I just wonder for a technical explanation about why at same quality level (Best, for example), inkjet printing speed is always slower than that of laser one?

Can inkjet be made to print as fast as laser at the same quality setting?

  • Who says inkjet is always slower? Do you have any data that supports your claim?
    – heavyd
    Oct 18, 2015 at 4:54
  • The whole premise of this question is flawed. Have you looked at the HP OfficeJet Pro X series? youtube.com/watch?v=XpmpZ_1OlL8
    – bwDraco
    Oct 18, 2015 at 5:30
  • Yeah, I know the Pro X series that can reach upto 70 ppm but in a mode lower than Normal quality. ISO speed that is comparable to laser is only 42 ppm (store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/…). I have seen the printout and compared to laser it's less cripse at the speed of 70 ppm. Laser printers have already gone beyone 70 ppm while still produce cripse text, say: ricoh.com.au/MP_C8002SP_-_Specifications Oct 18, 2015 at 7:11
  • @heavyd, yeah I should have omitted the strong word "always". There is no academic research paper or so that research about these in specific. It's just my own observation having been through many printers from home to the enterprise level. Oct 18, 2015 at 7:11
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's based on a flawed assumption, albeit one that holds most of the time. Oct 18, 2015 at 11:59

2 Answers 2


Most ink-jets print a line at a time, with print-head shuttling back and forth the width of the platen. Laser printers use a rotating mirror to scan the width of a page... much faster.

Of course, one could design an ink-jet printer with a full-width, non-scanning, print head, but that is contrary to the concept of a low-cost printer, and any defect in one nozzle would require replacement of the whole head.

  • Thanks for your answer. However, it seems that HP PageWide while can print at upto 70 ppm, but the printout is not as crisp as laser. And to produce the output that's almost similar to laser quality, the print speed must be down to 42 ppm (store.hp.com/us/en/pdp/…). So, it there any way that inkjet can produce the same laser quality output at high speed? Or it's a technology limitation at the moment? Oct 18, 2015 at 7:15

A laser printer has at least one rotating drum (common color lasers has three) which gets a full page's content in one go.
See the explanation of the transfer process here.

Current inkjet printers does use a "spray-gun" type of ink transfer, which means the spray-gun (nozzles) has to move over the paper in a similar fashion to when you use a spray-gun. Unless the printer has a 'spray gun' large enough for (covering) the width of a page, or an entire page, the speed will always be slower.
More on inkjet technology here

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