I’ll make this easy, you should go ahead and buy a laser printer. In terms of reliability and stress-reduction laser printers are light-years ahead of inkjet.
Price comparisons and price per sheet costs don’t concern me. Laser is close enough to inkjet that it’s not worth worrying about. You’re going to spend a little more upfront and a little more on toner but it in the long run it’s going to be close. You’re going to spend more on coffee than you will on printing this year.
The biggest selling point for me is reliability. When I send something to my laser printer it just prints. The printer will whir for a few seconds and then smoothly spit out a nice warm page. It may have been minutes since I last used the printer or it may have been weeks. It doesn’t matter, the process is the same.
Compare this with inkjet. The printer will grind to life, check its precious ink reserves, and clean the ink heads. When the printer is sufficiently satisfied it will start to print at a frantic pace to noisily deliver a page with ink that’s still wet.
Inkjet cartridges are notoriously temperamental and your typical printer will require both a full color and black cartridge before it can print. These are two glaring failure points and they effectively cut an inkjet’s reliability in half.
I should note that if you switch to a laser printer you’re effectively giving up color printing. This is OK. Let’s consider printing use cases. The bulk of my printing needs requires no color – boarding passes, resumes, sports tickets. These are things that I need to reliably print at a moment’s notice but are ultimately disposable. The gate agent doesn’t care that your boarding pass is in color, they just want to scan the bar code.
Recommendations? Anything Brother.
Reliable, networked, and wireless. Set it up and forget about it.
I prefer the copier version, perfect for duplicating records. Top feed scanner and it has all the benefits of the above printer – reliable, networked, and wireless.
After using an inkjet for so long I’m still amazed the laser printer just works. It’s such a smooth and reliable experience. And who doesn’t enjoy warm paper?