Printer vs Plotter vs Inkjet Printer: Difference and Comparison

Inkjet printers are a popular choice for home and office use because they are relatively inexpensive and can produce high-quality prints.

They are versatile and can print on various media, including paper, envelopes, labels, and even transparencies.

On the other hand, laser printers use a toner (a fine powder made of plastic, pigment, and other materials) to produce a printed image.

A printer is a term used to describe any device that prints text or images on paper or media. A plotter is a printer used to print large-scale design, architectural or engineering drawings. An inkjet printer uses a combination of ink cartridges and nozzles to produce text and images on paper.

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Key Takeaways

  1. Printers are general devices for producing text and images on paper, plotters create precise, large-scale images, and inkjet printers use liquid ink to print.
  2. Plotters are ideal for technical drawings, blueprints, and detailed graphics, while inkjet printers excel at high-quality color images and documents.
  3. Inkjet printers offer lower initial costs, while plotters provide greater accuracy and precision in large-format printing.
Printer vs Plotter vs Inkjet Printer

The choice between a printer, plotter, and inkjet printer will depend on your specific needs and budget. Inkjet printers are a popular choice for general printing needs, while plotters and laser printers may be better suited for specific tasks such as creating technical drawings or printing large volumes of documents.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonPrinterPlotterInkjet Printer
How it printsUses ink or toner to produce an imageUses pens or markers to draw an imageUses ink to produce an image
Printing speedIt can vary depending on the type of printerGenerally slower than printersIt can vary depending on the type of printer
CostIt can vary depending on the type of printerGenerally, they are more expensive than printersGenerally, they are less expensive than plotters
QualityIt can vary depending on the type of printerGenerally, produces high-quality imagesIt can vary depending on the type of printer
VersatilityCan print on a variety of mediaLimited to printing on paper or other flat mediaCan print on a variety of media

What is a Printer?

A printer is a device that produces a physical copy of a digital document or image. Several types of printers are available, including inkjet printers, laser printers, and 3D printers.

Laser printers produce prints using a laser beam to transfer toner (a fine powder) onto a print medium, such as paper.

They are known for their speed and efficiency and are commonly used for printing large volumes of documents in office settings.

Printers are connected to a computer or other device through a wired or wireless connection and can be controlled using specialized software or a device’s operating system.

They are essential to many personal and professional workflows, allowing users to produce physical copies of documents and other digital content.

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What is a Plotter?

A plotter is a specialized printer used to create high-quality, large-format prints. Unlike other printers that use ink or toner to produce an image, plotters use pens or markers to draw an image on paper or other media.

Plotters often create architectural plans, engineering drawings, and other technical documents that require precise and accurate line work.

There are two main types of plotters: flatbed and drum. Flatbed plotters are similar to traditional printers and use a moving print head to draw an image on a flat surface.

On the other hand, drum plotters have a rotating drum that holds the media and moves it through the printing process.

Plotters are generally more expensive and slower than traditional printers because they use specialized pens or markers to create images.

However, they are known for producing high-quality, accurate images and are often used in the architecture, engineering, and graphic design industries.

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What is an Inkjet Printer?

An inkjet printer is a computer printer that produces digital prints by spraying tiny droplets of liquid ink onto a flat print medium, such as paper or canvas.

Inkjet printers are popular because they are relatively inexpensive and produce high-quality prints. They are commonly used for printing documents, photos, and other graphics.

There are two main types of inkjet printers: single-function printers, which only print, and multifunction printers, which can scan, copy, and sometimes even fax.

Inkjet printers come in various sizes and shapes, ranging from small portable models to large, professional-grade printers.

One of the main advantages of inkjet printers is their high print resolution, which allows them to produce detailed and accurate prints.

They can also print on various media, including standard paper, envelopes, labels, cardstock, and even transparencies. Inkjet printers are also relatively easy to use.

Most models feature an intuitive interface and software that allows users to adjust print settings and preview their documents before printing easily.

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Main Differences Between Printer and Plotter and Inkjet

  1. A printer is a device that produces a physical copy of a digital document or image, while a plotter is a specialized printer that is used to create precise, large-format drawings and graphics. An inkjet printer is a type of printer that produces prints by spraying tiny droplets of liquid ink onto a flat print medium.
  2. Printers and plotters use different methods to produce prints. Printers can use various technologies, including inkjet, laser, and thermal transfer, while plotters use a pen or marker to draw on a print medium.
  3. Plotters can produce larger prints than printers, as they have a wider print bed and can handle larger media.
  4. Plotters are known for their high level of precision, as they use a pen or marker to draw on a print medium rather than spraying or transferring ink or toner. This makes them ideal for creating precise technical drawings and graphics.
  5. Plotters are more expensive than printers, as they are specialized devices used in professional settings. On the other hand, Inkjet printers are often more affordable and are commonly used for personal and home office printing.
References
  1. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/276276972.pdf
  2. https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.7312/bake92420/html
  3. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/cm0101632

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