Home Computers Forget Inkjet, What Are Cheap Colour Laser Printers Like?

Forget Inkjet, What Are Cheap Colour Laser Printers Like?


Inkjet printers have been mainstay of low volume home and small office printing for years but colour lasers have dropped in price substantially. Colour Laser printers are now on par with inkjet printers, both in size and price.

If you want professional looking prints and don’t do your own glossy photographs, a colour laser printer might be for you.

Fast Facts:

  • Cheap! $160 will pick you up a quality brand like Fuji Xerox or Samsung
  • fast print speed (first page in around 15 seconds)
  • great text representation (crisp, sharp and easy to read)
  • ongoing cost similar to inkjet (and maybe less!)
  • small footprint – equivalent to an inkjet printer
  • quiet printing – perfect for shared office space
  • no more dried up clogged ink heads -perfect if your printing is very infrequent
  • good colour reproduction – not up to an inkjet on gloss paper, but fine for business reports
  • no more wet-look saturated paper from the inkjet

What Else?

Well, since we looking at the entry level of colour laser printers we can’t be too picky on print quality, but it will be much better than an equivalent inkjet. Your prints will be colour-fast and not suffer from bleeding and smearing. Sure there will be better printers (read more expensive), but for the printing levels we are talking about, the return on investment wont be there. And who is getting a microscope to compare print sharpness anyway?

Do not be overly concerned with toner cost, have you bought a full set of inkjet cartridges recently? Wow ink is expensive. Laser printers generally return a better cost per page, but it all depends on what your printing and its associated coverage per page.

What Are We Looking At?

Samsung CPL 320n – available from Officeworks $268

  • 4 PPM Colour / 16 PPM Mono
  • 2400 x 600 Print DPI
  • 130 Sheet Capacity
  • First page out <14sec Mono
  • 256 MB Memory
  • Wired Network Ready
  • Dimensions: 388W x 313D x 243H mm; 11.0 kg

Samsung Colour Laser

Fuji Xerox DocuPrint CP105b available from Harris Technology $158

  • Award Winning SLED Technology
  • 24 pages per min
  • first page in 11 seconds
  • Print Resolution (dpi) 1200 x 2400 dpi

I personally use a Samsung CLP 310 which is no longer produced, the CLP 320 is the new model. I’ve had this printer for around a year and had no issue with it, even at its $166 purchase price it has great Samsung build quality.