Name: Mary Carlton
Hi, I have been considering getting a new printer for a while now and have heard about laser printers and that they are better. Is this true that they print lots more documents before they run out of ink? I am going to school and have to print things out all the time so I want what will be better.
Oh I have a Compaq V2000 laptop with Windows XP and I need a printer that will work with that. Should I get the inkjet or laser?
Good question Mary, and while I’m sure this topic has been beaten like a dead horse all across the web; I’ll cover it anyway.
The type of printer that you should purchase totally depends on what you want to do with it. Yes, I know that none of you want the “get whatever the hell type of printer you feel like” answer, but it’s the most accurate.
Laser printers are, for the most part, monochrome. There are color laser printers on the market now and while they’ve massively come down in price they are still too expensive for most consumers.
This should be the first thing that you consider: Do I need to print a lot of things that are in color?
If you’re looking to just print off the occasional term paper, receipt, email, or random Word document then I’d say go with the laser. If you plan on doing a bunch of colorful presentations (I’ve no idea what type of classes you are taking), printing off a ton of photos, or simply like to reproduce artwork you find on the ‘net then an inkjet would be right for you.
Also, a lot of your decision should hinge on the volume of printing you plan on doing. Laser printers are far and away the better choice for large print jobs because they tend to be faster and in the long run toner costs quite a bit less than ink. I own a Samsung ML-1710 laser printer and use it for the vast vast majority of my printing needs. In the entire time I’ve owned it I have only had to replace the toner cartridge one time.
A typical toner cartridge will get you anywhere from 3,000 to 7,000 pages depending on the model of printer. Conversely, the ink cartridges for my HP PSC-1315 inkjet printer will get me about 750 pages.
So while you’ll have to spend $70 on a toner cartridge it will last you four times as long as your $40 ink cartridge.
My suggestion? Get both. That’s what I’ve done personally and it was a solid decision. I use the HP PSC for the random things I need done in color and the Samsung ML-1710 for everything else. A decent laser printer can be picked up for around $150 and an all-in-one inkjet printer/scanner/copier can be had for less than $100.
Regarding the compatability issue: Everything produced now and for the next few years will be compatible with Windows XP, so you’re golden there. If your Compaq laptop doesn’t have much RAM in it then you may want to consider upgrading that along with your printer purchase (assuming it’s an all-in-one). Many of the modern printer software suites eat up quite a bit of memory and are running in the background at all times. This is especially true with the all-in-one combos as they run utilities to manage faxing, copying, scanning, etc.
In the end only you can decide which is right for you, as you are the only person that really knows what your printing needs are. Hopefully, however, this little bit of information made the choice a hint easier.