Laser printers – they are fast, quiet and offer excellent print quality . Especially when many pages have to be printed at once, laser printers are the better choice. The laser printers are available both as a laser printer in black and white and as a color laser printer. In addition, there are models that not only print but also scan and fax.
The different models of laser printers differ in terms of printing speed, maximum resolution, and paper capacity. In contrast to the inkjet printers, which are often found in the home office, the laser printers are often a bit more expensive to buy.
What you should consider when buying a laser printer and which types of this printer category are available, we would like to show in our laser printer comparison.
Top 10 Laser Printers
What is a laser printer and what does it need?
Laser printers are available in various designs and offer all sorts of benefits in terms of print speed and print quality. While the prints of inkjet printers are not UV resistant, the prints of laser printers withstand the UV rays and are smudge resistant.
Even if they are called laser printers, letters and images are not lasered onto the paper but printed with toner. The print quality of the laser printer is very good, whereby it depends on the individual devices on the print resolution.
Laser printers are very fast in print compared to inkjet printers.
In addition, the laser printers – depending on the version – are true all-rounders, so to speak. The so-called multifunction devices can print, copy and scan, some models also offer a fax function.
And then there is a difference in laser printers in terms of color – there are the mono laser printers that print only with black ink and there are the color laser printers. The latter can print documents and pictures in color and the whole document just right. However, the inkjet printers in the field of photo printing offer a far better quality than the color laser printers. So if you want crisp images in the printed format, you should opt for a good inkjet printer.
Those laser printers that cannot “just print” are also referred to as all-in-one laser printers or as a 4-in-1 multifunction laser printer. Then there are the 3-in-1 laser printers. What differences these laser printers bring and what distinguishes each one, we would like to explain in more detail below.
Another advantage that today’s modern printers – including inkjet printers – bring with them is the ability to print from smartphones. Whereas in the past the printers were directly connected to the computer, the connection possibilities are already very advanced today. Also more on that later.
The purchase costs the laser printers a bit more expensive compared to the inkjet printers, but the printing costs are much lower. Even users who print very little are better served with a laser printer.
How does the laser printer work?
The basis of laser printers is the principle of electrophotography. In the laser printer, a picture drum is installed, the coating of which charges electrostatically negatively. Different methods are used:
- the use of charging rollers, which are under high voltage and transfer this voltage to the image drum or
- the corona discharge. Here, a wire generates high voltage, which is then transferred to the image drum.
The print image is now transferred to the image drum by the laser beam exposure. At the points where the laser beam hits the drum, the negative charge is canceled. The laser beam is deflected by a rotating mirror, the laser scanner, in grids on the drum.
By halftone, grayscale is generated. So also work simple color laser printers, which produce additional colors from the primary colors. In contrast, higher-priced color laser printers operate so that the color image is generated by a graded discharge.
By rotation of the image, the drum is brought to the toner, which receives its negative charge by resin portions and thereby adhering to the previously discharged points of the image drum. The image drum is also called a photoconductor.
Another rotation causes the toner to either be applied directly to the paper or transferred to another transfer belt or transfer roller and then onto the paper.
In color laser printers, which have the colors cyan, magenta, yellow, as individual cartridges, the printout is in four separate printing units, one behind the other. To get a flawless and flawless print, the exact positioning of the paper is very important.
While the first page is still going through one of the following stages, you can start printing on the second page. As a result, most laser printers offer the same page numbers for black-and-white and color printing. Only some laser printers have a lower number of color prints, such as the Samsung Laser Printer last introduced.
Older laser printers work with a transfer ribbon, which is coated with paint and then transferred accordingly. This color toner is in a revolver drum at these devices.
A little digression into the history of laser printers
Already in 1937, the American physicist Chester F. Carlson applied for a patent for electrophotography. He laid the foundation for the operation of the laser printer. His goal at the time, however, was to develop a duplication system, as we know it in today’s photocopiers. The initial interest in big companies like General Electric or IBM was small.
It was not until 1970 that the first laser printer was developed by the engineer Gary Starkweather, based on the copiers. The device was based on the ROS principle (raster output scanner ) and was already convincing with a resolution of 500 dpi. However, the initial cost of such a laser printer was enormous, so that in the 60s and 70s, a laser printer cost between 100,000 and 350,000 US dollars.
In 1984, Hewlett-Packard launched the HP LaserJet. The introductory price was compared to the devices from previous years with the US $ 3,495 already much cheaper.
And today laser printers are really affordable, offer high print quality and are very fast in printing.
You should pay attention to this when buying a laser printer
The range of laser printers today is immense. As already described, there are the simple, classic mono-laser printers that can print “only” in black and white. Then there are the color laser printers, which convince with very good color printouts.
And then the laser printers are available as combination devices, the so-called multifunction laser printers. These can not only print, but also scan, copy and sometimes also fax. It is clear that these multifunction devices are different in price from the simple printers, but who wants to buy a laser printer, should first weigh for what the printer is needed.
So it may be that a mono laser printer for the home office or the workplace is completely sufficient, while others can not do without a multifunction device in color.
When making a purchase decision, you should define your individual needs and then purchase the right device.
So you should weigh what you mainly want to print with the printer. Due to their high quality and clear typeface, laser printers are ideal for text printing. But also graphics in black and white have a very good print. So if you want black-and-white prints, then you should opt for a mono-laser printer.
However, if you want to print in color, then your choice should go in the direction of color laser printers. You may also want to consider an inkjet printer here, especially if you want to print many photos. But if it’s graphics in color, then the color laser printer is the right choice.
The first step in terms of laser printing is done, but there are still many more points to clarify:
- The output volume
As a rule, printouts in DIN A4 format are required, which is what all laser presses can do. Do you need the printer for your home office and do not need so many prints, then you usually do not care about the printing speed.
On the other hand, for example, at work, you need far more and above all “fast” printouts, so that a laser printer with a high printing speed is the better choice here. For this reason, when buying a laser printer, pay attention to the number of prints per minute. For most printers, the number of black-and-white prints and color prints is the same. Only a few devices there are differences.
- The warm-up phase of the laser printer
This is not to be despised. Some models need time to warm up, which of course can cause delays in printing. In addition, many laser printers go into standby after a certain amount of time and then need to warm up to print again.
As a rule, the warm-up times are listed for all laser printers.
- The working memory
For a print job, the data is sent from the computer to the printer. If the printer has a large amount of RAM, it is above all possible to handle larger print jobs in one. With a small main memory, the print job is processed gradually. In between, the memory is emptied and then to be able to transfer more data to the printer. Also, this factor can increase the time for an expression immensely.
For this reason, if you have large print jobs to handle, make sure that the memory is large enough.
- The print resolution
The print resolution indicates how fine the printed image or file will be. For text printouts a print resolution of 600 x 600 dpi is sufficient. dpi indicates the pixels per inch (2.54 cm) vertically and horizontally. Laser printers with a resolution of 1,200 x 1,200 dpi and more are also ideal for printing detailed graphics.
- The paper size
As a rule, the standard laser printers print in DIN A4 format. There are also models that can print to DIN A3 format. Depending on the printer, however, it is also possible to print envelopes or sheets in DIN A5 format. Here, the laser printer has a cut-sheet feeder, which does the paper supply next to the paper tray.
In some cases, the higher-quality laser printers also offer the possibility that several paper cassettes can be controlled, so that the printout can be made on different paper. Especially in the office sector, these laser printers are very popular.
- The size of the laser printer
Those who do not have much desk space should opt for a small model. Even the multifunction laser printers are not that big anymore, so they usually fit well on the desk.
- The connection options
Whereas in the past printers only had the option of connecting the printer locally or via a network, today there are far more options available. The nature of the connection is sometimes responsible for the speed of data transmission to the printer. The ports have the standard USB port. This connection is made via a special USB cable and is very easy to handle. The new laser printers work with USB 2.0. The second connection option is via LAN. This is the classic network connection with a LAN cable and the corresponding port on the printer and a network router, All devices within this network can access the printer via this connection. The WLAN connection is wireless – via radio. In principle, this type of connection is similar to the LAN connection, but without a cable. Thus, the choice of the installation location of the printer is more flexible, in which case, in turn, the signal strength of the wireless network can ultimately be crucial for the installation. Wi-Fi Direct is a connection that is similar to the Wi-Fi. However, the difference lies in the fact that this does not require a network router. The printer forms its own network, so to speak, serves as a base station and thus assumes the tasks of the router.
The last connection variant is via AirPrint. This is similar to the Wifi connection variant, whereby only the communication of devices from Apple with the operating systems Mac OSX or IOS. Using this variant, print jobs can be sent directly from the AirPrint-enabled device to the printer.
- The additional functions of the laser printer
As already written, there are laser printers, which in addition to the printing can also scan, copy and fax. These multifunction devices have a document feeder and a flatbed scanner, both of which can be used for scanning or copying. Duplex printing is a good thing if you want to print on both sides of the paper. The laser printer prints the first page pulls it back in, turn it and prints on the second page. The additional function of the single sheet feeder is a good thing. So just different sized sheets can be printed.
- The toner cartridges
When you buy a laser printer, you should also pay attention to the toner cartridges. Especially with a color laser printer, you need black toner cartridges, toner cartridges in magenta, cyan and yellow. In general, most laser printers are equipped so that each color has its own toner cartridge. So you only need to change the cartridge whose color is empty. This is of course very environmentally friendly and also in terms of cost.
Worth knowing about the laser printer
Do laser printers need to be cleaned?
The answer is “no!”, Which many users consider being an advantage of the laser printer. Since dry, powdered material is used for printing, nothing can stick together. An inkjet printer requires periodic maintenance to prevent printheads and ink from drying out. As the laser printer also works without nozzles, they naturally can not clog either.
The advantage of a laser printer is also that a device that is rarely used, provides an excellent print image. For an inkjet printer, this is definitely not possible.
Laser printers are harmful to your health – is that right?
The toner consists of a few, tiny particles of color that behave like liquids due to their size. The small size of these particles is characterized as fine dust, which is classified as harmful.