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Color Laser Printers: Fast and Affordable!

Color Laser Printers: Fast and Affordable!
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Sales of color laser printers are expected to increase by 20% annually in the years ahead, while monochrome laser printer sales remain level. What's happening with color laser technology parallels the history of inkjet printers, but on a smaller scale. In a few years, there's a good chance that color laser printers will outstrip monochrome printers in sales. For two years now, manufacturers have been offering some particularly economical models, and HP has even broken new ground by launching a color laser - the Color LaserJet 1600 - selling for less than $300 in mass-retail chain stores.

Beyond the usual distinctions between color and monochrome laser printers, there's another important difference within the category of color models: one-pass versus multi-pass. With a one-pass printer, the page makes a single pass over all four of the toner cartridges that deliver the four primary colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black), which makes for faster printing. With multi-pass printers, the same sheet travels a longer path, going through four successive printing phases (one for each color). Multi-pass theoretically reduces the cost of a printer, because there's only a single drum for all the toner cartridges, whereas one-pass printers need a drum for each toner color. But of course, printing times in color are at least four times as long with multi-pass.

This roundup focuses on one-pass printers. While they currently account for only 46% of the market, they're clearly the way of the future, and several entry-level models from HP, Oki, and Canon are one-pass printers. Other manufacturers will have to go the same route very soon if they want to stay competitive.

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  • 0 Hide
    gorbehnare , August 12, 2008 2:37 AM
    This is a good comparison. I found this information very much more useful.
  • 0 Hide
    wahaha , August 28, 2009 2:30 AM
    You're also forgetting one thing, LOWER DPI.

    You do NOT need to print random obtuse documents at 300DPI. That's a waste of ink/toner, and speed. Is it even worth it to save half of 1 cent though? Who knows.

    And I bet they base the speed claims of these lasers off of 150 DPI settings. You only use 300+ DPI for business appropriate letter head.
  • 0 Hide
    alfredjr18 , January 11, 2010 11:44 PM
    Yup. Nice Post. Try to see this one too

    Best Cost Per Page HP Color Laser Printers


  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 7, 2011 1:24 AM
    Inkjets will dry up if not used for months: TRUE. Lasers are the best choice if you rarely print stuff.

    Inkjets try to waste as much ink as possible: TRUE. They love to spray a LOT of ink when running very frequent cleaning cycles.

    All printer companies try to rip you off: TRUE. Chipping should be illegal from the environmental perspective. I've seen HP printers expire an entire set of 90% full color toner cartridges because they were too old, printers that refuse to print using a refilled cartridge. Some OEMs for medium-heavy duty printers require that you give them the used cartridges to get preferred pricing. That's to keep used cartridges from getting to re-manufacturers.

    Printing photos at home is a waste of money: True. They cost like a dollar for 4x6, and if you botch one, it's now $2. Photo lab is under $0.25, they pay for their mistakes, and the print is much more durable and fade / water resistant.

    For most economical, trouble free printing for a home user, get an old HP 4/5. Built like a tank, tones of re-manufactured cartridges available (if you ever need one)
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , April 2, 2011 10:47 PM
    Do you own a laser or inkjet?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , December 28, 2011 11:09 AM
    Its time to end the stereotype of THIS article, cause its BS.

    1) Inkjets have alternative ink, that cuts down printing costs to less than that of lasers. Example: 1L color from Inktec - over 10k pages at 5% - cost 20$. ONE liter. UV resistance included.
    2) It is possible to buy as little as 20ml of ink if you dont print often
    3) Inkjet head can be rinsed with distilled hot water and vacuumed for 10 years period, if you donĀ“t print.
    4) Inkjets do produce better quality photo. 4800x4800 vs 600x600, go try it out. The only paper where they are on parity is normal 80g which makes no difference.
    5) Printing costs: The only laser capable of at least 1200x1200 is lexmark 5xx series, with supplies costing 300$, drum 200$, drying element 250$. All this comes to page costs, somehow everyone forgets that and calculates only toner cost, which is WRONG.
    6) Inkjet consumes only 50W at printing, where lasers are up to 2KW. But thats not a major factor.

    So inkjets weight less, cost less, running costs are less, prints better. What is real problem with inkjets?
    1) You have to use alternative ink, but not just some, but special for your model. Forget about original ink - it costs more than parfume.
    2) It can get messy - if you set wrong settings - because printer dries and stores excessive ink INSIDE of itself, it can pretty much mess everything. You will need lots of paper and/or Q-tips to clean.
    3) Remember 15 minute max on air time for printing heads and catridges. A head which is dried up ins near impossible to recover if it uses pigment ink.
    4) Hardly a photo is water resistant. Due to nature of ink, its impossible. It will not dissolve from water drops, but merging a photo in water - and you can forget it. There are printers which are better here - the sublimation printers. But they are ONLY good for photo and printing costs are high, but thats labor quality.
    5) Unlike laser, you will sometimes need to clean your inkjet. It is a very messy process, and remember never to use alcohol cause it can dry ink up an you can forget the printing head.

    All in one, inkjets are ideal for less than 1000 prints in a month, or in situation where photo printing is needed, but not on large scale. Starting from 1000 prints pro year you should get CISS system on your inkjet, but still laser will be a bit more efficient, because of raw printing speed (1pass laser) and outage times(cleaning head etc).

    Overall inkjet costs way way less with alternative ink, alone the cost of supplies for laser (toner set+drum+fixer) can overweight cost of laser printer itself by factor 200%. This is why you find empty laser printers on sale at ebay for 20$.