My Laser Printer – The Basics

Color Laser Printer or just laser printers use a technology known as Xerography to produce either the black and white copies that we are accustomed to or reproductions of extremely high quality.

Let us first look at the differences between laser printers and inkjet printers.

In a nutshell shell, inkjet printers spray droplets of ink onto the media currently inserted into the printer or passing the print head (or visa versa), whereas laser printers transfer the ink or powder directly onto a drum which in turn, rotates, and places the impression directly onto the paper being fed into the machine.

The electrically charged drum, which is coated with selenium rotates, onto which, a laser beam projects the image to be printed, this laser beam using the process of Photoconductivity removes the charge from the areas exposed to its light, the charged areas which are left behind pick up (electrostatically) the dry ink or toner, and proceed to print it directly onto the surface of the paper being fed through the roller.

This technology brings with it some significant advantages over its competition, the Color Laser Printer’s speed can vary depending on several factors such as the intensity of the graphics being processed, some of the best laser printer’s or multifunction laser printers as they are called can achieve speeds of up to 200 hundred monochrome pages per minute that’s an astounding 1200 pagers per hour, the very fastest and highest quality, the best color laser printers that can be purchased may produce a staggering 100 color pages per minute, that’s amazing when you think that the technology (Xerography or electrophotography) was invented in 1938 by Chester Carlson.

If you wish to buy a laser printer and use it for color laser printing some of the cost factors which you may need to consider:

The costs of the paper and toner plus the cost associated with the replacement of the drum plus the other consumables that may be required e.g. the fuser and transfer assembly these hidden costs will not become apparent until replacement time.

Consider the volume of printing you may require, a multifunction color laser printer with all of its functionality may or may not be what is required by your office, a simple bubble jet may be ample for your needs.

Anti counterfeiting Steganographic (“secret”) marks.

Color laser printing has come of age, with the threat of counterfeiting becoming a real issue as the quality of printing has improved, unscrupulous groups of people have found other uses for the laser photo printer, or the readily available laser printer copier that can be found in most corporate environments.

Most modern printers mark the printouts they produce with a series of almost invisible dots, these contain information such as date, time, serial number of the printer, all in binary coded decimal dots, this technology is said to have been then result of the U.S. Governments concern over counterfeiting, and a deal was struck between the printer manufactures and the government of the time to combat this threat, these measures enable a manufacturer to follow a single piece of paper back to its source, perhaps even to identify the original purchaser of the machine or consumables, some digital rights advocacy groups have become alarmed at this level of intrusion into the rights and freedoms of those that print and write, one such group is the Electronic Frontier Foundation