Both laser and LED printers are available in models using four traditional colors of toner–cyan, magenta, yellow, and black–to create photos, text, and graphics. An increasing number of laser and LED printers support full-color printing as well, using CMYK models. Laser and LED printers are great at printing quality documents, whether they are in black-and-white or full-color.
Depending on the design, LED printers may have faster printing speeds than some laser-based designs, and they are usually cheaper to produce. Device Setup Because LED printers use less complex machinery for producing printed output, they can be placed into shorter, smaller enclosures compared with laser printers producing comparable specifications. Image quality is comparable, but since LEDs have fewer moving parts, they promise faster speeds, lower costs, and greater durability compared with lasers. Laser and LED printers combine low-noise output like inkjets and waterproof print like dot-matrix machines, with a very low cost-per-page.
Laser printers are more expensive up front compared to inkjets and use costly toner cartridges, but are still more economical options over the long term due to their generally lower cost per page, faster printing speeds. Laser printer cartridges can print thousands of pages before running out of toner, while tank-type printers have larger ink tanks, so they can print far more pages than a standard inkjet. If you are printing lots of base documents, a laser printer — even a monochrome laser printer — can pump out page after page of better quality than an inkjet. Laser printers are generally best for printing text, offering clear, crisp letterforms that are unmatched by most inkjets.
Laser/LED printers use a much higher temperature than photocopiers for printing on paper; using photocopier labels or transparency media with a laser printer may result in printer damage from melting the labels glue, labels coming loose from photocopiers, or melting the transparency media. Similar to the laser printer, an LED printer bonds toner (dry ink) to the paper (or other printing media) using heat. Instead of having a laser and mirrors, the LED printer has a series of light-emitting diodes that smear letters and images onto a drum. LED devices are capable of printing full-color outputs much faster than laser equipment, as they apply more than one toner color at one go through the machine.
Conventional color laser printers need four passes to print a page of color (one pass for each color), but LED color printers can print all four colors in a single pass, which is why they can print colors just as fast as they do black-and-white. As part of LED printers smaller footprint, LED printers generally use a direct printing path where each piece of paper remains flat throughout the entire drive. The digital LED light source allows for higher printing speeds with higher resolutions compared to conventional laser light sources.
Laser light sources for laser printers have improved in recent years, and many initial issues with printing quality related to this technology are now solved, however, Okidata still believes the Digital LED light source is still superior. This chart shows how the printing speeds are unrelated to technology with the Digital LED technology, however the Laser technologies have to be slower when the resolution increases. Laser printer cartridges can print a lot more pages, so you are going to need replacements for months, even years, depending again on how much you use the printer.
You will have to change a toner cartridge less frequently — you will get up to ten times more prints from laser printing than from an ink cartridge. Another difference between inkjet and laser printers is that with inkjets, you need ink cartridges only for printing, whereas for laser printers, you need both toner cartridges and the drum assembly. If you need white print output to fulfill special print needs–such as for decals, transfer paper, or DVD labels–you may want to opt for LED printer models, which include a fifth toner cartridge for white output.