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I've seen laser printers with a resolutions of 1200x1200 dpi and, strangely, 2400x600 dpi.

As the measure is dots per inch, not Kdots on a page or something (where a higher vertical resolution might make sense because paper is rectangular, not square), I'm wondering what the uneven resolution is good for.

Why print one square inch with 2400 dots vertically but only 600 horizontally? Does this look more detailed than 1200 by 1200 dots? Or is it better for textile printing or some other special case?

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2 Answers 2

Most likely this has to do with mechanics; a new "line" requires precise action from the roller that moves paper; a new "column" on the other hand is purely about timing and software. My understanding is that the laser ray moves at pretty much constant speed across the page, and getting more precision on that direction is just a matter of turning laser on and off at higher frequency.

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That makes sense, too, but would mean that 2400x600 dpi indicates 2400 dpi horizontally and 600 dpi vertically (instead of the other way around, though, with the question being over a year old, I don't know anymore if that was my interpretation or whether it was explicitly stated somewhere). –  Cygon Sep 5 '11 at 9:40
@Cygon Typically horizontal resolution is first, but I've seen it both ways. In my experience, the horizontal print resolution is the higher number, and is often achieved with "software enhanced" printing. –  jbo5112 Apr 25 '14 at 16:51

I can't give you a quote here, but I read somewhere that human eye is more sensitive to vertical resolution than horizontal. Printer manufacturers are trying to use that to make savings. It's easier for them to make 2400x600 than 2400x2400 printer and it is said that perceived benefit to the user should be minimal. I can't remember where I read that, so I can't give you a link.

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Interesting. Would be nice to have an article to back this, if someone else can provide one. –  Gnoupi Jul 5 '10 at 19:15
tvtechnology.com/article/12836 seems to indicate that this is false. See: You can check the resolving power of your own eyes by drawing two lines spaced 1 mm apart on a piece of white paper, using black ink to maximize contrast. Hang the paper on the wall, back up until you reach that point at which you can still just discern two lines, but stepping further back results in your seeing a single line. Measure the distance from your eyes to the paper. Check with the lines oriented both horizontally and vertically to verify that resolution is virtually the same in both dimensions. –  sound2man Jul 6 '10 at 16:54
@sound2man +1 for backed up refute. I'm still trying to find source of the information I provided. –  AndrejaKo Jul 6 '10 at 17:01

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