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Comparing Ink Options for Business Printers Laser vs. inkjet is no longer the only consideration when it comes to cost-comparing business printers.

By Jonathan Blum

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Choosing a desktop printer for a smaller business used to be an easy call. For heavy users, a laser printer, which cost thousands, made sense because cost per page was just pennies. Those with lighter printing demands usually chose an inkjet imaging device, which today costs less than a good business lunch. But watch out: Some inkjet prints can run as much as a dollar per page, a recipe for losing money fast.

Well, no more. New technologies and dramatic changes in ink pricing are blurring the line between laser and inkjet printing. Here are some nuggets of value in desktop inks and imaging:

Xerox Solid Ink
ColorQube 8570/N ($699; replacement ink sticks start at $100 per pack for black inks; $150 for a two-pack of color inks)
For the price of a decent-quality laser printer, Xerox brings a new idea: solid ink-based printing. Instead of spraying ink on a page like inkjets do or burning in the image with a laser, solid ink works like a giant printing press, by rolling a microscopic layer of color onto the page. The result is a deep, rich, highly professional printing look. Costs are reasonable by industry estimates: 3 cents per page for black and white, and 13 cents for color. One catch: No cartridges. This means less environmental impact, but no low-cost inking alternatives. A Xerox solid ink printer means Xerox solid inks.

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