Inkjet technology on the comeback trail

When it comes to choosing the right printer, the battle between which is better – inkjet or laser laser- still lives on. Ever since they have hit the market, laser printers have been the leading choice for office use because they are perceived to be faster and cheaper. However, inkjet printers are now delivering faster speeds along with superior colour reproduction, and the enterprise as well as the SME segment is taking a serious look at inkjet as a better alternative to laser printers. 

Let’s look at some of the reasons why the new generation inkjet is winning the office printer battle.

High Quality Printouts

In terms of application, it has traditionally been said that each technology – inkjet and laser – has its own strengths.  Laser printing has typically been preferred for black and white print jobs, particularly documents whereas inkjet technology has been recognised for delivering superior output in colour, particularly for graphics and photographs.

When it comes to who does the job better, inkjets remain on top as they are able to print onto numerous sorts of papers hassle-free. Not only does inkjet give you the freedom to choose what material you can print on but you get your printing job done in seconds thanks to its zero warm up functionality.

High-Speed Printing

Output speed is often a determining factor for busy offices that need to produce multiple copies, fast. Previously, it was laser technology that led this race as they were built for high-speed printing, especially when it came to handling high-volume print jobs.

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However, laser printers take a long time to warm-up compared to inkjets. Furthermore, with the advancement of technology, some inkjet printers can also beat the fastest performing laser printer out there as revolutionised print heads are rapidly emerging.

Workload

Businesses with large teams or specific applications requiring constant heavy output have typically preferred laser printers, which offer maximum monthly duty cycles ranging between 2,000 and 20,000 pages, depending on the model.

Even though inkjets have been regarded as more suitable for monthly workloads in the range of 1,500 to 5,000 pages, it has been inking its way towards adopting bigger workloads of a monthly duty cycle that can mount up to 75,000 pages without the need to replace consumables.

Cost Efficient

While laser printers have been more expensive than their inkjet counterparts at point of purchase, buyers have tended to opt for laser due to the perception that toner cartridges typically deliver more pages per cartridge, and that it costs less to run a laser printer in the long run.

However, when it comes to calculating the total cost of ownership, buyers also need to be aware of the hidden costs of consumables with a laser printer – such as the cost of the fuser or wastebox among others. The inkjet system, with its ultra-long-life consumables, does away with the need to keep a cupboard full of replacement cartridges – an important thing to note in terms of saving space.

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Additionally, the benefits to productivity are obvious – less intervention means no more irritating, time-consuming interruptions to the print run while you change the toner or ink cartridge.

Epson WF-C20590 Inkjet Printer

Epson’s Business Inkjet Printers

Epson’s new business inkjet printers produce laser-sharp text on a wide variety of media through its Micro Piezo and PrecisionCore printheads, delivering professional quality results to meet the most demanding standards. Its pigment inks bring exceptional print quality with water-proof, smudge-proof and fade-resistant printouts.

The heart of the technology is a next-generation print chip, no thicker than a razor blade. Based on micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) technology, the chip uses a 1-micron thin piezo actuator that acts like a pump to deposit ink with dramatic speed and precision. PrecisionCore printheads deliver professional output quality at high speed by precisely controlling the droplet shape and volume at a rate up to 50,000 times a second per nozzle.

Epson has also designed printers with the small and medium business in mind as well – their ink tank system printers with PrecisionCore and Micro Piezo technology offers 4,500 pages for black and 7,500 pages for colour for each set of inks – bringing affordable printing that more than meets the needs of the small business owner.

When you add in the system’s host of convenient, cost-saving features, such as automatic two-sided printing, easy printing from tablets and smartphones including remote printing and access to cloud,  it is clear that today’s smart businesses would benefit most from inkjet technology.

Does this mean that inkjets take pole position? They quite possibly do.

Alvina Lim

Article contributed by Alvina Lim, Printers & Scanners, Epson Singapore

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