Laser printers are typically the go-to solution for business printing. After all, they are fast, quiet and can create large quantities of high-quality output at a relatively low cost per page. However, they aren't panaceas. Laser printing technology carries trade-offs, just like any other technology, and you might find that a laser printer isn't always the best fit for your business.

Color Printing

Color laser printers typically have limited color gamut, especially when compared to photo-oriented inkjets that have additional ink cartridges beyond cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Although laser printers can print typical business color output, photographs and other documents that require fine control of color and tone are usually better printed with an inkjet or solid ink printer. Black-and-white laser printers are also more prevalent than black-and-white printers that use other technology, so the problem of not being able to print in color at all is more likely to impact laser users than owners of inkjets or solid ink printers.

Media Choice

It's hard to beat a laser printer's output quality for black text on regular copy paper. Although laser printers work well with many types of regular paper, they work poorly with special papers. Between the sometimes complicated path that paper travels inside of them and their high temperature fuser rollers, you can't print just anything with a laser printer. Generally speaking, you need to use specially designed laser papers for anything out of the ordinary or you risk damaging your printer.


Lasers aren't always the cheapest option, especially for small businesses that need color output. Business-oriented inkjets, such as the HP Officejet Pro series, Epson WorkForce Pro line and Lexmark OfficeEdge printers, offer comparable specifications to small laser printers. Given the high cost of toner for most small color laser printers and the higher cost to buy them, these inkjets have a significantly lower total cost of ownership.

Health Concerns

Laser printers use toner, which is a microscopic powder that contains plastics, colorants and other chemicals. Like any small powder, it can be picked up and carried by the air and you can breathe it in. Some laser printers emit large quantities of toner particles, contributing to indoor air pollution. As of the date of publication, there is no evidence that this is dangerous, but it's still a good idea to keep your office's laser printer in a ventilated area, just in case.