Monochrome vs. Color Laser Printers: Best Choice Guide

Office printing can be very expensive for your budget. In fact, printing expenses rank behind infrastructure and employee payroll. As a result, you would want to save your money in this aspect. This means choosing the right laser printer for your office needs. In this instance, you are faced with two options. There's the monochrome laser printer and the color laser printers. Which one should you purchase for your budget?

Monochrome Laser Printer

A monochrome printer is any type of printer that prints using black ink only. It is more cost-efficient than its colored counterpart. These laser printers are typically used in professional environments due to their faster printing speed, lower cost per printed page, and superior text quality. A monochrome printer is the more logical choice because it can quickly print a high volume of output while keeping operational costs fairly low. It may not be as versatile as a color printer but it remains the printer of choice for business use. It is simply because color isn’t always a necessity in most professional settings.

Print Speed

Whether it’s an inkjet or a laser, monochrome printers will always be faster than their colored counterparts. Efficiency is essential when you print hundreds of documents a day. This is usually the case in most office settings. Therefore, when choosing a monochrome printer, make sure to check print speeds. You can determine this by checking the printer’s pages per minute (ppm) rate. Monochrome laser printers are typically fast and can print an average of around 30 ppm. Moreover, the more high-end ones can print up to 100 ppm. In a sense, a monochrome laser printer can easily print the same amount of pages as a colored printer at a fraction of the cost. If your office prints a lot of text documents, a monochrome laser printer is the better option.


The quality of your output is a result of a printer’s dots per inch (dpi) resolution. The higher the dpi, the sharper your output will be. Texts and graphics will appear sharp on the page, rather than fuzzy, which may be the case for lower-resolution printers. Another factor that contributes to the quality of the output is whether you get inkjet or laser. Monochrome laser printers typically produce the more superior output due to the way the pigment is applied to the paper, which results in a better end product that comes out dry (eliminating the risk of smudges that you sometimes get with inkjet printers). For small offices and businesses, a mid-range printer with a resolution of 600 dpi will suffice, such as the Canon imageCLASS LBP6780dn ($499.00). Meanwhile, high-end monochrome laser printers with a dpi resolution of 1,200 and above are best for larger businesses with more demanding print quality needs.

Paper Handling

Ideally, you'd want a printer with an input capacity of 250 pages or more. A monochrome laser printer has expandable paper input options. As a result, this allows you to increase your printer's input capacity when needed.


You should consider what type of printing you do in your office. A monochrome laser printer is a perfect fit for printing company letters and memos. Also these printers can be used for producing research papers, text documents, and other business documentation that don't require color.

Color Laser Printer

Color laser printers certainly have drawbacks. For starters, they are expensive. However, there is no replacing the color laser printers' versatility. Color output looks a lot better than black and white. This is very important when you talk about impact. Research shows that color printing makes prospects 80 percent more likely to stop and read your message. Therefore, printing in color can be a good investment.

Color Laser Printers Cost Per Page

Color laser printers typically use four cartridges: cyan, magenta, yellow, and (key) black. This means color printing uses more toner to print a single page, which significantly increases the cost per page. The four lasers image four drums, and the sheet of paper passes each drum separately. Once all four toners are on the paper, it is fused. Color laser printers usually come in only 1200 dpi resolutions in order to produce accurate color. Also, color laser printers run at relatively lower speeds because of the complexity of aligning the paper for accurate color registration and multiple laser and toner operations. Moreover, the components on color laser printers are more likely to require replacement, which increases the printers' cost per page even more.

Color Laser Printers Speed

As stated, color laser printers run relatively lower than mono laser printers. This is because of the complex alignment of paper for accurate color registration. This is also because of multiple laser and toner operations happening behind the scenes.


Color laser printers are typically bigger, heavier, and slower than their black-and-white counterparts. For example, HP's monochrome Pro P1102w weighs 11.6 pounds, while the color Pro 200 M251nw weighs 41.4 pounds.

Inkjet vs Laser

Both monochrome and colored printers can either be inkjet or laser printers. Inkjet printer models are more affordable and versatile, but the ink is more expensive and the print heads require more maintenance. On the other hand, laser printers cost more, but they are better for high-volume printing.


The bottom line is very simple. You have to know what kind of printing your office does. Choose mono laser printers if you produce text heavy documents. Moreover, if you're considering lowering your expenses on printing then you can use this printer. In a nutshell, monochrome laser printers cost less than color laser printers. They are also faster and require less maintenance. However, color laser printers give you astonishing printing finishes. These can be used for business advertisements, promotions, and so on. In a sense, you can use color laser printers if your goal is to attract attention. These printers are generally slower when it comes to speed. There's also a lot to consider on the part of maintenance. If you have a little leeway in your budget and your goal aligns with the impact of color laser printers, then this is the better choice.

Get a lease with Flat Rate Copiers and get access to monochrome and color laser printers today.

If you are interested in leasing monochrome or color laser printers, you are in the right place. Flat Rate Copiers offers a wide range of these printers and copiers for your office. Give us a call now at 877-781-5112.