental Issues

Since laser printers rely on the electrostatic properties of toners, the friction between their charges and other particles can lead to dust explosions or ignition. Besides, they can contribute in forming ozone hazards by generating some ionized nitrogen and oxygen. However, this only happens in commercial laser printing.

Respiratory Risks

Along with the environment, you can put yourself at risk too by using laser printers without caution. There was an Australian study conducted in 2012 which exposed the adverse effects of sub-micrometer particles emitted by a handful of printers. Inhaling them can lead to respiratory irritation and sometimes cancer.

Comparing Laser Vs Inkjet Printers For Photo Printing

Diverse Applications

Between Laser and Inkjet models, inkjet printers seem to do better at photos than the laser ones.

There are certain models of inkjet printers which excel at printing photos. For instance, SOHO multifunction models of Canon or Epson can print photos using up to six separate inks. The devices dedicated to professional photo printing allow as many as twelve different inks.

In contrast, laser printers are more suitable for printing documents. That is why they are a popular choice for office use. These printers are also capable of producing larger volumes of official documents than inkjet.


Laser and inkjet printers use drastically different kinds of ink. They have contrasting consistency and mechanisms. The inkjet printers work by spraying liquid pigment-based ink over the printable surface, while the laser ones follow non-impact technology using dry ink powder


Time is money in any business or professional project. So many of you might be looking for the best way to save time during each printing job. In this case, the laser gets the upper hand since it can print out black and white photos faster. Its printing time shrinks by a few seconds compared to that of inkjet


If your office space is a little cramped up, you can go for inkjet printers to accommodate the small area. They tend to be a little more compact than laser printers. Their size differences are not very substantial. Each side or face of inkjet is usually smaller by only about two inches.


Keeping your photo printer jobs budget-friendly is a bit tricky when it comes to inkjet and laser. Both of them have their advantages in this regard.

According to upfront costs, laser printers are more expensive since their devices come at higher price points. However, in terms of operational costs for monochromatic photos, they can be cheaper. The cost per page for such photos is lower for laser printers.

Bottom Line – Which One is For You?

From all the aspects we have discussed here, the ideal choice between inkjet vs laser for photo printing seems quite clear!

The inkjet printers offer more advantages than the alternative in case of printing images. They are the smaller and quieter printer which can provide better quality with finer details. Besides, their upfront cost and operational cost for colorful photos are also more economical than laser printers.

You can go for laser printers if your main target is generating hardcopy of official documents in large volumes. Their cost per page in this regard is lower than inkjet.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.