Monochrome vs. Color Printers: Which Should You Choose?
Printers are getting more and more affordable, while the choices available are getting more numerous. And with all the options, it may be a little tough to choose.
Laser or inkjet? All-in-one or printer only? There are so many questions you should ask yourself, starting with this:
Should I Get a Monochrome or Color Printer?
If you’re a student –especially an art one- or someone that’s going to print art prints, pictures, graphs, or visual information, then there’s no alternative to buying a color inkjet printer.
These are popular for their compactness, versatility, and ability to print both color photographs and documents. Moreover, color inkjet printers are usually a lot more affordable than laser ones.
On the other hand, if you work in an office where all you’ll be printing is plain text documents, then I’d recommend buying a monochrome laser printer.
See also: The best monochrome laser printers list.
This is because they’re very affordable, provide you with ample printing speed, and have a lower cost per page.
Tip: A good idea to save up on ink when you’re printing in colors is to get separate ink cartridges.
The non-separate ones force you to change the whole package when only one color runs out, which means you might throw away half-full cartridges!
How Does the Cost Per Page Affect My Choice?
Cartridges play a huge role when it comes to expenses.
That’s why monochrome printers that use only one black cartridge are a lot more economical than color ones that usually use four: black, yellow, cyan, and magenta.
On top of that, color printing uses more toner to produce a single page, consequently increasing the cost per page.
Tip: Look for a printer that is compatible with XL or super-high yield cartridges as these can really reduce the overall cost per print and last a lot longer before needing replacement.
How Much Space Does Each Type Take?
Color printers are usually bigger and heavier than monochrome ones as they hold in more components to operate using four (or more) different colors.
Moreover, they’re slower in operation because they need to heat four (or more) drums according to the number of color cartridges. And this process takes more time than what the single-color, single-drum monochrome printer requires.
How Do Colors Affect Your Prints?
While there are considerable drawbacks to printing in color, there are also very impactful benefits.
Colored output looks a lot more appealing, and it increases the chances of people engaging with the content as it’s more appealing.
How Noisy Will the Printer Be and How Much Power Will It Consume?
While a single printer’s noise levels may not make that much of a difference, if you’re in a small, quiet room or if you’re using multiple units, the noise levels will definitely make a difference.
Your printer will make noises when it’s starting or up or when it’s preparing a print, so make sure those noises will be at levels lower than 49 dB.
It’s alright if you settle for a higher number on color printers as they require the operation of multiple components.
Moreover, look for an Energy Star-certified printer as these will consume more power as they operate.
What Type of Paper Can the Printer Work With?
Typically, printers can handle A4 size paper. So if you want to print on different types and sizes of paper, you should look for a printer that can do so.
If you’re looking to print envelopes or cardstock, your printer must have a multi-purpose tray that can handle heavier weights (measured in gsm). Usually, color inkjet printers are more suited for handling a more extensive range of media types.
Choosing between a color and a monochrome printer depends on how economical you want your printing to be and what you’ll be printing.
If you can work with simple black-and-white text, it would be better to get a monochrome one.
However, if you need to print visuals, then you’ll have to buy a color one.