Not long ago, only large organizations had the space and budget for laser printers. Today, they're compact and affordable enough for small business and home use. These workhorses are ideal for bulk printing black-and-white documents quickly, at a low per-page cost. Color laser printers are great for rendering graphics. With laser printers, little maintenance is required beyond replacing cartridges. Moreover, since the toner comes as a powder, there's no waiting for documents to dry.
How Do Laser Printers Work?
Laser printers work in a similar fashion to photocopiers. They use an LED or laser beam to project an image of the material you're printing onto a photoreceptor drum that's positively charged. As the beam hits the drum, it removes the positive charge from the print areas. The resulting negative charge attracts ink toner particles. These stick to the drum and then print the text and graphics onto paper that the drum rolls over. Finally, heat fuses the toner ink onto the paper for a permanent print.
How to Choose the Right Laser Printer
When choosing a laser printer, consider its capacity, resolution, speed, and functionality. These printers store all the data about the page in RAM. Thus, models equipped with larger RAM modules are faster, as there's no buffering. In terms of resolution, most modern lasers can render graphics at up to 2400 dots per inch (dpi). However, for general text printing, resolutions of 300 to 600 dpi are perfectly adequate. Most reputable brands, such as Brother laser printers, render these resolutions.
Networking and Multifunctionality
Networking capability is common nowadays, usually in the form of wireless laser printers. If you have a large office, you can acquire accessories such as print servers for wireless printers to handle your network. This allows you to print remotely from computers or smartphones in the office, or from other mobile devices anywhere via cloud-based apps. Another handy feature to look for is duplex printing capability. This lets you automatically print both sides of a sheet without needing to remove it. You'll find premium brands such as Brother laser jet printers with these functions.
Laser printers are best suited for batch printing text documents of regular sizes such as A4 and B5. Most can't work with non-standard document sizes such as 4x6 inches. However, you can also use a multi-purpose tray to print smaller items such as envelopes. One versatile option to consider is a multifunctional model. These all-in-one units can work as scanners, photocopiers, and fax machines, as well as printers. Products such as HP laser printers are ideal space savers in small or home offices. While shopping, you can also pick up shredders, print finishing lacquers, and other accessories to complement your printing.