The New Ink Tank Printers vs. Laser Printers

Which is better for your office?

This blog is an attempt to help you decide between the new Ink Tank Printers or the Laser Printers.

Ten years ago, you only had two types of printers to consider for your office, the inexpensive Inkjet Printers and the Laser Printers that were the primary printers for businesses.  When the Ink Tank Printers entered the business printer market, large volume inkjet printing became a third alternative.  The newer, Ink Tank Printers are a more economical kind of inkjet printer that uses ink tanks or bottles instead of specialized ink cartridges.  Currently there are a number of these Ink Tank Printers that can compete with the Laser Printers, but deciding between these two printer types can be challenging.  We will break down the pros and cons for both printers.

Ink Tank Printers 

The Ink tank printers are the newest trend in inkjet printing. They offer all of the same features as a traditional inexpensive inkjet printer, but instead of using special ink cartridges to create the print, they use ink bottles and /or a tank system.  You simply refill the built-in tank with the ink when your printer is running low.  Like a toner cartridge, the ink tank or ink bottles will print thousands of pages at a very low cost per page.


  • Much cheaper printing costs. The ink bottles are affordable and they will print thousands of pages before needing to be replaced.
  • Like a home office inkjet printer, it will print in detail-rich color, including documents, photos, brochures, presentations and more.
  • You will find ink tank printers for a range of printing demands, including the home, office and even high volume photo prints.


  • Much slower print speeds. Most Ink Tank printers average print speed is between 5-25 ppm (pages per minute), depending on the printer model. Like all other printers, the cheapest Ink Tank printers will have the slowest print speed.   This is critical if you require volume printing.
  • High upfront costs. The prices range anywhere from around $200 for the basic home printer to over $1,000 for the heavy-duty business machines with all the bells and whistles. These printer prices are very similar to the Laser printers cost.
  • Beware of clogs. Similar to the traditional inkjet printers, the Ink Tank printers will clog if they go un-used for a long period of time.

Suggested Best Ink Tank Printers:

Ink tank printers are available for all kinds of print volumes, including printers for home offices, corporate offices with weekly high-volume needs, black ink only and even an ink tank designed specifically for photo printing.  We’ve included our favorites options for each printer brand below, with the details from Amazon.

Best Home Office Best Large Office Best B&W Only Best for Photos
Epson EcoTank ET-2850 Canon MegaTank Maxify GX7021 Epson EcoTank ET-M1170 Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8500
Release Year 2021 2021 2019 2021  
Functions Print / Copy / Scan Print / Copy / Scan / Fax Print  Only Print / Copy / Scan  
Technology Ink Tank Ink Tank Ink Tank Ink Tank  
Wireless Yes Yes Yes Yes  
Prints in Color? Yes Yes No Yes  
Print Speed (Black / Color) 10 ppm / 5 ppm 24 ppm / 15.5 ppm 20 ppm 16 ppm / 12 ppm  
Cartridge Series Epson 522 Ink Canon GI-26 Ink Epson 532 Ink Epson 552 Ink  
Black Yield 4,500 pages 6,000 pages 6,000 pages 6,700 pages  
Color Yield 7,500 pages 14,000 N/A ~ 6,200 pages  

Compare to the Laser Printers:

Laser printers are a fixture in almost every office because they print thousands of pages at fast speeds for a relatively low operating cost.  Printers are available in monochrome (black printing only) and color, and both printer types use the Laser toner cartridges to create the printed page.


  • Laser printers are very fast. Whether you need to print five pages or fifty pages, the Laser Printers will get the job done in seconds.
  • Toner cartridges print for thousands of pages before needing to be replaced. Even though they are expensive, they tend to have a very low cost per page because of that high page print yield.
  • Better suited for printing text and work documents in bulk.
  • Built to last for many years with routine maintenance.


  • Higher upfront costs. The Laser printers are complex, which warrants their high price tag, and they will require expensive annual service contracts.
  • Expensive toner cartridges. The Laser toner cartridges are also quite expensive, with prices ranging anywhere from $100 – $300 each for the OEM toner cartridges. This is 3 to 5 times the cost of the ink tanks or the ink bottles.
  • Limited paper types. These printers are designed for office use and will do just fine with the multi-purpose copy paper.  But if you need to frequently print photos on photo papers, or if you require using a paper with a special gloss coating, you may need to look elsewhere.  Depending on the printer model, these kinds of papers may damage the printer.

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