When thinking of purchasing a printer, most customers have the same problem: inkjet or laser? Asking the sales person might be a solution, but he/she might be advising you on the most expensive model or just not have the knowledge to tell you what is best for you. At a basic level, it all depends on your budget: if you want to print faster and are willing to spend a bit more, then you get a laser printer; if your budget is tight, you get an inkjet one.
However, things are slightly more complicated than that. Each technology handles a different set of needs, and you have to consider what you will need the printer for. Do you only need to print documents, or also pictures? If you want to print pictures and you want them to look professional, an inkjet printer is a more appropriate option. In fact, a cheap inkjet works better than the most expensive and sophisticated laser printer when it comes to color pictures. But if you just have to print documents, and you need to print them fast, you should know that a laser printer is 4-5 times faster than an inkjet one.
In case you have a large volume of printing, a laser printer will save you some money on the longer term. The cost for one printed page is about 5 times lower with laser printers than with inkjets. In fact, many cheap models might prove less efficient in the end, so you must plan things carefully. Most inkjet printers use only one cartridge. This means that if one color is finished, you need to replace the whole cartridge. Laser printers need less frequent refills. On the other hand, cheaper printer models also use more affordable cartridges.
The final cost is yet another factor you could want to consider. Some printers need periodical replacements of some parts and accessories, which adds up to their total cost. The salesperson is likely to know if this is the case of the one you are looking to get. Memory is another significant element. Low-memory printers might encounter problems printing pages with many graphic elements or move slower if the document has a lot of pages.
Of course, these are just a few of the elements that you might take into account when looking for a printer. Others include its ability to print front and back, print format, compatibility with other network equipment, print management options and many others. It all depends on how you will generally use it. For office, large volume printing, laser printers generally work best, while inkjets are a more appropriate choice if you need to print many color photos.