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What is a Laser Printer — Comprehensive Guide 101

What is a Laser Printer — Comprehensive Guide 101
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what is a laser printer
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Printers come in different types and sizes. One of the well-known printer types is the laser printer. What is a laser printer? Well, this article has the answers and more.

What will you find in this article? We discuss the brief history of laser printers, what they are and how they work. We also reveal some differences between a laser printer and an inkjet printer. And finally, we mention some important factors to consider when buying a laser printer.

Without further ado, let’s begin, shall we?

Brief History of Laser Printers

The laser printer was developed and invented in 1971 by Gary Starkweather at Xerox PARC.

 In 1975, IBM is known to have introduced the very first commercial laser printer. This printer could work with the mainframe computers of those days.

Hewlett-Packard (HP) is credited for revolutionizing the laser printing technology. In 1984, they introduced a LaserJet printer.

This printer was faster, compact, and more reliable than the original laser printers. It was also readily affordable for many personal computer owners and users. Ever since we have had more affordable laser printers and improved quality.

HP is still regarded as the top leading manufacturer in the world.

The HP LaserJet Pro M254dw is regarded as HP’s best LaserJet printer in many circles.

Click Here to Get the HP LaserJet Pro M254dw Now!

Laser Printers

Laser printers are well-known printers that can be used at homes and in offices. This printer does not require an impact on paper for it to print. What that means is that the keys of a laser printer don’t hit the paper.

Rather a laser printer uses focused light or beam to transfer images and text onto your paper.

When you send a print command to a laser printer, the laser beam is fired at a cylindrical drum known as a photoreceptor. This drum is coated with selenium and has been electrically charged.

After this, the drum rolls in a toner (a type of printer ink that looks like dried powder). The toner then sticks to the image on the charged drum. Then the toner is moved onto your paper via pressure and heat. What you get is a neat copy of the text or image on your paper.

Immediately the printing is done, the electrical charge on the drum is removed and the extra toner is also collected.

Most laser printers can only print in monochrome. Laser printers that print in color cost about 10 times the price of a monochrome printer.

Differences between a Laser Printer and an Inkjet Printer

When buyers intend to purchase a new printer, there are two major options for them to pick from. Is it going to be a laser printer or an inkjet printer?

Therefore, it is necessary that we briefly discuss the differences between both types of printers. We’ve tabulated these differences below:

Laser Printer Inkjet Printer
It uses dry ink also called tonerIt uses wet ink stored in ink cartridges
It is less expensive to maintainIt is expensive to maintain due to the need for constant refilling of the ink
It doesn’t smear paper It smears paper when the ink is still wet
Suitable for high printing volumeSuitable for low printing volume

The video below discusses the advantages and disadvantages of an inkjet printer and a laser printer.

What to Consider When Purchasing a Laser Printer

Below are some important factors to consider when purchasing a laser printer:

Printing Speed and Capacity

What do you intend to print with the printer? How fast will you want to print jobs? How often will you print? These are a few questions you need to ask yourself first before making a choice.

Many personal laser printers can print about 200 pages a week. These low-end printers can print about 8 pages in a minute. The Brother MFCL2750DW is an example of a reliable personal laser printer we highly recommend.

Click Here to Get the Brother MFCL2750DW Now!

If you need to print about 1,000 pages in a week, you need a workgroup laser printer. This kind of printer can print about 24 pages in a minute.

Although there are quite a number of workgroup laser printers in the market, but not many can outdo the Brother HL-L5100DN .

Click Here to Get the Brother HL-L5100DN Now!

If you intend to print 50,000 pages or more in a week, you should get a production laser printer. Such a printer can conveniently print about 700 pages in a minute. Commercial publishers make use of this kind of printers. These printers can be operational non-stop for a whole week.

Paper Handling

What is paper handling? In simple terms, paper handling deals with the number and type of paper a printer can use.

Many laser printers especially personal printers make use of letter-sized paper that has been cut. Production printers, on the other hand, make use of a continuous sheet of paper.

Most laser printers are versatile when it comes to the type of papers they print on. They can print on adhesive labels, transparencies, and even lightweight cards.

Some laser printers can even perform duplex printing. This is when a printer prints on both sides of a paper automatically by turning it over when it is done with the first side.


The resolution of laser printers gets higher as you move up from personal printers to production printers.

Using a printer with a low resolution like 300 dpi (dots-per-inch) will lead to jagged lines appearing on the edge of your print. HP rectified this for such resolutions with the Resolution Enhancement Technology (RET).

This technology smoothens those jagged edges by inserting smaller dots. Although this technology does not enhance the image resolution, however, it makes the document look better.

Do not buy a printer that has 300 dpi unless it has Resolution Enhancement Technology (RET).

Despite the above, many laser printers have 600 dpi. This will print your document fine without fear of jagged lines.

Production printers can have up to 2400 dpi. This allows them to print those impressive commercial prints we are familiar with today.

Warm-up Time and First Paper out Time

Warm-up time refers to the period required for your laser printer to warm up its fuser to suit the operating temperature. The more the warm-up, the longer you have to wait before printing.

Some large production printers may need up to 5 – 15 minutes for this process. This is why they are rarely turned-off except in most work environments.

They also avoid turning such printers off to avoid it being offline. If your printer is offline, any of these 10 factors might be responsible.

The first paper out time is the period required for the printer to prepare itself to print, plus the time it takes to print.


We hope we’ve been able to help you out with this article. If we have, please let us know in the comments section. We will love to hear from you.

Also, if you have further questions, drop them in the comments section and we will do our best to answer them.

Click Here to Get the Brother MFCL2750DW Now!

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