Laser printers are the fastest machines and produce the sharpest print quality if you need to print standard black and white documents. At around four times the speed of dot matrix and inkjet printers, laser printers prepare jobs a whole page at a time instead of the line by line method employed in dot matrix and inkjet printers. These units are usually much more reliable as there is no messy ink to cause problems. Also, your running costs will be between $.01 and $.04 per page, depending the brand and type of toner used. The two main toner systems used are an all-in-one toner cartridge and a toner refill system similar to photo copiers. It is again important to look at the running costs of the various brands of machines. Re-manufactured toner cartridges are available for some models. However, in our experience, the most important factor in choosing this type of printer is the availability of parts. Firstly, buy a brand that has local support and parts available should you need a parts. There are number of machines being sold where parts and service arrangements are either non existent or not easy to obtain. You should also ask about the manufacturers policy of guarantying continuity of parts, you may be surprised that even some larger manufacturers are now not stocking parts after 3 years, and others simply tell you to throw it away and buy a new machine.

Bottom line: For fast, economical, quiet and the "printed" look, you can't go past a laser printer. Check on local service arrangements both during and after warranty.

PS. Second hand and refurbished laser printers are usually available at around half price and offer great value for money: laser printer quality and running costs, at inkjet printer pricing.

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