[Part 1, Laser vs. Inkjet? How You Create Determines Which You Need appeared yesterday.]
Here is the cost comparison between the inkjet and laser printers I currently own. It's only one example. Each model and each technological advance will yield different results.
HP LaserJet CP1025 Color Laser Printer Costs
I should mention one of the drawbacks of my laser printer is that it's slow as molasses in January when printing in color.
Original Price: $242
Toner Cartridge Prices: three color cartridges at $76 each and one B&W at $69. Color cartridges should yield approximately 1,400 pages each. The black cartridge is rated to yield 2,200 pages.
At this point, the calculations get a bit tricky. I print only in color, so every page uses all four cartridges. However, my experience has been that the type of images I print for my arts and crafts uses significantly more yellow than cyan and magenta.
My best guess is that I get only 1,000 pages from each yellow cartridge.
My estimated toner cost per page is then 21.6 cents (3.1 cents black, 5.4 cents each magenta and cyan, plus 7.7 cents yellow).
HP Photosmart D110 Printer Costs
Original Price: $209
Inkjet Cartridge Prices: It makes sense to buy the high capacity cartridges which yield more pages at a lower price per page than the regular size.
The XL cartridges contain 3Xs as much black and 2.3Xs as much color ink as the standard cartridges.
As with the laser printer cartridges, I find the yellow color runs out significantly sooner than the other two colors. So you either need to have the yellow inkwell refilled* or buy a new cartridge long before the other colors run out.
Basing the calculations on the XL high capacity OEM HP cartridges, no refilling, and the same yellow usage I used for the laser printer:
• Black XL cartridges at $35 yield 600 pages for an estimated 6 cents per page; and
• Color cartridges at $35 are rated to yield 440 pages but I estimate I only get 314 pages for a cost of 11 cents a page.
Total estimated inkjet ink per page is then 17 cents.
* Prices are very competitive for inkjet cartridges; so shop around. Plus you have the option of buying generic cartridges, refilled cartridges, or even refilling you own cartridges. Quality may suffer with these options, but you get the ink price per page down significantly.
You may enjoy reading about my ink cartridge refilling disaster. I definitely didn't save any money that time!
In summary, my printer cost (laser vs. inkjet) is $242 vs. $209 and the print per page cost is estimated at $0.22 vs. $0.17.
The only thing I haven't factored in is the lifespan of each printer. A complete costing of one printer compared to another should include adding a fraction of the equipment cost to the total ink or toner per page, that is, amortizing the equipment cost over its useful life.
Will the laser last longer than the inkjet and make up for its higher costs? Your guess is as good as mine.