Coolblue home
Written by Steven

What is the difference between inkjet printers and laser printers?

If you need a new printer, choose between an inkjet printer and a laser printer. Both can do the same: printing. There are a number of differences between inkjet and laser technology. An inkjet printer offers a solution when you want to print at home, want a cheap device, and print good quality photos. A laser printer is useful for the office, thanks to its speed, affordable toner cartridges, and large cartridges. We'll compare these printers for you.

Differences between inkjet printers and laser printers

Inkjet Laser
Recommended for activity Home Office
Cartridges Ink cartridges Toner cartridges
Purchase price Low High
Printing costs High Low
Print quality High Low
Print speed Low High

Difference in technology

inkjet printer

What is inkjet technology?

An inkjet printer makes prints by spraying small drops of ink onto a page in a certain pattern. This ink comes from plastic capsules called ink cartridges. These cartridges are sold with all kinds of ink colors. Many printers only have the basic colors black, cyan, magenta and yellow, but there are also inkjet printers with space for 9 different cartridges. This makes an inkjet printer capable of producing beautiful color prints. They often don't print very quickly, so they're primarily intended for home use.

laser printer

What is laser technology?

A laser printer doesn't use ink, but toner cartridges to make a print. Toner is a powder that's melted on a page at a high temperature. It's sold in large toner cartridges, allowing you to print for a long time without replacing your cartridges. Toner cartridges are cheaper than ink, but is less good at making color prints. Laser printers are often fast and efficient. Excellent for the office. Do you print a lot at home because you're self-employed or a teacher? Even then a laser printer comes in handy.

Difference in costs

hp cartridge

When is inkjet cheaper?

Many inkjet printers have a lower purchase price than laser printers, but the printing costs are higher. For the cheapest inkjet printers, you pay between 40 and 50 euros. These inexpensive printers can also scan, copy, and print in color. An inkjet printer doesn't have to warm up, so it uses less electricity than a laser printer, which does need to heat up. Ink cartridges are expensive to use and often have to be replaced. Do you print occasionally? An inkjet printer is the most economical choice.

hp toner

When is laser cheaper?

It's more expensive to buy an average laser printer, but printing itself is more affordable if you use toner cartridges. The cheapest laser printers cost between 70 and 90 euros. Toner cartridge prints are more affordable than ink because toner cartridges last longer than ink cartridges. This can save you a lot of money in the long term. The ink in a cartridge may become dry, which won't happen with toner powder and you can also print more pages with a toner. Do you print a lot? A laser printer is the most economical.

Difference in performance

HP inkjet printer with cartridges on a table

Inkjet performance

Inkjet printers almost always make prints with better resolution and color reproduction than laser printers. This way, you can provide text documents with colorful images or print sharp photos. You see little difference between text documents from an inkjet or laser printer. Inkjet printers print slower than laser printers, on average. Printer ink isn't waterproof and the paper can feel wet if you print in color. In addition, ink can dry up and the nozzles can become clogged. That's not the case with laser printers.

hp laser printer with toners on a table

Laser performance

Laser printers print a lot faster than inkjet printers. Most models print more than 25 black and white pages per minute, so a print takes just 2.4 seconds. Color laser printers exist, but these only offer space for the 3 standard colors and never have a high print resolution. You can provide a report with color images, but you can't print photos. The prints from a laser printer are both waterproof and dry, and the toner in the cartridge never dries up.


An inkjet printer offers a solution when you want to print at home, want a cheap device, and/or print high-quality images and photos. A laser printer is useful for the office, thanks to its speed, affordable toner, and large cartridges. Choose which printer suits you best.

Did this help you?

We only use your feedback to improve the website, we won't respond.
Thanks for your feedback

© 1999 - 2022 - Coolblue B.V.
Rating by costumers: Kiyoh 9.1 / 10 - 14,259 reviews