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A3 Colour Laser Printers compared to A3 Colour Inkjet Printers

Two of the most frequent questions asked when considering buying an A3 colour printer are:

  • Why choose an A3 colour laser printer if its more expensive than an A3 inkjet printer?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of A3 laser printers compared to A3 inkjet printers?

                                                

Laser printers come into their own when ongoing inexpensive, high print volumes are required and are commonly referred to as the office "workhorse" for the following good reasons: 

Print speed:  up to 3 times faster than inkjet printers in normal mode. Print speed typically relates to the cost of the machine. 

Duplex print speed:  Faster because laser printers produce dry printouts. They can be picked up immediately without smudging, as the toner is bonded to paper fibers.

Print cost per page: Can be up to a quarter of the cost of inkjet printers. However, always remember to include the cost of replacement of the drum when considering maintenance costs.

Toner ink capacity: 10 or more times greater so the cartridge is replaced less often. Good quality laser colour cartridges can print at least 7000+ pages and 9000+ if printing in monochrome. Certain toner cartridges can be refilled but it is very important to follow health and safetly guidelines: see Laser Printers: Health and Safety

Media capacity: 10 or more times greater. Laser printers handle cards, envelopes and non standard media more effectively than inkjets.

Media sources: Up to 3 sources compared to 1 for inkjets. Therefore, the user can print on different media types and sizes without the need to disrupt the print queue. 

Print quality: Even though laser printers have a lower resolution (commonly 300-600 dpi up to 2400 dpi compared to inkjets up to 9600+ dpi), they are capable of printing with greater accuracy (possible 0.1 mm dots). Laser printers use dry powder that is bonded to the paper and not wet ink, which is absorbed by the paper resulting in inaccuracies due to a blotting/bleeding effect. Laser printer resolution is fine enough to add hidden anti-counterfeiting marks to every page, thus allowing the possibility of tracking the printer’s serial number, location of purchase and individual buyer.

Laser printer lower resolution 'v' inkjet higher resolution: What does this mean in reality? 

In general, laser printers offer much crisper and more professional looking text/graphics, in particular, superior looking black text documents. However, when it comes to photos, inkjets have the advantage regarding image quality. 

Accessibility: Size and design makes A3 laser printers very accessible for maintenance.

 

Despite laser printers costing significantly more to purchase initially, the advantages gained from lower operating costs /maintenance and superior speed/capacity, means that they come in to their own when used by people who need to print regularly and in higher print volumes. They outperform the use of multiple inkjet printers when print volumes approach 5000+ pages per month. Although laser printers are larger and heavier than inkjet counterparts, the luxury of being able to produce your own top quality posters, banners, newsletter, flyers, books and booklets is a superb asset and saves considerable time and money compared to having to visit professional printers.
 

Example: Comparative features of A3 colour laser and inkjet printers from lower and higher price groupings



 

 

Image Coming Soon

Product

Epson Aculaser C9200N
A3 laser printer
£2872.88 (inc.VAT RRP) 
Internet prices from
£2207.88 inc vat

Kyocera FS-C8500DN
A3 laser printer  
£7999.99 (inc.VAT RRP) 
Internet prices from
£3,266.24 inc vat


Epson Stylus Office B1100
A3 inkjet printer
£199.99 (inc.VAT RRP)
Internet prices from 
£172.06 inc vat


Epson Stylus R2880 
A3+ Photo inkjet printer
£719.99 (inc.VAT RRP) 
Internet prices from 
£526.09 inc vat


Print Method

EPSON AcuLaser Colour

Ecosys laser printer

4 colour inkjet printer, 
Epson Micro Piezo printhead

9 cartridge inkjet photo printer,
Epson Micro Piezo printhead

Print Resolution

2400 RIT (Epson Resolution Improvement Technology)

600x600 dpi multi-bit technology 
(9,600 dpi effective)

Up to 5760x1440
optimised dpi on 
suitable media using RPM (Resolution Performance Management)

Up to 5760x1440
optimised dpi on suitable media using RPM

Print Speed for
Black Text A4

Up to 26 ppm 
(A3: 13 ppm)

Up to 55 ppm 
(A3: 28 ppm)

‘Laser-like´quality A4:
13 ppm (ISO/IEC24734)
other quality up to 30 ppm

N/A (photo printer)

Print Speed for
Colour Text A4

Up to 26 ppm 
(A3: 13 ppm)

Up to 50 ppm
(A3: 25ppm)

‘Laser-like’ quality A4:
5.3 ppm(ISO/IEC24734)
other quality up to 17 ppm

N/A (photo printer)

Print Speed     
for Photo

N/A

N/A

10x15  approx. 83 sec per photo (borderless)

8x10"  on A4 size:
91 seconds
11x14" on A3+ size:
156 seconds

Ink Cartridges

4 replacement toners: 
Black: 21,000 Pages 
£220.58 (inc.VAT RRP) 
(1.05 pence per page) or Photoconductor Unit 50,000 pages £238.64 (inc.VAT RRP) (0.48 pence per page)
Colour: 14,000 pages   
£268.23 (inc.VAT RRP) for each colour (1.92 pence per page) or Photoconductor Unit 30,000 Pages £177.28 (inc.VAT RRP) (0.59 pence per page)

4 replacement toners: 
Black: 25,000 Pages 
£173.9 (inc.VAT) 
(0.70 pence per page)
Colour: 18,000 pages   
£252.63 (inc.VAT) for each colour (1.40 pence per page)

5 individual ink cartridges:
Black: Approx. 790 pages
(2 high capacity 
cartridges) 
£23.84 (inc.VAT RRP) (3.03 pence per page)
Colour: Approx. 805 pages £13.75 (inc.VAT RRP) for
each colour (1.71 pence per page )

9 individual cartridges:  
£11.57 (inc.VAT RRP) per individual cartridge
Matte Black: Approx. 495 pages (2.34 pence page)
Colour: Aprox. 835-865 pages (1.39-1.34 pence per page) except Cyan approx. 1505 pages (0.77 pence per page)

Paper Capacity

350 A4 standard
1,850 A4 optional input  
(64-256 g/m² )

1,100 A4 standard capacity
4,100 A4 optional input  
(60-220 g/m² )

120 sheets A4 plain paper 
(64 g/m²)

120 sheets A4 plain paper 
(64-90 g/m²)

Media Size

Up to 5 paper sources
and max. monthly print
volume of 150,000 pages 
A3, A4, A5, A6, B4, B5, LT, HLT, GLT, EXE, LGL, GLG, F4, MON, DL, C5, C6, C10, IB5, Transparency (Custom size from 76 x 99mm to
305 x
508 mm)

Up to 5 paper sources
and max. monthly print
volume of 225,000 pages 
A4, A3, B5, A5, A5R, A6R, Letter, Legal and all other custom paper sizes

1 source
A3+, A3, B4, A4, B5, A5, A6, 10x15 cm, 13x18 cm, 
16:9 wide size Envelopes: No.10, DL, C4, C6, 
Maximum paper size:
329x483 mm

1 source
A3+, A3, 12x12 in, US-B, B4, Legal 8.5x14 in, Letter, 8.5x11 in, A4, B5, A5, Half letter, A6, 11x14 in, 20x25 cm (8x10 in), 11x17 in, 13x18 cm (5x7 in), 10x15 cm (4x6 in), 16:9 wide size, 9x13 cm (3.5x5 in)

 

Articles

1 History of Laser Printers
2 How do Laser Printers Work?
3 LED and LCD Printers - Are these Laser Printers?
4 Laser Printer and Photocopier - What is the Difference?
5 Laser Printer Paper - A3 Size and its Equivalent
6 Toner Cartridges - What are the Different Types?
7 Choosing a Laser Printer – How to Make an Informed Choice
8 Where to buy a Laser Printer and its Consumables - High Street v Internet
9 Basic Maintenance of Laser Printer
10 Who uses A3 Laser Printers?
11 A3 Laser Printers compared to A4 Laser Printers
12 A3 Colour Laser Printers compared to A3 Monochrome Laser Printers
13 A3 Colour Laser Printers compared to A3 Colour Inkjet Printers
14 Why does a Laser Printer cost more to buy than an Inkjet Printer?
15 Laser Printers: Health and Safety

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