Color or monochrome laser printer for home use?

Dm88

Novice Member
I have an HP inkjet all in one and with the HP ink subscription of $5 per month for 100 pages, it has suited us well and I believe is a good price because you don't have to worry about conserving color or the ink drying out. With two kids home schooled now, they are having to print a lot of pages so we will be going over that 100 pages per month and I think a laser may be more efficient. I do want an all in one again because they will need to do some scanning as well but I am trying to decide whether to just get a monochrome to accompany the inkjet or get a color laser to replace it. If we are printing out a large number of photos, we will get them done at the store, but it is nice to have something to print a few color photos at home if needed. Is a laser capable of that and printing on photo paper? Will it still be cost effective if we are not printing out that much color? What do you guys think is the best way to go?
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
More efficient in what sense? Cheap colour lasers are generally more expensive to run than a similarly priced inkjet.
 

Dm88

Novice Member
In the sense of printing a couple hundred pages a month, mostly black and white. Most would be black and white pages of school work but we still would need to print the occasional color page of something. When I see a two pack of generic black toner that yields up to 3,000 sheet for $20, I imagine that lasting well over a year for only $20. I bought my parents a cheat monochrome laser 5 years ago because they print so infrequently that the ink would always dry up. 5 years later and it is still on the original toner.
 

DavidG1

Active Member
Colour Lasers don't print colour photos as well as inkjets, this due to the fact that they cannot vary the range of colours in the same way inkjet printers can. Images with subtle tonal nuances are more difficult to print well, partly because laser printers tend to boost contrast but also because it is more difficult to reproduce subtle transitions in pastel hues with a four-colour printer. Pages with lots of contrast and bright vibrant colours get better results. Additionally you cannot use inkjet photopaper as these are coated to receive liquid ink rather than toner powder which is then heated to stick it to the paper. The resolution also depends on how finely the toner particles have been ground. If you want consistent photo results you would need to stick to inkjet technology (or dye sublimation)
 
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EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
In the sense of printing a couple hundred pages a month, mostly black and white. Most would be black and white pages of school work but we still would need to print the occasional color page of something. When I see a two pack of generic black toner that yields up to 3,000 sheet for $20, I imagine that lasting well over a year for only $20. I bought my parents a cheat monochrome laser 5 years ago because they print so infrequently that the ink would always dry up. 5 years later and it is still on the original toner.
I pay a similar amount for my HP 957XL compatible ink catridges, which are also 3000 pages.

And remember to add on the cost of the other consumables a laser requires like a new drum, some of the cheap colour lasers will need replacements every couple of years when printing at that rate.
 

Dm88

Novice Member
Thank you for all the help. I think since it might be good for us to have two different printers anyway so they can be in different rooms on different floors, I might just keep the inkjet and buy a monochrome all in one laser. Either the DCPL2550DW, the MFCL2710DW, or the MFCL2750DW. I'll just have to figure out the differences and which one I need. They range from $160 to $250 and I suppose there is less to go wrong with and less consumables with a black and white. If we need color, I'll use the inkjet and just subscribe to the lowest HP instant ink plan of $3 a month. $36 is a small price to pay and not have to worry about clogged print cartridges or running out of ink.
 

John7

Well-known Member
I have an Epson all in one A3 Photo inkjet to which I've fitted refillable ink-tanks and use genuine Epson ink refill bottles.

I also bought a Dell colour Laser printer. I use the laser for text printing mainly, or colour documents.

The Inkjet is used primarily for scanning, printing direct to printable CD's and colour photo printing.

The laser printer accepts 3rd party toner cartridges that are cheap as chips to replace via Amazon (about £16.00 for a full set). Unfortunately, I believe Del stopped making colour laser printers now, but my one works well and was cheap to buy new (so cheap that I bought a spare one as backup)!

Although only 3 colour and black, it prints "reasonable" colour photos, ideal for proofing or school projects.

Here's a sample printed A4

DSC00088.jpg
 

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