What Are Colour Laser Printers?
Colour laser printing, as the name suggests, is a form of laser printing that can print in colour, making them the dominant form of laser printer available on the market at the moment. Laser printing is an electrostatic digital printing process which is highly regarded due to its ability to produce high-quality graphics and text. But Laser printer vs inkjet - what's the difference?. Well, they’re generally considered to be better than inkjet printers for business use, as laser printers are typically faster and can produce better quality prints, depending on the paper and materials used.
What's the Difference Between a Laser Printer and a Colour Laser Printer?
Colour laser printers aren't too different from traditional laser printers as they work in much the same way, however the main difference between the two is that traditional laser printers only print in monochrome, whereas colour laser printers print in colour as well. Because of this, they've become the main form of laser printer on the market, with the term 'laser printer' now typically being used to refer to colour laser printers.
Another form of colour laser printer often used in offices are multifunction printers, which can be used to carry out a variety of different functions instead of having to purchase multiple devices for printing, copying and scanning, which may save you both time and money in the long run.
There are several different types of colour laser printers that we can offer, including A4 and A3 colour laser printers, wireless colour laser printers and airprint colour laser printers. We also offer subscription plans for our printers - if you're interested in making a purchase or signing up to one of our subscription plans, contact Printerland today!
How Does a Laser Printer Work?
The way laser printers work might sound complicated at first, but once you've got to grips with the process, it's a lot easier to understand. The good thing is that you don't need to necessarily know how laser printing works in order to use a laser printer, but this information might come in handy if any faults arise in the future with your printer, giving you a potential idea of what the issue might be and how it can be fixed.
But how do laser printers work? As the name suggests, laser printers use a laser beam to project an image of the thing that you want to be printed (whether that be text or a graphic) onto a piece of paper. A heated wire is used to positively charge a drum inside the printer, which is then passed over by the laser beam to reverse the charge in the areas that the laser hits. The image/text that you want to print is represented by the negatively charged areas of the drum, which a toner roller is passed across, leading to the toner particles becoming attracted to these negatively charged areas.
Before the process is started, sheets of paper should have been placed in the paper tray, with one of these pieces of plain paper being fed underneath the toner-coated drum, leading to the toner being passed across to the surface of the paper. This essentially prints the image or text straight onto the piece of plain paper from the paper tray, creating a physical copy of the original image/text.
How Does Colour Laser Printing Come Into the Equation?
Colour laser printing works in very much the same way as traditional laser printing, however the process is slightly different. Monochrome printers usually use one laser scanner assembly, whereas colour printers tend to have at least two. They also use coloured toner cartridges as well as black - the main colours used in colour laser toner cartridges are cyan, magenta and yellow, as well as black.
Because more colours are used with coloured printing, there can be a higher margin of error. To try and compensate for this, many colour laser printers use something called a transfer belt, which is a large rotating belt that allows for more accuracy when printing. A transfer belt is used to pass in front of the colour toner cartridges, with each layer of colour being added to the belt in order, before being applied to the paper you're using.
The History of Laser Printing
The laser printer was first invented in 1969 at Xerox Parc by Gary Starkweather, however laser printers only emerged on the commercial market in 1976, with office laser printers starting to be sold from 1981 onwards. The original laser printer was the Xerox 9700 Laser Printer, which was developed in Palo Alto, California, nicknamed EARS. In 1976, IBM released the first commercial laser printer, known as the IBM 3800.
The first laser printer used in offices was sold at a hefty price point of $17,000 and was called the Xerox Star 8010, first sold in 1981. Since then, several different types of laser printers have been developed, with this particular model of printer gaining a lot of traction, due to its efficiency and fast printing speed. The first laser printer to be sold officially on the common market for home use (as well as office use) was the LaserJet range, created by HP in 1984.
However, laser printers didn't start to become affordable for home use until several years later, with the release of the HP LaserJet IIP in 1990. Now laser printers are much more affordable, with many homes and offices having one - at Printerland we have a huge range available, so there really is something for everyone.
The Invention of the Colour Laser Printer
It took a few decades for monochrome laser printers to take off, with the invention of the colour laser printer coming soon after in 1995. Apple created one of the first colour laser printers, called the Colour Laser Printer 12/600PS. This printer marked a change from the laser printers of old and used a Canon-based engine. At the time, it was marketed for $7000 - things have clearly changed rapidly since then, with many modern colour laser printers costing less than £100 nowadays
Solid ink printing was created by Xerox in the year 2000, allowing highly detailed and vibrant visual images to be printed at a more economical and sustainable price point, also reducing the amount of waste produced by more traditional Toner cartridges. This made for a major change in the colour laser printing industry - who knows what will come next!
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Colour Laser Printer?
Before choosing a printer model, it's important to be aware of the benefits they have so you can make an informed decision. We've listed below a handy list of the advantages of using a colour laser printer for your business, making for a more streamlined decision making process.
The Advantages of Using a Colour Laser Printer
There are many advantages to using a colour laser printer within your business over another type of printer - we've listed some of the more poignant benefits below for your convenience.
- Colour laser printers are cheaper to use - Whilst inkjet printers tend to have a cheaper upfront cost than other printer models, laser colour printers are typically cheaper in the long run, in terms of energy consumption and buying materials for your printer. Inkjet cartridges usually have to be changed more often than laser toner cartridges, so you'll naturally need to buy less of them. Buying a multifunction colour laser printer could also cut costs, as you won't need to run several devices at once - you can also buy high-capacity toner cartridges, which could save you having to replenish your toner supplies so often.
- Colour laser printers are efficient and can increase overall productivity - Laser printers are known for being more efficient than inkjet printers and are able to print pages at a much higher speed. Inkjet printers also tend to lose quality when more pages are printed, so if you work in a business that needs a lot of printing work completed, then a laser printer is your best bet. This will also free up more time for your employees to work on other things.
- The environmental impact - All businesses have a responsibility to try and be as sustainable as possible, so using reams of plain paper in your paper tray can have a negative impact. However, whilst laser printers do tend to have a slightly higher carbon footprint than inkjet printers in terms of energy consumption, they also require fewer toner cartridge replacements, unlike inkjet printers which use inkjet cartridges. Not only does this reduce costs, but it means there is less waste. Laser printers also tend to be more reliable and have a longer lifespan, having less wastage than inkjet printers.
- Quality - One of the most important things you'll want to consider when buying a printer is the quality of the images and text it produces. There's no risk of ink smudging with a laser printer, and modern colour laser printers are known for producing high-quality visuals that look fantastic, making for another reason to consider a colour laser printer.
- Reliability - Laser printers are specifically designed with reliability in mind, producing printed pages at a fast speed. They're tested rigorously and are made of sturdy materials, meaning they're perfect for both office and home use.
It's important to work out how a printer will benefit you when choosing which printer to use, and this will depend largely on whether you'll be using it at home or in the office. Whilst laser printers do have some disadvantages, the benefits far outweigh the cons.
There should be enough information here to help you make your decision, however, if you're still unsure of which model to get, then we should be able to help! If you don't think a colour laser printer is right for your business, then we also have a selection of other printer models available, including inkjet colour multifunction printers.
If you're interested in our other printer models, then we're only a phone call away!
What Type of Paper & Toner Should You Use With A Colour Laser Printer?
If you've decided you want to buy a colour laser printer, then the next step to take is to choose which paper and toner to use with the device. Laser printer paper is the best type of paper to use with colour laser printers, as it's specifically designed to be used with them - it can be purchased in different sizes depending on the size of your paper tray, with A3 and A4 being the most common sizes.
Laser printers are different from inkjet printers in that they use toner, instead of ink. Toner cartridges are specific to the printer or printer range. Why not browse our selection of printer consumables to see which ones are right for you?
Looking to Buy a Colour Laser Printer?
If you're wanting to buy a new colour laser printer then Printerland should be your first stop! We've got years of experience under our belts, making us the kings of the printer market. We have a wide variety of printer types and models available, from higher-end copiers through to our printer sale range which can be bought instantly on our website, so there should be something perfect for you, whether you want a printer for the office or at home.
We also offer a range of in-house managed printing services, providing a professional and high-quality service for every need, helping to increase productivity within the workplace to ensure that employees can focus their time and efforts elsewhere. Working with a specialist printing expert can be a great boon to your company, as Printerland are industry leaders with a modern and agile way of business.
We also supply whatever print consumables you'll need to get your printer up and running, including toner, ink and a range of different paper types. If you're interested in buying a printer, all of our colour laser printers can be purchased instantly from our website. If you need a little more advice or want to set up a print subscription plan, call our team today to discuss!