LED and LCD Printers - Are these Laser Printers?
Both LED (light emitting diodes) and LCD (liquid crystal display) printer technologies use a Xerographic printing process to produce their documents. However, their name derives from using either LEDs or LCDs and not a laser beam to transfer an electrostatic image to the photoreceptor: See stage 3 of How Do Laser Printers Work?. LED printers use a linear, high density array of LEDs to produce the image on the print drum whereas LCD printers produce an image on the photosensitive drum by shinning light through a liquid crystal display that filters the passage of light on a individual pixel basis. Given that LED, LCD and laser printers all make use of a similar process of printing, it is common practice for magazines, shops and websites to refer to all 3 types as ‘Laser Printers’. If there is any doubt, always refer to the manufacturers' specifications.
Examples of LED printers
||OKI C9655n||Xerox Phaser 7500dn|
What are the Pros and Cons of LED Printers Compared to Traditional Laser Printers?
They are cheaper to manufacture due to having fewer moving parts.
Less sensitive to shock/impact.
By avoiding the need for multiple passes they deliver as good or better performance.
Can be made significantly smaller, e.g. A3 LED printers have a similar footprint to A4 laser printers. This attribute makes them ideal for ‘multifunction printers’ that can print, copy and scan.
Having a flat paper path means they print extremely well on a variety of different media.
The chief downside is that LED printers currently offer lower resolution because of the technical issue of trying to maximise the number of LEDs in a given area e.g. 1200 dpi would require 1200 LEDs per inch!
How does an LED Printer Work?
A simplified diagram of the workings of an LED printer is shown below: