Printers The printer has become a necessity.  Printers can be divided into categories, (impact and non-impact). There are inkjet and laser printers in both black and white and color.  Another type of printer is called an all-in-one which can be either laser or inkjet. The question then becomes which is the best printer to fit your needs. Let’s define the printer types.


Impact Printer – This kind of printer produces text and images when tiny wired pins on a print head strike the ink ribbon by physically contacting the paper. This type was called a dot-matrix and was one of the first to be configured for a PC.  These printers were very popular during the 1970’s and the 1980’s.  With the development of new print technology these printers are no longer used.


Non-Impact Printer – This kind of printer produces text and graphics on paper without actually striking the paper.  The most popular are inkjet and laser printers.


Advantages of inkjet printers

  • Low Cost
  • High quality of output, capable of printing fine and smooth details
  • Capable of printing in vivid colors
  • Easy to use
  • Reasonably fast
  • Quieter than dot-matrix printer
  • No warm up time


Disadvantages of inkjet printers

  • Print head is less durable, prone to clogging and damage.
  • Expensive replacement ink cartridges.
  • Not good for high volume printing.
  • Print speed is not as fast as laser printers.


Laser Printers – Laser printers are non-impact printers that print text and images in high speed and high quality resolution ranging from 600 to 1200 dpi (dots per inch).  Laser printers consist of four major components: drum cartridge, rotating motor, toner cartridge, and roller.


Advantages of Laser Printers

  • High Resolution and print speed
  • No Smearing
  • Low cost per page (compared to inkjet printers)
  • Good for high volume printing


Disadvantages of Laser Printers

  • More expensive than inkjet printers
  • Cost of toner and drum replacement is high
  • Bulkier than inkjet printers
  • Warm up time is needed


All-in-One Printers – These printers includes several other functionalities in addition to printing such as printing, scanning, copying, and faxing.   Some printers even include a USB port for printing a document from a flash drive and document conversion.


Advantages of All-in-One Printers

  • Low cost (cheaper to buy than individual components)
  • Takes up less room


Disadvantages of All-in-One Printers

  • If one component is broken, the entire machine has to be replaced
  • Failure of any component will affect other functions
  • Print quality and speed may be lower than stand-alone components.





Please feel free to forward this information to others.  If you would like to learn more on this topic or would like to request an area of technology you are interested in, please send me an email.

About Michael DeFlorio
I have worked is various positions as a system administrator, support technician, as a help desk support, and as an IT consultant in a corporate environment. I currently run a small business where I provide computer services such as hardware configuration, installation, for residential and for medium and small businesses. You can contact me by email or visit my website at

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