Matrix printer vs inkjet printer

Office Printers: Which Is Preferred Dot Matrix or InkJet Printers?

Dot matrix printers continue to defy the onslaught of new technology coming to the fore of office equipment. Today, however the inkjet printers have become popular and is poised to take over the market previously enjoyed by the former.

Although, matrix and inkjet share identical key characteristics – both technology uses small dots to print images. One is an impact printer, meaning it uses pins to press through a ribbon producing series of dots. While inkjets on the other hand rely on microscopic ink dots to print on paper. In all inkjets produce higher quality printouts, while dot matrix printers deliver benefits still necessary in some offices.

Both printing technologies differ in resolution, print speed, noise, paper handling and cost. Hereunder is a rehash of the differences of both the dot matrix and inkjet printers:

  1. Resolution – or it is the number of dots that each is capable of delivering on an square inch of printed surface. The most that a dot matrix can process is about 240 dpi (dots per inch) of resolution, while the inkjet can do over 1,200 dpi. Dots on a dot matrix printer image is quite visible to the naked eye upon closer inspection. The resolution of inkjet is so encompassing that dots merge with each other making it invisible.
  2. Speed – for both printers are almost similar with the latest matrix printer almost reaching the speed of inkjets. But this is confined to low-end inkjets at 20 ppm (pages per minute), because high -end models are capable of printing speeds five times over (more than 100 ppm).
  3. Noise – is hands down an inkjet turf being very quiet during printing runs. This is different from the matrix printers that are so noisy. Noise comes from the sound made as the mechanical rocker hits the pins at record speeds. In fact to reduce the noise, most matrix printers are heavily padded to insulate and make it more tolerable inside an office environment.
  4. Paper handling – is one feature where matrix printers excel beating the inkjet soundly. Most inkjet printers pick papers individually, while dot matrix use continuous feed of paper, making it easier to print multiple pages of documents.
  5. Aside from the significant difference in technology, both the dot matrix and inkjet follow different cost parameters. Low-end inkjet printers can cost below $100, while a matrix printer may cost twice more. Inkjets may be cheap upfront, dot matrix are cheaper to operate because it only rely on ribbons lives that fadeout after millions of characters are printed. This translates to around .15 per page compared to inkjets that are priced at over a dollar per page.

Common sense dictates that a dot matrix printer is ideal for high volume printing requirements, particularly if print quality is not of a significant concern. On the other hand if print quality is of utmost importance the inkjet should be the printer of choice.

Remember, the final choice of  whether a dot matrix printer or inkjet will solely rest on the type that best serve a particular office environment.

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