Today's small office has come a long way especially since the advent of personal computers and their peripherals. The inkjet printer further increased productivity in the small office world in the 1990s. Today's office is called upon to compete with large firms and multi-location corporate suites. The small business office that has to put out high quality and high volume printing must look to the monochrome laser printers to compete on the higher level.

Both inkjet and laser printers made their debuts in the 1970s. The inkjet came first and was a great improvement over the dot matrix printer. The laser printer was a big advance over its inkjet cousin, but it did not catch on as quickly.

The technology of the laser printer utilizes a laser beam that project and image of a digital copy of document onto an electrically charged drum coated with selenium. The laser printer is quite a bit faster than the inkjet since it is recording a digitized image whereas the inkjet is spraying ink to produce an image pixel by pixel. Laser printers see text the same as graphics. The inkjet slows down for the printing of a photo or other graphic image.

The laser uses a large reservoir cartridge of toner as its medium on the paper. The inkjet uses many cartridges filled with various colored ink for its reproductions on paper. The monochrome laser printer costs a great deal more than the average inkjet printer, but in the maintenance of printing supplies, the inkjet is more expensive to run.

The quality of both print technologies is really good. The laser machine is just a mite better than the inkjet in both text and graphic reproduction. The inkjet wins the color printing quality contest hands down, for monochrome laser printers can only produce a gray scale image at best.

The choice you make of which laser printer is right for you and your office depends on at least three options. The first is what resolution do you need for your type of printing. Resolution is the measurement of just how many dots per inch of medium is produced in the image. The greater the measurement of resolution means the greater number of dots per inch, usually expressed with the term "dpi". For general work most laser printers are featured with a 600x600 dpi. Another thing involving resolution to fine-tune this consideration is that the greater the resolution the slower the printing speed.

The next option of consideration is the size of paper that you use for your printing chores. Whatever choice you make whether it is letter size, legal size, or longer, also affects the size of the tray that handles the paper to be printed and what has been printed.

Memory is a key option of consideration. The capabilities of your computer in the area of memory will dictate the speed of printing also.

With these items to think about and the special needs you have personally or for your office, you should be able to shop wisely among all the various brands of monochrome laser printers.