Inkjet vs Laser

Inkjet vs. Laser Printers

History of Inkjet and Laser Printers:¹

The original laser printer called EARS was developed at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center beginning in 1969 and completed in November, 1971. Xerox Engineer, Gary Starkweather adapted Xerox copier technology adding a laser beam to it to come up with the laser printer. According to Xerox, “The Xerox 9700 Electronic Printing System, the first xerographic laser printer product, was released in 1977. The 9700, a direct descendent from the original PARC “EARS” printer which pioneered in laser scanning optics, character generation electronics, and page-formatting software, was the first product on the market to be enabled by PARC research.”

In 1976, the inkjet printer was invented, but it took until 1988 for the inkjet to become a home consumer item with Hewlett-Parkard’s release of the DeskJet inkjet printer, priced at a whopping $1000.

How they work:

If you’re interested in how inkjet printer technology works, you can visit: http://computer.howstuffworks.com/inkjet-printer.htm.

If you’re interested in how laser printer technology works, you can visit: http://computer.howstuffworks.com/laser-printer.htm.

Choosing between Inkjet and Laser Printers:

Ok, now time for the good stuff, how can you choose between an inkjet or a laser printer.  First, consider your budget.  As it has become evident in the collapse of the economy, living outside your means is generally a bad thing, so above all, only buy something you can afford without having to sacrifice for the necessities.  With all of that aside, a majority of your decision will come from what you actually need in a printer (for daily or weekly tasks), and features that you want.  For a quick overview of each style of printer, please refer to figure 1.

Figure 1:


Generally Inexpensive
Multifunction Available
B&W/Color Printing Standard
Slow to Medium Printing Speed
Wireless Options Available
Designed for lower monthly duty cycles
Good for Color Photos


Moderate to Expensive
Multifunction Available
B&W Printing Standard/Color Printing at addition cost
Fast B&W Printing Speed/Fast color printing depending on printer.
Networking Options Available
Generally designed for high volume printing
Sharp crisp text printing

In a nutshell, Inkjet printers are generally more often found in homes, college dorms, small businesses with minimal printing.  Laser printers are more often found in small business up to large corporations with medium to large printing volume, professional establishments looking for crisp sharp text prints, colleges and universities.  As you can see, their is typically some overlap between the two groups, as some users have personal preferences for one type of another.  An important issue in deciding which type of printer to buy includes how often your printing.  Many printer manufacturers try to trick customers into purchasing their low priced printer, but then charging very high prices for printer ink and toner cartridges.  Sometimes, its can be cheaper to buy a new printer that comes with ink cartridges, rather then just purchasing replacement ink or toner cartridges.  Based on this, it is really more important to look at what printer cartridges are used by the printer your interested in and find how much the supplies will cost you.  Many folks will use a printer for a long time, so imaging how many cartridges you will purchase over the life of the product.  You will find that spending an extra $50 or $100 in a printer may pay for itself after just the first few times of buying replacement printer cartridges.  You can even look into third party printer cartridge replacements like Professor Ink offers for a solution to cheaper priced replacement printer ink and toners.
Inkjet printers most recently can use two different types of cartridges, with printheads and without printheads.  HP, Lexmark, Dell, and others have been known to use print cartridges with a print head.  A print head is basically what the printer uses to tell the cartridge how much and where at to put ink drops on the paper.  A printer using cartridges without a printhead still as a printhead, but all of the cartridge individually do not, but they will fit into one printhead that is on the printer.  By having the print head on the printer already, printing supply costs can be cut dramatically because the cartridge will only consist of the plastic body mould, ink, and possible a chip to communicate ink levels.  Printer manufactueres utilizing cartridges without printheads include HP, Canon, Epson, Lexmar, and Brother to name a few.  The next topic worth mentioning is that cartridges can be sold as individual colors or as tri color packs depending on the printer manufacturer.  Individual cartridges may have 4 or more cartridge, the most basic being black, cyan, magenta, and yellow.  Photo printers will have additional cartridges to provide higher quality prints and may include photo cyan, photo magenta, green, red, gloss, photo black, and matte black.  Advantanges of individual color cartridges are that you only need to replace the color that is empty.  Take this case for example.  Say you print out many letter heads that have your logo which is mostly made up of the color blue.  In a printer with individual ink cartridges, you will only need to replace the cyan cartridge more often then the magenta or yellow.  This is not the case in a tri-color cartridge that has cyan, magenta, and yellow all in one cartridge.  If you are using a tri-color cartridge and it runs out of any one of the colors, you will need to replace the cartridge even though their is still ink of the other colors in the cartridge.  Many manufacturers are slowing going towards the individual cartridge methodology.
Laser printers on the otherhand are a little more straight forward.  The majority of laser printers sold are monochrome black, meaning they will only print black, or shades of black onto the paper.  Over the past few years, color laser printers have come down significantly in price, and now allow for reasonable priced color printing on a laser printers.  Color laser printers generally use 4 cartridges; black, cyan, magenta and yellow.  Some laser printers may also have an additional cost that you should factor in and that is a drum.  Brother for example sells a toner cartridge that will fit into a drum, which contains the components to actually get the toner powder onto the page.  Manufacturers like HP have a different style that includes the toner and “drum” all in one.  Drums will need replaced after about 20,000 pages, where toners may need replaced after 3,000 or more depending on the capacity of the toner.
When using remanufactured or compatible cartridges, your printing costs will be substantially reduced, generally by 50% or more compared to original or OEM cartridges made by the same brand as the printer was.
So now it comes down to your decision.  Our recommendation is that if your printing very little or only on occasion, an Inkjet printer will probably be the solution for you.  Inkjet printers are generally very cheap and inks are cheaper then toner cartridges are, however they do print less pages (Except for some business inkjets that can print alot of pages).  If your printing photos at home, we will still give the edge towards inkjet for similar reasons as the last statement, and also that inkjets can have very high resolutions for printing, and generally higher then that of color laser printers (measured in DPI-dots per inch).  For most business tasks, a good multifunction laser printer which will include a scanner and possible fax would be recommended.  Laser printers should allow for at least 2,000 pages or more per cartridge, and since most businesses print text documents, the text is generally more sharp and crisp then inkjet printers.  If your interested in color laserjets, you really have two options.  You could buy a color laserjet, or a black laserjet and color inkjet printer which may be cheaper.  Color toner cartridges can run $100 or more each, meaning it could cost you $400 or more just to be able to print in color.  If your printing professional documents, a color laserjet would take preference.  Also if your thinking about a color laserjet just to print flyers or promotional print items in bulk, you make consider sending your document to a printer to have it printed.  Many online sources can print documents for just a few cents per copy and have them delivered to you for free.
We hope this article as provided some useful insights into each type of printer, as well as the pro’s and con’s of each.  If you have any questions you can add a comment or email us and we would be happy to help.


¹ http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/blcomputer_printers.htm


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Windex Original

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This tip was submitted to us on how you can remove printer ink stains that you may have gotten on your cloths or carpet. This individual hired a company to come in and clean their house since they were moving. The gentleman was surprised when the cleaning lady was able to remove the ink stains from his rug. He asked what the secret to cleaning printer ink out of carpet was, and she said, “Windex Original with Ammonia“.  Your results may vary depending on what the ink is soluble with, but you can surely give it a try.  We would recommend trying on a inconspicuous spot before going onto larger portions to be sure that it does not cause more harm then good.


Many people are having issues with the HP Photosmart C4385 and wireless printing and this issue appears to persist among many users with various operating systems. The problem seems to be that if you are not using the wireless printing quite often, the signal will basically be lost between the computer and the printer, and it can take days before it will reestablish the connection. For example, we installed the HP Photosmart on a Laptop with Windows 7 64-Bit, via the provided drivers on Hewlett-Packard’s website, and wireless printing worked fine for the first few days. Then we waited about 2-3 weeks before the next print, and the printer would not be in the “Ready” state that the status will show. While proceeding to print, the document will send to the printer without error, however it will just sit in the queue. Maybe a week later without trying to print the document again, randomly out of the blue the document started to print.

Our suggestion for this problem is to either to plug your system directly into the printer to ensure you can print when you want to, or have the latest drivers always available, and delete and uninstall the HP software for the Photosmart C4385 and proceed to reinstall. Until a firmware update is available, it seems at this time their really is no solution. We have tried manually creating a port, typing in the printers IP address, and even this did not work.

If you have any solutions, please feel free to comment for others to try.


The remanufactured HP 21 black ink cartridge and HP 22 color ink cartridges are now available on our website http://www.professorink.com.  Save money today and avoid expensive OEM ink cartridges.


Professor Ink now offers the remanufactured color toners for the HP Color LaserJet CP4005n and HP Color LaserJet CP4005dn printers.  The cartridges compatible for these printers include the HP CB400A, HP CB401A, HP CB402A, and HP CB403A toner cartridges.  These color toner cartridges offer an estimated page yield of 7,500 pages each!  The best part is, when you need the replacement toners, HP wants $980.96 for 1 complete set of each color, however we offer this complete set of HP Remanufactured HP Color Toner 4-Pack (CB400A, CB401A, CB402A, CB403A) toner for only $399.97!  Save money when replacing toners for your HP CP4005n and HP CP4005dn color laser printers and Buy discount online replacement ink printer cartridges for HP and Epson printers!


5 Ways to Save Money at the Office

Office supplies and the office in general can quickly become just another task that can get in the way of dealing with everyday tasks. On top of that, the office supply budget can become viewed more on the needs list then the wants list, thus causing the person in charge of office supplies to neglect searching for great prices and cost saving alternatives. The problem that may come when searching for office supplies are that there are many resellers offering what appear to be similar items, at similar prices, and when time is a crunch, most often someone from the office will have to be rushed out to the local office supply store to pick up a replacement toner cartridge or a ream of paper. With some simple planning and intuitiveness, an office can save money and be more prepared with less down time and more productivity.

1. Compatible Ink Cartridges & Compatible Toner Cartridges

If you have tried to save money at all in your office environment, no doubt have you come across the compatible ink cartridges and compatible toner cartridges, and probably even the refills. Compatible ink and toner cartridges can be a great way to save money over the expensive Genuine OEM cartridges that printer manufacturer’s offer. Generally compatible or remanufactured cartridges can save you 50% or more compared to the OEM printer cartridges. It is important though to not always look for the best deal when buying generic cartridges. Many people who purchase the cheapest cartridges possible on sites such as Ebay, have problems with the cartridges not performing like they should, with toner lines through the pages or ink not printing correctly on the pages. The best way to save money is by finding a reputable reseller of compatible and or remanufactured cartridges and pay just a little bit for the quality assurance. For example, online retailers such as Professor Ink offer a 12 month warranty on all products sold through them.

2. Recycle paper that has only been printed on one side

The next way to save money in your office is to use your own method of recycling paper. Depending on the office type, you could either print a lot of pages that are used for internal use only, for a short period of time, or you could print paper and have it used for clients use. For the first case, many companies will just print on one side of the page, and then throw the paper away. The best way to save money is to start a pile that has all of the printed sides of paper facing down, and then once you have a decent size stack left, insert them into your printer, so that the other side of the page can then be printed on. If used effectively, this method could essential cut your paper usage in half.

3. Turn off computers or put in Stand-By mode when you leave for the day

The next way to save money at the office is to simply turn off your computer or put it into stand-by mode at the end of the day. This can be a simple habit to get into and can save the company money on utility costs since less power will be used. Turning off the monitor is a good start, but by turning the computer off, or by putting it in stand-by mode will save even more electricity.

4. Replace your old printer

The next tip is to analyze how often you use your printer, and to examine the cost the consumables, such as printer ink and toner cartridges. One example could be that if you are using an inkjet printer, most of the cartridges will only print between a few hundred pages before needing to be replaced. If your office does much printing at all, you should consider upgrading to a laser printer. Printers such as the HP Laserjet 10150 use the HP Q2612A toner cartridge which an OEM cartridge from HP would cost about $69. Buy discount online replacement ink printer cartridges for HP and Epson printers at Professor Ink and get the compatible version of the HP Q2612A for only $21.99, and the cartridge is estimate to print about 2,000 pages, as opposed to inkjet cartridges which print about 200. Doing some simply math and we find out that with the compatible HP Q2612A toner cartridge, the price per page is only $0.01, where the ink cartridge price per page is about $0.06. So in this case, the inkjet cartridge price is almost 6 times more expensive then the laser printer with a toner cartridge.

5. Buy office supplies in bulk

The final tip is to consider purchasing office supplies in bulk. Generally purchasing anything in bulk will always save money. Consider purchasing paper, toner cartridges, ink pens, sticky note pads, and even computer systems in bulk to save additional money.

After utilizing some or all of these 5 ways to save money at the office, you should be well on your way to doing your part to help the company out. Make sure to let the boss know if your achievements as well, hey maybe you will get a raise.


Printer Sharing for Windows XP
Printer sharing is a great tool when you have several computers but only one printer.  With printer sharing, you can have your printer connected to only one computer, and allow all computers on the network (computers connected to the router) the ability to print to the printer.  Not only will computers that are hardwired into the network be able to print, but also if you have a wireless router, those computers with wireless cards both desktops, and laptops can print “wirelessly” to the printer as well.  Your Windows XP based computer has everything you need to do this already built in.

Step 1.

Share the Printer
You will need to get onto the computer that has the printer connected to it.  On that computer, simply go to Start –> Control Panel –> Printers and Faxes.(You may have to enable classic view in order to view this icon)  Here you will see a listed of installed printer imaging devices attached to your computer.  If you have more than one printer attached to the computer, such as an inkjet printer and a laser printer, you will see a black circle with a white checkmark; this indicates which printer is set as the default.
Right click on the printer that you want to share, then click on properties.  When the new window appears, you want to click on the “Sharing” tab at the top of the window.

You will notice two radio buttons, you will want to click the radio button that says “Share this printer”.  Once that button is pressed, the “Share name” box will automatically appear with a name that will refer to your printers shared name.  I would recommend changing this to your printer brand with a space and then its model number, for example BROTHER 7820.  Once your printer has been shared, and given a shared name, click apply at the bottom of the window.
Step 2.

Connect to the shared printer.
Once the printer has been shared, you can now get onto your other computer that you want to be able to print from.  Now we need to install the printer on the computer that it is not connected to.
On the computer that is not connected to the printer, go to Start –> Control Panel –> Printers and Faxes.  In the blue pan to the left, you will see a box that the top that says Printer Tasks, and below that is Add a printer.  Click on Add a printer, and this will show the Add Printer Wizard, and click next at the bottom of that screen.
On the next screen, you want to select the option “A network printer or printer attached to another computer”, and click next.

The next screen asks, what printer do you want to connect to, and keep the option selected on Browse for a printer, and click next.  Now, if you properly shared your printer in step 1, it should appear with the name that you gave it, and the printer that it is connected to.  Simply select the printer, and click next.  The computer will now attempt to install the drivers for your printer, if it does not have the drivers available, you will need to download them, or insert your installation cd, and point the installer were to find the printer drivers.  Once the drivers have installed, you will see a screen asking if you want this new installed printer to be the default printer, it more than likely will be.

Step 3.

Test the printer
Since you have now connected to the shared printer, you should test the connection and make sure everything is installed correctly.
Go again to Start –> Control Panel –> Printers and Faxes and right click on the shared printer you just installed, and click on properties.  You will see a button just above the Ok and Cancel buttons, which says Print Test Page.  Go ahead and click on that, and it as long as everything is setup properly, you will have a test page laying in your printers output tray.
This tutorial is meant for Windows XP, Windows Vista is slightly different, and requires the user to add a local port, and manually type in the path to the shared printer.  The Windows Vista printer sharing guide will be added soon.


Brother ML-2040 Toner Light Reset

When replacing the toner cartridge in the Brother HL-2040 with a new cartridge (compatible or remanufactured) the user may experience a problem with the toner light staying on, even with the new toner installed.  The procedure below has worked for many folks, so give it a shot.

Open the front cover of the Brother HL-2040 and leave open while completing the following steps:

1.) Turn the printer off.
2.) Hold the ‘go’ button while turning the printer on. All panel lights should be on.
3.) Release the ‘go’ button once all lights are off.
4. )Press the ‘go’ button 2 times.
5.) Pause.
6.) Press the ‘go’ button 5 times.
7.) The toner light should be off.
8.) The paper light should be on.
9.) Close cover. The ready light should be the only light on.

Once all steps are successfully completed your “low toner” light should be fixed.

If you need a new Brother TN-350 toner cartridge, please visit our Brother TN-350 Toner Cartridge page.

More information can be found at: http://www.fixya.com/support/t143732-toner_led_remains_after_new_cartridge

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