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IT Printer Technology

Difference Between Thermal Printer and Laser Printer

Thermal Printer vs Laser Printer

Summary: Difference Between Thermal Printer and Laser Printer is that an image is generated in thermal printer by pushing electrically heated pins against heat-sensitive paper. While Laser printer is a high-quality, high-speed type of non-impact printer. They use individual sheets of paper that are stored in one or more removable tray that slide in the printer case when they work with personal computers.

Difference Between Thermal Printer and Laser Printer

Thermal printer

An image is generated in thermal printer by pushing electrically heated pins against heat-sensitive paper. Standard thermal printers are inexpensive but the print quality in them is low and images tend to fade after some time. Self-service gas pumps usually use built-in low-quality thermal printer to give us gas receipts. Many retail and grocery stores and point-of-sale terminals also prints purchase receipts on thermal paper.

But some thermal printers have high quality printing technology and they can print much faster rates than laser printers and ink-jet printers. Dye-sublimation printer also known as digital photo printer use heat to transfer colored dye to coated paper. Different professional applications that require high quality image, such as photography studios, security identifications systems and medical labs use dye-sublimation printers. There high-end printers print images in a wide range of sizes and cost thousands of dollars.

Dye-sublimation printers when used by home user or small business user, they typically print images in one or two sizes and they are much slower than the professional printers.  You can compare these lower-end dye-sublimation printers to a photo printer in cost and they are based on ink-jet printers.

Laser Printer

Laser printer is a high-quality, high-speed type of non-impact printer. They use individual sheets of paper that are stored in one or more removable tray that slide in the printer case when they work with personal computers. They can print graphics and text easily in high-quality resolutions which ranges from 1200-2400 dpi. Laser printers are more costly than ink-jet printers but that are some models available at affordable prices for home user. They can print faster as compared to ink-jet printers. Manufacturers of printers state that laser printer for home and small business user typically prints black and white text at the speed of 15-62 ppm. Color laser printers print 8-40 ppm but laser printers for large businesses print more than 150 ppm.

For small office user and home user laser printer cost ranges from few hundred dollars to few thousand dollars but the cost depend on the quality, speed and type of laser printer. And laser printers for large businesses can cost several thousand dollars. Color laser printers can be slightly higher priced otherwise they costs equivalent to black-and-white laser printers. They operate similar to a copy machine, laser printer uses a laser beam and powdered link to create images. Laser beam and powdered ink called toner. B&W laser printers use one toner cartridge but color printers use multiple cartridges. One cartridge for black and one or more cartridges for colors, when toner runs out, you replace the toner.

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