Last updated: August 31, 2021

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Almost every household has a laser printer at home. Even offices and agencies cannot do without a multifunction printer. The big question before buying a printer is deciding between laser and inkjet. If you then decide on the laser printer, there is still the choice between colour and mono laser. Depending on the area of use, these types of printers are suitable for different purposes. While colour lasers are more suitable for home use, offices or home offices often only need a mono laser because the print volume is higher.

In our big laser printer test 2021 you are guaranteed to find the perfect printer for every area. The comparison of mono and colour laser printers lists the respective advantages and disadvantages to give you a good insight into the world of laser printers. After reading the tips in our guide, you can make an informed decision when buying your laser printer.




The most important facts

  • Laser printers give you fast and efficient printing results. However, laser printers are not suitable for printing on photo paper.
  • A basic distinction can be made between mono and colour laser printers, both of which have advantages and disadvantages. Here, attention must be paid to the individual use and the area of application of the printer.
  • Laser printers can have several functions, for example scanning, copying or faxing. Of course, these multifunction printers are also more expensive to buy.

The Best Laser Printer: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for laser printers

Below you will find the most important aspects that distinguish the different laser printers.

The criteria you can use to compare laser printers include:

Below we explain why these criteria are crucial when buying a laser printer.

Type

Before buying, you should consider what functions the printer needs to perform.

There are different types of laser printers that can be useful for different purposes. Sometimes a black-and-white printer is perfectly adequate. This so-called mono laser is often used in private use, while colour lasers are used in larger offices.

There are also printers with additional functions, so-called multifunction printers. Scanning, copying and faxing are no problem here. It is therefore important to consider which functions are required for the area of use.

Model year

Every year, countless laser printers from different brands come onto the market. Newer printers may have better technology and features. But older laser printers may also be good enough for home use. Therefore, the model year should not be the deciding factor when buying, whereas for larger offices, the latest technologies are more essential.

As with any other product, newer laser printers are becoming more digital. For example, touchpad operation can be easier and faster. Again, it depends on individual use and application.

Size

The size of a laser printer can vary from compact 20 cm printers to large 45 cm multifunction devices. In an open-plan office, a place can be found for the largest printers, but in private use the smaller ones are preferred. Big printers are not always better, smaller ones can be completely adequate.

Weight

The lightest laser printers start at a weight of 3 kilograms. This can be useful if, for example, the printer cannot find a place on the desk and always has to be unpacked when in use.

Larger printers, on the other hand, can weigh up to 25 kilograms or more. However, these heavy multifunction devices are only suitable for offices and not for use in the living room or home office.

Design / colour

As we all know, taste is individual. There are also different designs and colours for laser printers. Most printers stick to plain black, white or a combination of both.

But there are also laser printers that stand out from the majority in terms of colour, for example with a shiny brown or baby pink.

The colour will not really influence the purchase decision, but the different brands rely on their typical designs and thus create a unique selling point.

The print speed of a laser printer is expressed in sheets per minute. Most conventional printers are in the range of 20 to 25 sheets per minute. Fast laser printers can also print up to 35 sheets per minute.

In a large office, faster printers are preferred because often several documents need to be printed quickly. In the home, it is rare that more than five pages need to be printed at once, so slower printers are perfectly adequate.

The print resolution is given in dpi (dots per inch). A good resolution is more likely to be found in images than in pure text. If you can see the individual pixels in the images, the resolution is very low.

A laser printer with a resolution of, for example, 2400 x 600 dpi is a relatively good resolution and quite sufficient. A printer with 4800 x 600 dpi can be used for printing photos and pictures without any problems.

Connection technology

The connection technology refers to the possibilities with which the laser printer can be connected to the PC, laptop or mobile phone. Possible connection technologies are USB, WLAN or Ethernet/LAN. Some printers offer all three connection options.

  • WLAN/Wi-Fi: The laser printer can easily be connected via your own WLAN at home or with the WLAN in the office. This usually requires an app on your mobile phone or tablet or configuring the printer via the manufacturer's website. The printer can then be used without any cables.
  • Ethernet/LAN: Here, the laser printer is connected with the LAN cable to establish a connection to the internet. This option is rather obsolete nowadays and is only offered as an alternative option, if at all.
  • USB: If you have documents or pictures on a USB stick, you can connect it to the USB output of the printer. This saves you the configuration via app or website and you can print directly from your USB stick.

Probably the simplest method is to connect via WLAN. Simply set up the WLAN password via the website or an app and you are ready to print. Unlike the LAN connection, no extra cable is needed for this. A USB port is practical, for example, if you want to print from a mobile phone or a USB stick.

Price-performance ratio

Some brands are known for their good price-performance ratio. Here you should simply do a little research to find out which brands offer good products at an adequate price and which products are too expensive for their quality. Good quality is characterised, for example, by print resolution or print speed. Maybe there is a recommendation from family or friends that can help you.

Good quality usually means a higher price.

You should be wary of particularly cheap printers that promise especially good quality. With such offers, you should pay particular attention to other important aspects such as resolution or print speed. Otherwise, the printer may satisfy you briefly at first, but later turns out to be a bad buy.

Decision: What types of laser printers are there and which one is right for me?

When buying a laser printer, there are two different types of products you can choose between:

Type Description
Colour laser The colour laser is suitable for printing graphics and photos. Four toners are needed here (black, cyan, magenta, yellow). Printing can be switched to black and white to save colour toner.
Mono laser The mono laser is suitable for large text volumes and high print volumes. Only the black toner is needed here. It is not possible to switch to colour printing here.

If you want to learn more about the different types of laser printing, you can read the following paragraphs.

Colour laser

Colour laser

A colour laser is a real all-rounder. It is particularly suitable for printing photos and documents with text highlighted in colour, such as catalogues, invitations, CVs, etc.

Colour lasers have four toners that need to be replaced regularly: black, cyan, magenta and yellow. Therefore, the running costs are relatively high. Colour lasers can also be set to black and white printing only, so that all four toners are not always used.

Advantages
  • Beautiful colour printing
  • Switch to black and white possible
  • Often in combination with several functions
Disadvantages
  • Frequent cartridge replacement
  • High printing costs
  • High purchase price

Especially in creative agencies, but also in private use, a lot of colour is printed and, as we humans are, we do not want to wait long for the print result (as is the case with inkjet printers). The main criterion here is sheets per minute. In the meantime, however, there are colour lasers that can print very quickly.

Mono laser

Mono laser

As described above, a mono laser prints only one colour, i.e. only documents in black and white. Mono lasers are particularly suitable when a lot of text is printed. There is no possibility to switch between colour and black and white. In terms of price, mono lasers are often a little cheaper than colour lasers.

Mono lasers have lower printing costs per page and print more sheets per minute. If you place a lot of value on speed, you are better off with a mono laser. This is especially practical in offices where countless documents have to be printed every day. Here, of course, the printing costs should also be kept as low as possible.

Advantages
  • Low printing costs
  • Low purchase price
  • Fast printing speed
  • Low toner consumption
Disadvantages
  • Black and white printing only
  • No multifunction devices

Mono lasers only need one toner, the black one. Here, too, costs can be saved because, in contrast to colour lasers, only one toner needs to be replaced. In addition, the toners in mono lasers are often larger and therefore last longer.

If you are looking for a fast printer for your office, you should go for a mono laser. You can definitely save time and money here.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about laser printers answered in detail

In the following guide, we answer the most important questions about laser printers. You should read through these questions before buying a laser printer so that you can make the right decision.

What is a laser printer?

A laser printer is a printer based on the principle of electrophotography. In contrast to inkjet printers, laser printers produce the print image by means of a laser beam, which uses a rotating mirror to produce an image of the print on the image drum. In a laser printer, the colour comes from one (mono laser) or more (colour laser) toner cartridges. With inkjet printers, as the name suggests, the image is created with ink drops.

Laserdrucker-1

In addition to printing, a multifunction printer also performs scanning and copying functions. With a 4-in-1 printer, you can even fax.
(Image source: Steve Buissinne / pixabay)

Printing costs are definitely lower with a laser printer than with a conventional inkjet printer. One toner cartridge of a laser printer lasts for about 2500 pages. In addition, laser printers are very fast and can handle high print volumes quickly.

In terms of initial cost, laser printers are quite expensive, especially compared to inkjet printers. When buying, you should think about the purpose of the laser printer and whether a mono laser might be sufficient.

How much does a laser printer cost?

If your wallet is not that big, there are good laser printers for less than 100 pounds. However, these printers are not multifunction printers and are usually specialised in printing simple black-and-white documents, i.e. mono lasers.

Multifunction devices that integrate additional functions such as scanning, copying and faxing can also cost £1,000 upwards. Such expensive products are mostly found in offices and only rarely in private households. For private use, devices in the range of 50 to 150 pounds are perfectly adequate.

What are the alternatives to a laser printer?

As mentioned above, you can choose between laser printers and inkjet printers. Laser printers offer some advantages over inkjet printers, but inkjet printers are better suited for printing on photo paper. Before buying, it is best to weigh up the pros and cons and purchase the right device.

Type Description
Laser printer print image is produced by laser beam. High purchase price, but low printing costs in the long term.
Inkjet printer print image is produced by ink drops. Low purchase price, but cartridges have to be changed more often and the document has to dry after printing.

Before buying a printer, you need to think carefully about which alternative suits you better.

What types of laser printers are there?

Laser printers are divided into colour and mono printers. The names are actually self-explanatory: colour lasers are better suited for printing graphics and images, while mono lasers are better for large amounts of text-only printing.

There are also multifunction printers, which can be divided into 3-in-1 and 4-in-1.

3-in-1 devices can also scan and copy, 4-in-1 printers can also fax.

3-in-1 printers are practical because all functions can be used if possible. Since faxing is rather outdated these days, 4-in-1 devices are less useful.

When does a laser printer make sense?

A laser printer is particularly useful when large quantities have to be printed in a short time. The printing costs are relatively low and the toner cartridge lasts longer than that of inkjet printers. In addition, the printed sheet does not need time to dry, so it can be used immediately.

  • At home: A laser printer at home only makes sense if you don't want to print photos on photo paper. If you print a lot of text documents or graphics, a laser printer is perfectly adequate. If you want to decorate your photo wall, you should rather go for an inkjet printer, which has a higher quality with photo paper.
  • In the office: As you have already read above, laser printers are particularly useful when a lot of text is printed in large quantities. This is usually the case in offices, which is why laser printers are often chosen. Usually, printing is not done with photo paper, but with normal paper. In addition, office processes have to be fast and it is not possible to wait for the paper to dry.

Laserdrucker-2

An industrial printer is used in large print agencies and printers to produce newspapers and magazines.
(Image source: Bank Phrom / unsplash)

In most cases, laser printers are more practical as they are very efficient. If you want to print private photos and pictures on photo paper at home, inkjet printers are better for this.

Where can a laser printer be used?

Laser printers can be used in the home as well as in the office. They are particularly useful in the office, where large print jobs often need to be completed quickly.

Compared to inkjet printers, laser printers are more expensive to buy, but cheaper in the long run because printing costs are lower and cartridges need to be bought less often.

Which cartridges fit my laser printer?

Laser printers need toner cartridges in black, cyan, magenta and yellow. Each brand makes its own cartridges. To answer this question, it is best to check the website of the respective manufacturer. There you will usually find a guide that will lead you to the right toner cartridges. Or you can look in the machine manual.

Laserdrucker-3

A colour laser requires four different toners: Black, cyan, magenta and yellow.
(Image source: tookapic / pixabay)

Image source: Popov/ 123rf.com

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