Laser printers were once far more expensive than inkjet printers but now the cost of these items are very much reduced, so much so that they now compete with inkjet printer in terms of cost, and once when only a business with very large printing requirements could reasonably afford to buy one the cost is now such that they are within the budget of most people and home offices can enjoy high quality professional publications.
Electrostatic Printing is what we normally call laser printing and the technology used to produce the printed page is vastly different from inkjet printing electrical charges are used to produce the images that are seen. Light photons are discharged onto the cylindrical transparent drum. a laser light is shone onto the drum, letters and images are sent from the computer as electrical charges. The drum is then coated with a toner which carries a positive electrical charge. Negatively charged paper is then rolled across the drum and the positively charged image is transferred to the paper.
The toner cartridges are initially more expensive than the inkjet cartridges but are capable of much greater output a typical high capacity cartridge will yield approximately 4000 pages with 5% coverage. four toners are used they are cyan magenta yellow and black, the good thing is when one toner is used up you can still print using the other three colours, and every last bit of toner can be used. A common trick to get more out of the toner cartridge is when the toner cartridge appears to have run out open the printer remove the cartridge shake it and replace it into the printer this will result in a few more hundred copies being produced, i have done this myself a couple of times when i thought the toner was out and found that the toner settles in the cartridge and by shaking and replacing i am therefore able to extend the life of the cartridge.
The life of most printers will be about 5 years if looked after properly and the cost of the toner cartridges is prohibitive they can be in excess of 25% of the initial purchase price of the laser printer which means you will pay many times over the original cost of the laser printer. To help to defray costs you might do as i did frustrated by the high cost of ownership i simply bought another identical laser printer with a full set of toner cartridges which incredibly worked out at a price 50% cheaper than a set of toner cartridges for the laser printer.
The reason these types of printer are so popular now in the home office market is the quality speed and cost. These once very expensive laser printers are today very affordable and the situation described above no longer exists. Over the long term they will prove to be more economical then the ink jet although the initial investment will be greater than the inkjet. They use less and are cheaper also they can be recycled which helps to ease landfill problems.
How recycling issues can be effectively addressed is discussed in recycling inkjet cartridges at the following address http://ezinearticles.com/?Recycling-Inkjet-Cartridges&id=751450
When looking to purchase a laser printer be sure to compare prices from a number of different sources as prices can vary considerably, depending on your needs you might consider laser printer that is not the latest model manufacturers frequently update models to reflect the rapidly changing pace in the electronics areas, or you might inquire about display models a these are often sold at reduced prices.
These laser copiers are excellent machines and are available in a number of different sizes A4, A3 sizes depending on your requirement the quality of printing is so high that on some laser copies you are warned that you are not allowed to copy bank notes passports and other legal types of documents and to do so is a criminal offense that carries heavy penalties.