Small businesses that need high quality color printed on special glossy papers must choose between two types of printer technology -- inkjet or laser. While inkjet printer technology is more popular in homes, the drawbacks make it less suitable for many business settings. That being said, the low cost and high-quality color output of inkjet printer technology has led some businesses to reconsider the technology.

While inkjet printers have caught up with personal laser printers when printing basic text on regular paper, laser printers are usually much quicker at printing the special documents that end up on glossy paper. Businesses that need to do a great deal of this type of printing will benefit greatly from using laser printers because their real world print speeds are measured in pages per minute, while inkjet printers printing high resolution documents can frequently take multiple minutes per page in their highest quality settings.

For everything other than the finest text, inkjet printers now have essentially equivalent print quality to laser printers and, at times, can provide even higher resolutions. Where inkjet printers have a significant advantage is in the number of colors they can reproduce. Color laser printers have a limited color gamut and are unable to reproduce many of the most vivid colors. Inkjet printers, on the other hand, especially those that use more than four ink colors, can reproduce many more colors and make color glossy output more vivid.


Inkjet printers are less expensive than color laser printers -- usually by a large margin. Alternatively, laser toner is usually much less expensive than color ink, although the extra complexity of color laser printers and the need for four different cartridges makes the savings less significant than many people expect.

Paper Availability

The largest determinant of which printer technology is best for a given business is what they actually need to do with it. There are a vast range of glossy papers available for inkjet printers. Glossy paper products for laser printers, though, are less prevalent and can be harder to find. Furthermore, putting glossy inkjet paper into a laser printer can destroy the printer. With this in mind, businesses should look into what they need to do and if they can find the correct paper to do it before choosing a printer technology.