questionswhat is your experience with a color laser…


It depends on your purpose. For business presentation (absolutely smudge-proof) and speed, laser wins. For cost effectiveness, not necessarily.

Unless you're going to be printing a lot (as in by the thousands), the lower priced color lasers will have a higher cost-per-page than many inkjet printers. Indeed, a business class inkjet printer will have a lower cost-per-page than even many mid-priced and mid-high-priced color lasers. And if you intend to print photos, an inkjet will most likely yield better results.

At work, we have three older Dell color lasers printers, though only two in actual use. The 5100cn monster was a freebie that needed a new drum/cartridges; it's cheap to print with third-party consumables, so we kept it. The other two are 3110cn refurbs. When the included toners run out, the printers will be recycled, as they were cheaper to buy as a refurb (which includes full capacity toners) than they are for just the toner cartridges by themselves.


We have a color laser printer at work, along with several b&w laser printers.
Most of my 'peon' colleagues and I use the b&w printers.
Only the managers use the color printers, although there's no policy about which printers to use.


One other thing to note is that the toner in a laser doesn't go stale if left unused for a while - unlike an inkjet that requires frequent use.

If you can find a refurbished color laser, I'd say go for it. They print beautifully, can print b&w equally well and fast, and the per-page cost of supplies is lower than an inkjet.


capitalgeek nailed the relevant info for many consumers: the toner cartridge can sit for however long you need it to and it will just work when you go to use it again. After a few weeks an ink cartridge will require some serious tinkering to get it to work again, or more likely it will just be useless junk you have to replace. For infrequent printing laser is pretty much the only way to go.


another thing to keep in mind with laser printers is the fact that many are set to detect when toner is low and insist on replacing the toner cart even though it's still got several pages worth of toner left in it (same as with many inkjets). With my brother laser, there's a window in the cart you can put electrical tape over to trick it. You can also trick the samsungs if you do it before the toner gets too low.