How to Buy a New Colour Laser Printer for the Home

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Inkjet printers once dominated the home office. However, in recent years, colour laser printers, once bulky and reserved for large office environments, have come down in size and price. This makes them a great and affordable option for your desktop.

Wired and wireless models are available, some of which include scanners and fax machines as all in one solutions. Here’s our guide to colour laser printers.

What are Laser Printers and How Do They Work?
Laser printers operate under much more complex principles than traditional inkjet printers, which work by spraying liquid ink onto the paper through tiny nozzles. A laser printer uses a laser beam and static electricity to bring the digital image to paper.

Inside the print cartridge exist two main components; a drum and a toner hopper. The image is sent to the negatively charged light-sensitive drum via a laser beam creating more neutral spaces. This forms an image of the document on the drum. The fine toner powder, which carries a negative charge is attracted to the neutral spaces on the drum and sticks to the spaces hit by the laser, forming a mirror image of the document.

Simultaneously the printer now positively charges a piece of paper and the image literally jumps onto the page from the drum.
 
 
 
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Print Only: Dell 1250C Colour Laser-Class Printer


One of the most prominent examples of a basic colour laser printer for the home is the Dell 1250C model. At around £100, this wired USB printer is an affordable option for users looking to print in colour and black and white from a single computer.

It offers fast printing and crisp text reproduction, but doesn’t integrate Ethernet or Wi-Fi connectivity and doesn’t include a scanner or built in fax machine like some all in one models.
 
 
 
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All-in-One Print, Copy, Scan and Fax: HP M177FW


Many colour laser printers also incorporate other important home office functions such as a scanner, a fax machine and a copier, within the same desktop package. The HP M177FW is one such device.

This model is internet connected, meaning you can hook up to your computer via Ethernet or Wi-Fi. It’s also Apple AirPrint enabled making it easy to print directly from your mobile device. An all-in-one solution such as this will naturally cost a little more than a basic laser printer.
 
 
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Colour Laser Printers: Connectivity


If you only wish to connect your printer to one computer, and that computer is close by, you can make do with a USB connection. However if you wish to print from multiple devices a Wi-Fi-enabled colour laser printer can help. This will allow you to send documents from any of your Wi-Fi enabled devices to anywhere in the house.
 
 
 
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Advantages of Colour Laser Printers


The main advantage of a laser printer is its speed. It can pump out pages more quickly than your average inkjet printer. However, although they’re generally more expensive than their inkjet counterparts, laser printers can be more economical to run.

The toner lasts longer than inkjet cartridges that require regular replacements. Generally speaking, because of the way they work, laser printers are also more precise, waste less ink and are able to print text at a higher quality.
 
 
 
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Disadvantages of Colour Laser Printers


Laser printers are often larger than their inkjet counterparts, but the size is coming down. Likewise, they tend to be more expensive, but again the cost is coming down.

If you’re printing images and photographs you may be better off with an inkjet printer as laser printers are known to display banding.
 
 
 
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How Much Should I Spend on a Colour Laser Printer?


Printers with colour laser technology can be obtained for under £100 brand new. The Lexmark CS310DN A4 Colour laser can be nabbed for around £85.

However, if you’re looking at a machine that incorporates printing, scanning, faxing, copying and wireless technology such as the Canon i-Sensys MF8080Cw Multifunction Colour Laser Printer your spend will be around the £300 mark. If you’re in an office setting rather than the home, these machines can range upwards of £10,000.

Where to Buy a Used Laser Printer

If you’re in the market for a second hand printer, search the latest colour laser printer deals on eBay. Be prepared to buy new toner cartridges when you buy a second hand printer and ensure it’s compatible with your computing set up.
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