General Question

2davidc8's avatar

Is inkjet or laser better for printing photos?

Asked by 2davidc8 (9854points) 1 month ago

Also, what printer do you have, and are you happy with it?
How long has it lasted?

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7 Answers

Lightlyseared's avatar

Generally an Inkjet will produce better photos than a laser printer.

A laser printer will produce better text and is cheaper per page (after the initial cost)

For the best results printing photos you you just want to use a dye sublimation printer however the refills are pretty expensive.

2davidc8's avatar

Is “dye sublimation “ a third kind of printer?

Lightlyseared's avatar

Yes. It’s has a roll of film with 3 colour dyes and uses heat to transfer the dye to special photo paper in 3 passes. Usually it will only print a single size (eg 6×4”) but the output is the closest you’ll get to a professionally printed photo.

Caravanfan's avatar

I gave up on printers printing photos. They always fade and the ink is super expensive. I just take them to Costco now.

dabbler's avatar

We used to print everything with a variety of inkjet printers over many years.
There weren’t good alternatives for digital images.

Now we send them to the local Walgreens now for good prints pretty fast and we never deal with fickle cartridges and bad printouts anymore.

We do have a laser printer for text printouts.

munty707's avatar

The most important distinction between inkjet and laser printers is that an inkjet printer uses ink, is suitable for low-volume printing, and is the typical preference of home users, while a laser printer uses toner, is appropriate for high-volume printing, is mainly used in offices, but is also suitable and more cost-effective for home use.

What you print, how much you print, and how much your printing budget are all factors in determining whether you need an inkjet or laser printer.

dabbler's avatar

@munty707 makes some good points about inkjets being good for low-volume, typical household users. Also, I’d say people like them for the color.

But, “low-volume” is key to that conclusion. Laser cost per page is a lot lower past breakeven points. Laser printer cost per page, B&W or color, can be much lower once you print more than a few hundred. Laser toner will last more or less indefinitely between uses while injets can still be fiddly despite improvements.
Also, laser printers are much faster than inkjets. If you print documents at all, an inkjet will do the job relatively slowly and burn through the black cartridge.

And if you need photo quality color output – better than color laser – it can be expensive per print to do at home.

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