Choos­ing a... Laser printer

Computer Shopper - - REVIEWS -


Laser print­ers used to be much more ex­pen­sive than inkjets and were typ­i­cally re­stricted to of­fices. They are now much more af­ford­able, how­ever, and of­fer sev­eral ben­e­fits over inkjets, in­clud­ing lower per-page print­ing costs and faster print speeds.


A de­cent laser printer will typ­i­cally cost around £80, and will hap­pily print hun­dreds of black-and-white pages per hour. If doc­u­ments are your pri­or­ity, you’ll want a high min­i­mum speed and low print costs. How­ever, you’ll prob­a­bly be lim­ited to black-and-white print­ing at this price.


Al­though you can still buy sin­gle­func­tion laser print­ers, mul­ti­func­tion pe­riph­er­als (MFPs) are now far more com­mon. These mod­els can scan and pho­to­copy doc­u­ments as well as print them, and some of them also have fax ca­pa­bil­i­ties. Laser MFPs start from around £200.


Heavy-duty of­fice lasers de­signed for print­ing thou­sands of pages per month can cost thou­sands of pounds. They use large in­di­vid­ual toner drums, which can cut run­ning costs. Au­to­matic du­plex (dou­ble-sided) print­ing is also com­mon here.


Al­though laser print­ers are more suited to print­ing text than graph­ics, many are still able to pro­duce high-qual­ity pho­to­graphs. Speed isn’t a pri­or­ity here – in­stead choose a printer that re­pro­duces sub­tle tones well. You can’t de­ter­mine this by look­ing at the specifications; only hands-on test­ing will do, so remember to check our re­views be­fore you buy. Bor­der­less print­ing (up to the edge of the pa­per) should also be pos­si­ble.


If you want to print from mul­ti­ple de­vices, make sure you look for ex­tended con­nec­tiv­ity. De­cent laser print­ers can be shared on your lo­cal net­work and have USB ports for di­rect print­ing, mem­ory card slots for print­ing im­ages from a dig­i­tal cam­era, and iOS, An­droid or Google Cloud Print sup­port for print­ing from mo­bile de­vices such as smart­phones or tablets. An LCD pre­view screen of­fers greater con­trol for this method of print­ing.

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