Type and characteristics of laser printer

Laser printer characteristics, type, and advantages

A laser printer is a hardcopy output device that uses laser beam technology to produce quality print compared to other printers’ technology. They are non-impact printers with minimal noise when printing.

There are 2 types of laser printers monochrome and colour printers. The printers are reliable, fast, offer high-quality print, and produce low noise. However, they are expensive and bulkier than other types of printers.

How laser printer works

When you send the document to print from the available source the data is processed by the printer to start the printing process. 

The printer uses electrostatic electricity to transfer the data from the drum to the paper.

Once the commands have been sent from the computer the printer starts heating a wire called corona wire. The corona wire transfers a positive charge to the entire area of the printer drum.

Then a laser beam is directed to the printer drum and discharges (negative charge) specific point depending on the image to be printed. After the image pattern is created on the drum a roller is used to fix the positively charged toner on the negative part of the drum.

Using another corona wire the paper is negatively charged and is passed over the roller which transfers the positively charged toner particles to the paper. The paper is then passed to rolled heated fuser which fuses the toner to the paper using heat and pressure.

The paper is then ejected on the other side of the printer. Laser printouts are usually warm immediately after they get out because of the heat used to fuse the toner to the paper.

Characteristics of a laser printer

  1. High-resolution printout
  2. High speed during printing
  3. Use powder toner
  4. Use laser beam
  5. Low noise

Types of laser printers

Monochrome laser printer

These are the most common laser printer. They have only one drum for black toner and they print black and white printouts. They are cheaper than the colour printer.

Colour laser printer

These are mostly used when you need to produce professional coloured print. They have 4 drums for cyan, magenta, yellow and black toner colours. They are expensive compared to monochrome printers.

Advantages laser printers

  1. High-quality print: compared to inkjet they produce high-quality printouts for back and white work.
  2. Fast print speed: laser printers can produce an average of 40 Pages Per Minute (PPM) with some even going to 100PPM
  3. Low maintenance cost: the initial cost of acquiring the printer may be high but the cost of buying consumables is low. Again the cost per page is low since the toner is utilized to the maximum.
  4. Reliable: the printer is reliable to produce better quality print all the time.
  5. They are silent when printing.
  6. Duplex printing: most laser printers are set to print on both sides to effectively utilize the paper.

Disadvantages of laser printing technology

  1. High initial cost: compared to other types of printer technology it is expensive to buy.
  2. Toners are more expensive than ink cartridges.
  3. They are usually bulkier and heavier.
  4. Lasers are not suitable for colour print and the cost of the same is very high compared to inkjet.
  5. They consume more power to heat and generate an electrostatic charge.

Uses of a laser printer

These printers can be used for different purposes by a variety of users. Some of the user and users of laser printers are:

  1. They are used when printing high-volume documents.
  2. Used to print high-quality business documents
  3. Used for home printing
  4. Laser printers are used in printing bureaus.

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