Our test winner of the Canon - i-SENSYS LBP 613 Cdw: The device can print on both sides and convinces with an extremely good print quality for texts and pictures. Our favourite with the test grade 8.8/10!
We tested 3 laser printers and paid special attention to the print quality and the range of functions.
Whether for the office or at home: Laser printers are still used daily even in our digital world. In any case, the quality should be excellent to achieve sharp results and at the same time receive reliable, fast support in everyday life.
We test independently. Askgeorge.com uses affiliate links. For a purchase via a link marked with a or our price comparison, we may receive a small commission.
*All prices include VAT (if applicable, extra charge for delivery. Check the particular online shop to find information about the availability. Changes of indicated prices since the last update remain reserved.
The Canon - i-SENSYS LBP 613 Cdw convinced with its print quality in the test. Texts are sharply displayed and even in images and pictures, the colors harmonize well without looking too saturated. The speed was not convincing because the device takes some time to print. This disadvantage is compensated by the reliable and simple two-sided printing.
Despite the high dpi resolution, the print quality of the Brother - HL 3142 CW Printer was not convincing. In our test, other devices were able to deliver a better result with colour intensive images. Also, the comparatively high volume does not make the device a quiet colleague. Especially after printing there are still noises to be heard. The printer should rather be placed in an adjoining room, preferably near the WLAN router, as the connection often breaks down.
The HP Color LaserJet Pro M254nw Printer is a solid colour laser printer, which reliably prints documents via LAN, USB and optional WLAN for an extra charge. The biggest advantage is speed because 22 colour documents can be printed per minute. Even in the time until the first sheet is printed, the device is ahead of the competition. The disadvantages are the volume of the printer and the low dpi resolution of 600 x 600 dpi.
The toners can usually be replaced individually. It is not necessary to change all printer cartridges at the same time.
You do not necessarily have to buy the original toners. There are cheap alternatives that you can find at Amazon.
The printers consume little power in standby mode. However, if you do not print for a long time, it is better to remove the plug from the device.
Not all printers can automatically print on both sides. Please have a look at our comparison table beforehand.
In the run-up to the test, we defined practical requirements and the following test criteria:
In order to evaluate these criteria, we have defined several tests for laser printers. First, the scope of delivery and functions are checked. All possible connections are checked and the devices are set up according to the manufacturer's specifications.
In the first test runs, we check how long it takes to print a page, including start preparations. Furthermore, it is tested how many DIN A4 sheets the printers can print in one minute. In addition, the volume is measured during printing.
During the entire test series, the user-friendliness and handling are evaluated. In order to test the print quality, our logo is printed with test image parts in colour and the result is compared with the original.
If the devices have other functions, such as scanning or copying, these are also tested. Finally, the cost of changing ink cartridges is assessed.
In order to rule out errors and to ensure the stress of everyday use, each test takes place in several stages.
The test criteria receive percentages depending on their importance. The final score is then objectively calculated from the test criteria using an algorithm.
Our product selection is based on an observation of the current market. In addition to popular branded products, we also include insider tips in our selection. Criteria such as price and range of functions are an important factor for us. The test field is also determined by analysis and evaluation of customer reviews and external tests (e.g. Stiftung Warentest).
The devices are purchased anonymously or lent to us by the manufacturer. Dealers and manufacturers have no influence on the tests and our evaluation.
As soon as new relevant products come onto the market, our test field is extended by these. The new products go through the same test as the already tested devices.
With the laser printer, one differentiates between the color laser printer and the monochrome laser printer. Both function according to the principle of electrophotography. The devices, which are not quite cheap to purchase, are known as a real alternative to inkjet printers for frequent printing, especially in the non-coloured area. However, the laser printer is not suitable for everyone, as it quickly reaches its limits in color printing.
The laser printer does not work with inks, but with toner. These are nanoscale color particles that adhere to the paper exactly where it's important for your print.
The printer drum is electrostatically charged and exposed. This creates an image of the subject you want to print. The printer then applies toner powder, which only adheres to where the charge is present.
The motif you want to print would, therefore, be visible on the drum at this point (if you could look inside your laser printer). The paper is then placed around the printer drum. The toner powder sticks to the paper and is fixed there with a roller.
This is in itself a very elegant solution. However, there is a really small problem: the toner particles. Of course, they don't just stick to the printer drum and the paper, they also sometimes spill a little.
This sounds very casual but can lead to serious health problems. Because the toner particles are so small that they fall into the range of fine dust. In the finest graded range of fine dust.
Perhaps you have already noticed that it smells a bit strange around the laser printer, especially when the device is in operation. This has nothing to do with the processing of the printer, cheap plastic from dubious production or the like.
This is due to the way the printer works. And this also ensures that the fine dust content in the vicinity of the printer is very high. You can easily determine how fine the fine dust is: Toner powder in a bottle looks like a black liquid.
The particles are so fine that they even have the flow characteristics of a liquid. But we won't go into the possibilities of filling the toner cartridge with refill toner here.
Tip: Under certain circumstances, you can retrofit your laser printer with a fine dust filter. The fine dust filter is placed on the ventilation slots of the laser printer and is intended to prevent the device from blowing the finest toner dust into the room.
However, you have to find out for yourself how useful and good these fine dust filters are and whether your laser printer doesn't bring something like this ex-works anyway.
Laser printers should only be operated in rooms that are well ventilated. The rooms must be cleaned regularly, ideally with special equipment. Because a normal vacuum cleaner sucks in the toner dust and blows it out again with the exhaust air.
The filters in the vacuum cleaner are not fine enough for this type of fine dust. So if you vacuum regularly, it's laudable - but it only swirls the fine dust through the air.
It is better if the area around the laser printer is cleaned with a cloth that binds even the finest particles with a static charge. Please do not misunderstand: The laser printer is no danger to your health if used correctly. You should not use it on the bedside table or directly under the air conditioner.
Laser printers are available in two versions: The laser printer with a black cartridge is called a monochrome laser printer. The color laser printer has four cartridges in black, magenta and yellow as well as cyan.
All other nuances are mixed additively from these colours. Color laser printers can handle simple color documents such as graphics and sketches very well but reach their limits with photos at the latest. If you're looking for a printer to help you put your digital photo album on paper, a laser printer isn't quite right for you.
If you often need monochrome and rarely (for presentations, for example) color prints for your profession or studies, the laser printer will probably make you happy.
Although the purchase costs and the costs for the cartridges are quite high (especially for the color laser printer), the print price per page is much lower than for the inkjet printer. However, the color laser printer does not work as economically as the monochrome laser printer due to the more cost-intensive color cartridges.
From the inkjet printer you probably know the different possibilities: For official letters and similar small things you use the cheap paper with a weight of 80g/qm, for invitations and congratulation cards a thin cardboard, you print your business cards yourself, design the labels for your folders and CD yourself and print them out on the appropriate sheets.
Photos are produced on special, hard photo paper, and the T-shirt foil for the self-designed T-shirt you give your grandma for her 80th birthday is also available for the inkjet printer.
Do you want to switch to laser printers? Forget it. Many of these products are also available for the laser printer, but they are much more expensive and handling is not so easy. Laser printers work with an image drum over which they roll the paper - thick papers and foils don't roll well.
In addition, not every surface is really suitable. Toner powder does not stick everywhere. That's why
Tip: If you are looking for an office printer for your HomeOffice, please read on. Laser printers are just right for you. If, on the other hand, you're looking for a creative helper for your spare time, with whom you can design everything from T-shirts and labels to bumper stickers and photo albums, you can save the rest of the text. Because then the laser printer is not your thing.
Three different drum types are used in laser printers. First, there are permanent image drums, then there are semi-permanent image drums, and last but not least disposable image drums. What does that mean? Permanent image drums can be used permanently over and over again. They have a hard, photosensitive coating made of amorphous silicon. Alternatively, it can be made from a thick organic coating, as Kyocera, for example, does. The image drum can remain in the device during the entire life of the printer and is not replaced. If the toner cartridge is replaced, the printer should also be cleaned. Cleaning is quite simple: Kyocera attaches a cloth to the toner cartridges with which the alignment roller is to be wiped. The corona wire must also be cleaned.
Semi-permanent image drums have to be replaced after approximately 20,000 printed pages because then they no longer work cleanly. This is cost-intensive. These image drums have a thicker, organic coating that is photosensitive, but they still wear out. Manufacturers like Brother, Oki, Konica-Minolta, and Epson use semi-permanent image drums in their devices. Until you reach the wear point of the image drum, only the toner cartridge is replaced. This makes ecological sense, but changing the toner cartridge in this system is accompanied by a lot of dust.
Disposable image drums only have a very thin organic coating that is photosensitive. They wear out quite quickly and can only be used with one toner cartridge at a time. If the toner cartridge is empty, the image drum is also disposed of.
As a rule, the toners can be replaced individually. It is not necessary to change all printer cartridges at the same time. In addition, you don't necessarily have to buy the original toners. There are cheap alternatives that you can find at Amazon.
This doesn't make much sense when it comes to environmental protection and waste avoidance, but HP, Samsung, Canon, Lexmark, and Xerox still use such image drums in their devices. Laser printers with disposable image drums are more expensive to maintain than other laser printers. The advantage is that the image drum and cartridges are encapsulated together, so less toner dust escapes. The toner cartridges, including the image drum, can be changed in a single operation.
- The print quality is high for text documents and graphics. - The laser printer works fast. - The devices have a comparatively long service life. - The printing costs per page are quite low with the laser printer. - In most cases, the prints are smudge-proof, waterproof and lightfast. - You don't have to wait for the ink to dry. - Unlike an ink cartridge, the toner cannot dry out.
Laser printers also have disadvantages:
- The toner powder often contains lead and cadmium, which is not good for your health due to the fine dust pollution. - The resolution of the prints is worse, especially the quality of the photo print is not satisfactory. - The purchase price for printers and cartridges is higher. - The device needs a longer warm-up period before the first print. - Laser printers are larger than inkjet printers and require more space. - The device is noisy in operation.
It, therefore, follows logically that laser printers are a cost-effective option as office equipment and for multi-purpose printers, and as multifunction devices really do a good job in the professional sector. Hobbyists and people who want to use the printer for everything possible and impossible and print less are probably not quite happy with a laser printer due to the limited quality of color printing and the difficult choice of media.
The first thing that interests you about your laser printer is probably the price. Cheap doesn't have to be great, and vice versa, a high price doesn't mean that the machine is of very high quality.
It is often the case that the printer itself is quite inexpensive, but the consumables such as toner, paper and any spare parts needed are all the more expensive.
When buying, pay attention not only to what the machine itself costs but also to the toner in particular. You should have a rough idea of how much you print and how many pages the toner cartridge produces.
This way you can estimate how often you have to replace the cartridge and how high the labour costs, i.e. the printing costs per page, really are.
WLAN: Is it still possible without it?
Actually not. There are hardly any laser printers left without this function, and that's a good thing. Because the WLAN function allows access to the printer from a variety of different devices. Smartphone, laptop or tablet - everything in the network can use the printer.
Another advantage is the freedom of location. A WLAN printer can also stand in the rarely used storage room or in front of the open window in the attic. Wherever there is a power outlet and where emissions (printer noise and fine dust) are no problem.
Large input tray and an automatic paper feeder
Especially if you print a lot, a large supply of paper directly at the printer is great. Because then you don't have to refill sheets all the time. With most office equipment, a large paper tray is now standard, as is automatic paper feed.
What many manufacturers don't advertise is the output tray. There should also be room for at least 20 sheets, otherwise you'll have to take out your documents all the time. This can be problematic with complex print jobs, because you may have to sort the pages manually by number if you take your entire document out of the output tray in five or more jumps.
Not all printers can automatically print on both sides. Have a look at our comparison table beforehand.
Interfaces, modules and memory cards
Even laser printers can no longer be operated purely via the cable connection or WLAN. Many devices come with slots for USB sticks, so you can print directly from the USB stick.
Transmission via Bluetooth or NFC is also possible. Some printers allow you to insert the memory card directly from the digital camera and print it from the card. What you need is up to you.
Remember, however, that the printer may not be used by you alone. What devices are in the house, and what of them could potentially need a printer? Experience has shown that the possibilities you have will be used at some point.
Especially with a cost-intensive device like a laser printer you should plan ahead. Keyword cloud computing: Can your laser printer do that? Print jobs can then be sent to your printer via the Internet from almost anywhere in the world. However, the device needs Internet access to do this.
The printer needs power
But how much? Most people pay attention to all kinds of things when buying a printer, but not to power consumption. And it pays to look at it.
Because the printer is probably used often and over a longer period of time in the office so that it can drive up the electricity bill properly. Since office equipment is usually switched on around the clock, it is interesting not only to know how much electricity is consumed in action but also in standby mode.
This may not seem much for a normal eight-hour day, but a year is made up of many such days so that the total sum is a decent one. You can counter high power consumption in standby mode with a power outlet that can be switched off.
Then the device can be switched off when not in use. And LED printers are even more economical than laser printers, deliver the same good printing results, but are more expensive to buy.
The printers consume little power in standby mode. But if you don't print for a long time, it's better to unplug the printer.
Does it always have to be an expensive brand?
No-name printers generally do the same. But keep in mind that you may need support at some point. And that you might need spare parts. What can the manufacturer of a no-name printer offer you in this case?
If you are satisfied with the service (including having to dispose of the machine for a fee if necessary and buy a new one), it does not have to be a brand printer. Just compare the different devices.
In terms of power consumption, you may notice that the branded devices are more economical. As far as environmental awareness and sustainable production are concerned, you will probably also notice differences.
Conclusion: The right printer is like a love for life - not easy to find.
When you buy a new printer, there is simply a lot to think about and consider. An occasional purchase is not a good idea, because the device will accompany you through your (working) life for many years.
Find out in detail about the individual models that are suitable for you.
How do we test at askgeorge.com?
Live and authentic: We get the devices into our Hamburg test laboratory. Here we take a close look at everything.
Each test is preceded by an extensive search:
Which suppliers are on the market?
What current products are there?
What are the comparison criteria?
What tests are we going to run?
What is the test procedure?
When everything's settled, we'll bring the devices to us. For each product the test procedure, the measured values and product properties are documented in detail. We create photos and videos. We evaluate the results for you, summarize everything in a test report and calculate the test grade.