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How to Choose the Best Laser Printer for You

Whether for use at home or in the office, laser printers create documents high in print quality and sharp, clear text. Find the right laser printer by learning what features matter most to you.

Whether for use at home or in the office, laser printers create documents with high-level print quality and sharp, clear text. The best models offer a blend of performance, convenience, and cost-effectiveness. Discover the most important features of different printer models to find the best laser printer for your personal or business needs.

Top Benefits of Laser Printers

Laser printers make life undeniably easier when they're working as intended. When shopping for the best model, keep in mind how the printer will improve business operations or optimize life at home. These printers offer quite a few benefits to help drive your decision.

  • Laser print speed is lightning fast. Laser printers have a print speed upwards of 25 to 50 pages per minute, going up to even 100 pages per minute for higher-end models. Print speed helps ensure projects can get completed efficiently, keeping your work environment productive.
  • Toner cartridges for laser printers are long-lasting and easy to maintain. Toner cartridges allow you to print for what seems like an eternity with less maintenance to replace cartridges. Toner also doesn't dry out when it's not in use for some time.
  • Print quality tends to be sharp, clean and smudge-free. When the toner bakes into the paper, the results are flawless, giving you a professional print quality every time.
  • Laser printing is economical and efficient. The cost per page tends to be lower with heavy printing volumes, particularly in an office or home office setting.

Different types of printers serve different needs and offer their own unique results. Consider your personal or business printing needs to find the best laser printer for you.

Inkjet vs. Laser Printers

If you’re early in the buying process, you may still be debating on the type of printer that is best for your needs. The two most popular types of printers are inkjet printers and laser printers. So how can you decide between the two? How will you know if a laser printer is the right type of printer for your needs? Here’s a quick overview to help you decide:

     

Ink / Toner

 

Text Document Printing

 

Photo Printing

 

Upfront Cost

 


Long Term Cost

Inkjet Printer

Uses ink cartridges with liquid ink


Letters may bleed and are not typically as sharp as with a laser printer


Prints photos with sharp, vivid color


Less expensive than laser printers



Maintenance and cartridge replacements can lead to greater long-term cost

Laser Printer

Uses powdered toner


Laser printers are better for printing documents, delivering crisp and clear text


High quality photo printing, but not as vivid as inkjet printers


More expensive than inkjet printers


Though toner cartridges may cost more than ink cartidges, they are far more efficient, meaning you can get more value in the long run

The bottom line? If you primarily need to print text documents or do a lot of high-volume printing, a laser printer is the best choice for you. And vice versa, if you need to print vivid photos or typically only do low-volume printing, an inkjet printer may be the better option.

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Important Laser Printer Features to Consider

Laser printers each have their own advantages, so it helps to decide which features are most important to you. When searching for the best laser printer, be sure to compare and contrast these key features.

  • Wireless Printing. Effortless connectivity lends convenience with no bounds. Research how the printer connects to a Wi-Fi network and find out if there are any limitations. Advances in wireless printing technology and Wi-Fi connectivity may now allow you to print documents quickly and easily from your phone.
  • Paper Handling. In a business or home setting, the ability to handle paper capacity with ease, thus avoiding jams and other technical issues, is paramount. Interestingly, many consumers do not think to ask about this feature when looking to buy the best printer.
  • Print Speed. The number of pages per minute (ppm) that your printer can deliver holds importance for productivity expectations at the office. Prevent a logjam in the printing suite by choosing the best office laser printer for the level of printing your company requires.
  • Monthly Volume. Understand the monthly duty cycle of each printer you consider. Knowing how many pages the device can reliably print each month will help you stay ahead of jams and technical repairs.
  • Eligible Media Formats. Laser printers often allow printing on a wide variety of different sizes and thicknesses of paper. You may find various models also allow for printing on mailing supplies like envelopes and smaller paper formats.
  • Duplex Printing and Special Features. Duplex printing—the ability to print on both sides—can be a highly desirable feature in some settings. In addition to duplex printing, you must also consider multitasking capabilities. The ability to multitask, or print, scan and fax, could be another helpful feature to consider for your printer.

Types of Laser Printers

There are several types of laser printers to consider. Here are some of the most popular categories:

  • Monochrome Laser Printer. Monochrome laser printers only print in black and white. If you only need to print plain text documents, this model could be right for you.
  • Color Laser Printer. Color laser printers print in cyan, magenta, yellow and black. If you need to print photos or graphics, a color printer is essential.
  • Compact Laser Printer. These printers feature a smaller, compact design. If you don’t have much space in your home of office, consider a compact laser printer.
  • Multifunction Laser Printer. Multifunction printers offer additional functionality, like scanning, faxing, and more. If you don’t have the tools to perform these functions and are looking for an affordable all-in-one solution, this could be the model for you.

Finding the Best Color Laser Printer

Marketing documents, graphs and images print clearly with high quality laser printers. The best color laser printer is able to do a good job with photographs as well, although dedicated photo printing is usually best left to a photo printer or inkjet printer.

In addition to the key features mentioned above, to find the best color laser printer for your home or office, consider these factors:

  • Print Resolution. Make a point to check the resolution of your intended color laser printer. The best models will have higher dots per inch (DPI), allowing them to produce the sharpest images.
  • Toner Cost. Remember that higher DPI also means greater toner consumption. Get an idea of the cost and schedule for replacing toner so you're in the know about the long-term costs associated with the new printer.
  • Color Printer Speed. Color printing generally takes longer than black and white printing. Check expected printing speeds to ensure your printer can deliver according to your company's demands.

If you do plan to print photos, be sure to use only laser photo paper. Using inkjet photo paper can result in expensive damage to your machine.

Choosing the Best Home Laser Printer

If you have kids who need to print materials for school projects, consider a color laser printer. This will be the perfect solution to print sharp images and presentations in color. If all you need to do, however, is print plain text documents, a monochrome laser printer can be a more affordable option. Other key features to look for in the best home laser printer include Wi-Fi connectivity, warranties, multifunctionality (i.e. scanning and/or faxing), and interactive LED interfaces for convenience.

Choosing the Best Business Laser Printer

When shopping for work environments, the best office laser printer should meet all your company's printing needs. Assign priority to the different features listed above to determine which laser printer will best satisfy your company goals and workflows. Rely on the tips in this post to guide you toward a laser printer that brings great performance and convenience to your organization.

Find the Right Laser Printer for You

We hope this laser printer guide has helped you to find the right model for your needs. If you’re ready to buy, explore our inventory of industry-leading laser printers at CDW today.

Shop all laser printers at CDW.