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

Buy The Right Laser Printer Copier The First Time Round

You need to do your research before you buy a laser printer copier to make sure you buy the right one. There are so many different models on the market and it can be easy to become confused.

Buy a brand name you trust. Electronic devices can and do develop problems. When you purchase a recognized brand name you should be able to access customer service centers that will do their best to either sort out the issue or replace the machine. Most printers will come with a warranty and to be fair; if something is going to go wrong you will usually notice a problem very quickly. Make sure you do not invalidate any warranty. This can be done by using the wrong cartridge so it pays to read the small print.

Is your laser printer copier going to be shared among different users or just used by one person? If it is to be shared you need to buy one that is compliant with your network. You can then add it to the network and give access to those that need it. If you are buying it for individual use this is less of an issue.

Do you need all the added functionality that comes with certain machines? It may be fantastic that the printer will scan, email, sort, staple and fax documents but if you do not currently use these additional functions why pay extra for them? Some machines will have inbuilt extras at a reasonable price but often people end up paying extra for devices they won’t actually use.

The key is to find the best laser printer copier for your needs at the lowest possible price. You can often find fantastic bargains if you wait for end of season sales. Some shops will sell off the older models at a lower cost in order to make way for the latest technology.

Compare the Best Laser Printer to Buy

These days, there are literally hundreds of laser printers to choose from coming from all the various established and well known manufacturers. In fact, choosing the best laser printer from the product line of even a single manufacturer can seem to be as difficult as searching for a needle in a haystack. Although, it is of course much better to have a wide selection coming from lots of different manufacturers all competing for your business, it does mean that choosing the best one that will meet your preference and standards can really be quite a difficult choice. For this reason, both individual and business establishment buyers should obtain product prices and specifications from various manufacturers in order to make their laser printer comparison and eventually be able to choose the best one to suit their needs.

Basically, an individual buyer should probably first look at the price when comparing printers. If this is intended for personal use and does not involve speed and bulky printing tasks, they may be advised to choose the one that has a low price tag. However, if it is for home and office use, it is preferable to pick one that has a heavy-duty capacity. Very often, companies prefer to choose the best laser printer model that also has copy and fax features along with other special functions. An A3 laser printer will generally cost more than a standard size printer. However it will not only be more versatile in terms of paper size it will also mean you can print twice as many A4 pages as normal if required, making it faster and cheaper to run.

Here are some other features that need to be checked when buying a laser printer:

  • The warranty period. The longer it is the better for you.
  • The available service centers within the proximity of the home or business establishment.
  • The year manufactured. Most often, older brands may be cheaper in price but costly in the long run. As the specific printer is nearing its “phase-out” period, obtaining its parts in case of replacement can be difficult. The said part can be expensive as the supply becomes lesser.
  • Durability. It is a common fact that laser printers do not last for more than a few years. It is wiser to choose from a trusted well established manufacturer.

This features list can in fact get somewhat longer when choosing your printer. You can also take account of items such as speed of operation including warm-up time and pages per minute. The service, maintenance and power costs must play a factor as will the ink and toner prices. Ease of networking including wireless ability may be important in a busy office. The paper size and type of materials that can be printed on may all form a part in your decision making process. You will of course need to decide which features are of particular relevance to your own specific needs. Check that you do require and will make actual use of any particular fancy features. The important thing is that you have this kind of comparison in order to make your shopping easier and get the best laser printer to buy.