Inkjet vs Laser for Photo Printing – Which should you choose?

*As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases

There are some terms within the printing world which can be particularly confusing. Two of the most commonly misunderstood types of printers are inkjet and laser printers, and knowing the difference between them will help you to determine which one is a better option for your needs.

Both inkjet and laser printers have their place within the printing world, and there’s a good chance that one of them would be a far better option for you than the other. Much of the time, it will depend on what style of printer you’re looking for – whether it be a standard sized one or a cheap portable printer.

Either way, they’re both a good choice depending on your circumstance. But, is an inkjet or a laser printer better for photo printing? Well, let’s have a look at a couple of reasons why one might prove to be a better choice than the other.

Inkjet vs Laser for Photo Printing

If you don’t know whether to go for Inkjet printing or Laser printing to print your photos, then let me do the decision making for you. Inkjet is hands down the best option! Inkjet delivers clear black and white prints along with sharp colour photographs that are both of high quality and inexpensive in price.

Inkjet printers offer a level of convenience that laser printers simply can’t match. Inkjet printers have become very popular within recent years due their combination of efficiency, effectiveness and affordability.

Inkjet printers provide an almost limitless range of possibilities when it comes to customising your own personal ink cartridges while still maintaining superb output quality results at an affordable cost coupled with a low per-page cost makes this type of printer ideal for home users as well as professional offices.

When it comes to photo printing, both inkjet and laser printers have their own pros and cons. Inkjet printing is the most popular photo printer for home use, and it’s believed that inkjets produce higher quality photos than laser jet printers, but which is better when it comes to producing sharp images with vibrant colors?

Inkjets do cost less to operate and they’re usually smaller in size, lighter in weight, and less expensive when compared to lasers. However, one of the biggest drawbacks with an inkjet printer is that they can’t print large format photos like a laser can. In fact, some inkjets are limited to 4 x 6 prints.

For photo printing, then an inkjet printer is going to be a much better option for you, provided that you use photo coated paper. If you’re using regular paper, then a laser printer is going to be a better choice.

The reason for this is just the method that each uses for printing is better for each type of paper. A laser printer of course uses lasers to scan across the paper and produce an images. But with an inkjet printer, it actually drops spots of ink onto the paper itself – hence the printing paper being an extremely important factor into this.

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of each type of printer.

Pros and Cons of Inkjet Printers


For many people an ink printer is the right option. You’ll still have to decide if you opt for a printer with refillable ink tanks or you’ll have to buy new cartridges every time, which can have a massive effect on costs.


  • For photographs, inkjet printers are always going to give you a better result due to the way that they are designed.
  • Inkjet printers are generally quite a bit cheaper than laser printers, which makes them a much better choice if you’re looking for something on a tight budget.
  • Generally, inkjet printers have the ability to print onto various different types of paper, whereas with laser printers, you have to be more particular about the paper that you’re printing on.
  • You can refill ink cartridges relatively easily, which in the long run, is the easiest way to keep printing costs down.


  • The main drawback of an inkjet printer has always been the cost of ink. Even though you can refill ink cartridges, they can still end up costing a whole lot more than laser printers.
  • Inkjet printers are reaaaally slow if you compare them to laser printers. So if you’re in an office, then a laser printer is always going to be the better choice.

Pros and Cons of Laser Printers



Though you’ll have to decide between a monochrome laser printer and a color laser printer when you opt for one, they both have their benefits.

  • Out of the two, laser printers are a better choice for those that have heavy printing needs and will be printing a lot. Of course, a laser printer has lower printing costs than an inkjet printer, though the initial outlay costs can be much more.
  • Although laser printers are not as good on glossy paper for photograph images, for black text laser printer usually give a crisper finish which can look more professional than an inkjet printer.
  • Laser print is also far less likely to experience any kind of water damage or fading, which can be an issue with inkjets, especially if you’re using cheap ink.
  • Laser printers tend to print a lot faster to a high degree of quality, making them more suitable for office environments.


Although there are benefits to using this type of printer, most laser printers also have similar traits that can be a disadvantage as well.

  • Laser printers tend to be big and bulky in comparison to inkjet printers, which are usually smaller and more lightweight.
  • Although you might think ink leaks are the worst part about a printer, you may have never experienced a ton leak in a laser printer, which can be an absolute nightmare.
  • They generally aren’t as good if you want to print photos, unless you opt for a very high end model.


Overall, if you’re looking for the best printer for printing photos, then you’ll undoubtedly want to use an inkjet printer. The majority of glossy paper (the best type for photos) is made for inkjet printers, which makes them the obvious better choice of the two. Inkjet printers tend to give a better representation on varied types of paper, whereas laser printers are better suited for documents and files.

You can print photographs with a laser printer if you wish, but you’ll need to find the right type of paper. But for the most part, an inkjet printer is going to prove to be the better option.

Leave a Comment