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For many years, the common wisdom was that laser printers were cheaper than inkjets in the long run, because the price-per-page was lower. But that began back in the days of black and white printers. The question is now, “Are laser photo printers less expensive than inkjets?”
And the answer is, “Yes.” In fact, a relatively inexpensive laser photo printer can print a color page for about half the cost of an inkjet print. Part of the equation is that quality laser photo printers themselves have come down in price. A decent color laser printer can cost as little as $300 - $400.
A color laser printer requires four toner cartridges, and prices for these are usually $50 and above. But a toner cartridge lasts much longer than an ink cartridge for an inkjet printer.
Laser photo printers also beat inkjets in the speed department. A full-color letter-size page that might take an inkjet several minutes to produce will be done in mere seconds on a typical laser printer.
But there's one area in which laser photo printers can't compete with inkjets: print quality. A good inkjet will yield a better print than a laser photo printer every time. However, if decent quality is good enough, and cost and speed are important, you may want to consider a laser photo printer.