Easily the most common type of printer today, inkjets have dominated the domestic market and in recent years they have even evolved to find a place in offices. But what exactly is an inkjet printer and why is it so popular? If you’re wondering if an inkjet could be the best printer for you, we’ve delved into the all the advantages of inkjet printers to give you everything you need to know about these powerful machines.
Inkjet printer technology
To understand the advantages of inkjet printers you first need to know a bit about how they work. Introduced in the late 1980’s these printers predate their laser cousins and have subsequently improved in both performance and popularity.
They work by using hundreds of tiny guns or nozzles to fire drops of ink onto the page to recreate an image or text. These drops of ink are extremely small, typically around 50 microns in diameter. For a bit of perspective, that’s smaller than a human hair, and they can be as small as a red blood cell in some of the most advanced inkjet printers. This is much smaller than the human eye can perceive, and as such the cyan, magenta, yellow and black inks can be sprayed together with extreme precision in a way that we perceive as different shades of colour.
Spraying thousands of dots a minute with pin-point accuracy enables these incredible printers to turn ink dots on a page into text and photos.
Advantages of inkjet printers
The unique inkjet technology has many advantages that have helped make these printers extremely popular for many uses, and innovative technology has only helped to improve the capabilities of inkjet printers.
Undoubtedly the main reason for investing in a good inkjet printer is the image quality. Inkjet technology enables extremely precise placing of ink dots with resolutions as high as 1440×1440 dots per inch (dpi). More dots per inch mean better and more accurate replication of the image with better shading and colour reproduction. This makes for extremely high-quality photos and graphics with lifelike results.
With better quality comes better colour. Again, the use of ink and the technology behind the inkjet printer means they can reproduce extremely bright and vivid colours with exceptional tone and shading. Many manufacturers continue to develop better ink and technology to improve inkjet colour.
Low initial cost
Even if image quality isn’t at the top of your printer buying list, price probably is. Whether it’s at home or the office, everyone likes to keep an eye on their wallet when shopping for a printer. One of the main reasons inkjets have become so popular is their attractive purchase prices. A like for like printer in terms of quality and capabilities will nearly always be cheaper than a laser printer, and multifunction inkjet printers offer exceptional value for money. Whether you simply don’t want to spend a lot of money on your next printer or you’re looking to spend a lot and therefore want the best value for your budget, inkjets are often the perfect choice.
When compared to a similar laser printer model, an inkjet printer is always the most compact option. Even the more advanced inkjet printers offering A3 printing or all in one functionality are surprisingly small. If space is ever a concern or you’re simply looking for a printer with minimum fuss, you’ll find inkjets both compact and easy to use.
While not often associated with inkjet printers, they do have some surprising speed advantages. While they make take longer to print than lasers, they usually have little to no warm-up time and can receive and start printing documents extremely quickly.
If you’re still not sure whether an inkjet printer is the right choice for you, here’s how today’s inkjets are being used.
Inkjets can be perfect for…
It comes as no surprise that the number one use for inkjet printers is photography. Whether you’re an amateur photographer simply looking to do more with your hobby or a professional looking for the best photo quality on the market, an inkjet is the only choice. With stunning images and eye-catching colours, today’s inkjets can print up to A2 borderless images, and most manufacturers offer a range of special paper including glossy photo paper to give your images the best possible results.
Being both compact and affordable, inkjet printers have understandably become the go-to home printer. Attractive prices mean families and students alike can afford to get a versatile multifunction printer without blowing their budget, and these small all-in-one printers fit perfectly on desks and shelves. The extra cash means you can even upgrade to a wireless or cloud printer for easy printing around the home or from your mobile. Don’t forget that stunning photo quality either, perfect for printing family photos and school projects.
Amazing colour quality and advanced paper handling make inkjet printers perfect for in-house marketing materials and other business graphics and projects. But what about speed and long-term costs? Admittedly, the price of ink cartridges and slower print times have previously seen inkjets shunned in favour of laser printers in the office. All that is changing though with inkjets making incredible advancements in both these areas.
As well as offering next to no warm up time you’ll find many inkjet printers are faster than ever with the most advanced set to rival lasers. Plus, new printers such as the Epson EcoTank range are now offering significant cost savings. Their innovative ink tank system is both easy to refill and you could see up to 74% cost savings with lower overall running and per-page costs.
Interested in inkjet?
If you’re ready to take on inkjet and experience affordable yet quality printing, take a look at our extensive inkjet printer range. You’ll find our best budget inkjet printers from less than £100, plus all the latest printer technology with Cloud and Wireless inkjets.