Laser Printers Explained

This article explains how printers, copiers and faxes that are based on laser technology work. The Pros and Cons of a Laser Printer are also listed with Inkjet Printers as a implicit comparison target.

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The first Laser printers was developed at famous Xerox PARC with the first product released to the market in 1976 by IBM.

Article chapters:

1. How Laser Printers Work
2. Laser Printers - Pros and Cons

How Laser Printers work

Laser printing technology is based on the electrostatic principle which delivers the particles in the toner to the paper. The dry toner printing process is divided into attracting the toner to the paper and fusing the toner with the paper.

» Step one – attracting the toner:
Laser printers have a drum inside which is the place where the image of the print is processed. When the drum starts to rotate, toner particles (which have magnetic properties) are attracted to exact locations on the paper. The attraction occurs since the drum have opposite polarity compared to the toner.

» Step two – making the toner stay:
To make the toner stay on the paper, it needs to be melted or fused with the paper while pressure is applied to the toner and the paper at the same time. The heat source in the printer is called the fuser. The need to heat up the fuser is the reason why laser printers always need a warm up period before it can start printing.

Laser Printers - Pros and Cons

Below is a list of pros and cons for Laser printers relative Inkjet Printers. Remember that Laser printers like Inkjet printers are in constant development improving the functionality/price ratio.

Laser printers are generally Strong in the following areas:

  • Inexpensive to Run, this in comparison with Inkjet Printers and especially when printing large volumes
  • Printing speed, after doing the initial warm up a Laser Printer can print at great speed producing quality printouts (note: applicable to high end models)
  • Silent in operation
  • Laser Printers are networking optimized printers since they often come with large sized memories and a installed hard drive (note: applicable to high end models)
  • High volume paper trays

Laser printers are generally Weak in the following areas:

  • Purchase and reparation prices are high
  • Big sized often needing considerably more space than a Inkjet printer
  • Less good for photo quality print jobs due to limitations in the printing resolution and accepted paper types

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