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Colour Printers Vs Mono Printers: What's The Difference?

By Simon Williams
·
March 30, 2021

Some print for creativity while others print large amounts of documents for work which makes the difference between colour printers and mono printers a key consideration. Whatever your printing needs, there is one thing that is constant; the need for a quality printer and printer ink.

At CartridgesDirect, our team are frequently asked about the speed, modalities and output of each printer while directing customers to the right printing options for their needs. From time to time, we also discuss the merits of colour printers vs mono printers, and what considerations need to be made before choosing a printer model.

Today we are going to explore the main differences between colour and mono printers, and which printing unit is right for your needs. Scroll down to get to grips with mono vs colour printing.

Differences between colour printers vs mono printers.

Not surprisingly, every big printing brand has a range of colour printers and mono printers. You can buy mono printers directly on our website, and here you will find your preferred printing brands and a range of printer sizes. Despite the advancements with colour printing depth and technology, mono printers have certainly not stagnated in their offering and can produce crisp photo printing to the same speed and quality as their colour counterpart; albeit in black and white. With one of the main considerations of choosing between mono printers and colour printers being the overall price, it comes as no surprise that this is a hot topic across the industry.

Now, let’s look at what the main differences are between colour printers vs mono printers.

1. Mono printers are cheaper to buy.

Colour printers come at a higher price point due to the vibrant colour offering they provide and the technology inside the printer that governs how that colour is transferred to the page. Photo printers for photographers and designers will naturally gravitate a large number of operations towards a colour printer and usually the top tier models which are going to best represent their work. That said, while colour printers are more expensive to buy, should you absolutely must print with colour but are still looking to save some money, you should explore our range of continuous ink printers. Not only do ink tank printers still produce high-quality photos, but they are also renowned for significantly reducing your operational costs too. Through this, you can get your hands on one of the best ink tank printers on the market, while saving a pretty dollar in the long term too.

For individuals and companies operating in a corporate environment that is less committed to printing in colour, the price point of mono printers may be more attractive. Establishing how to reduce your cost per printed page will massively help in deciding on the right printer to purchase. If you are looking at monochrome printers and are unsure which unit is right for you, take a look at our guide to the best black and white printers available throughout Australia. Our printing experts regularly update this article with new printers that we have tested as we round off the best monochrome printers. Another quick tip would be to also instil policies surrounding what constitutes colour print outs and what is best left with black and white ink. While an official policy may seem severe, many organisations do this to ensure that each staff member is trained on best practice printing. Not only will you save hundreds of dollars over time, but you will also benefit the environment too.

2. Mono printers are cheaper to operate.

Budgeting for a colour printer is one thing, but the on-going operational costs are quite another. Mono ink cartridges are more affordable than colour ink cartridges, not to mention more convenient as you are only buying and stocking the office with one single cartridge as opposed to seeking individual colours. One way to mitigate your on-going printing costs is to limit the colour usage at your office or home, replacing colour ink cartridges at planned intervals and not ad hoc when they are depleted.

Another consideration as to why monochrome printers are cheaper to operate than colour printers is that monochrome printers typically have higher page yields. Because the printing unit only has to cater for a single type of ink cartridge, the ink cartridges you buy for monochrome printers contain much more ink. In turn, when you compound that each monochrome ink cartridge is cheaper, as well as coming with more ink, your printing costs are massively reduced. This might encourage users to print in mono for basic jobs and only colour when it is necessary.

3. Scanning and printing.

There are some savvy shoppers out there who are quite happy to purchase an affordable mono printer with the knowledge that they can scan a colour page and have the colour transfer sent on via email. Get clear on how you intend to use your printer and whether you can suffice with a colour scanner and forfeit colour printing capability. This might suit a department like HR who print reports and payroll in black and white but need to scan forms of identification in colour and send them on as such. Through this, you are making use of both technologies to the absolute maximum.

4. Inkjet printer or laser printer.

You can find colour printers and mono printers in both inkjet or laser printers, and as we know this detail will impact offering and price. Given that inkjet is more affordable than laser, you may be able to opt for a colour inkjet printer and see some savings compared to buying a laser colour printer. Once again, usage needs are going to govern this decision as inkjet ink can be more expensive and a laser printer is actually a better option for high volume printing. So, establishing how often you print will help you decide to which printer is right for your needs.

5. Size and ease of use.

On a less technical level, the size of your printer and its ease of use might be what influences your decision between a colour printer vs a mono printer. A comprehensive colour printer may just be a bigger unit than you are expecting, but if you are ready to receive this model size then that may not be so important. Ease of use shouldn’t be too much of a problem as most printing brands have worked hard to establish a user-friendly interface - but this will depend on who is using the printer and their prior skill level.

For example, photographers can use a number of different papers to print that correlate with different colour formats - so more options will not always serve those not in a specialised field.

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