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LaserServ Imaging

Cars and Printers Have a Lot in Common

It’s All About the Engine

You can understand laser printers in much the same way that you understand cars. Just like your car, your printer has an engine that determines its maximum capability in terms of performance and speed. General Motors has produced many car models with just a few different engine designs under their hoods. So too, laser printer manufacturers have produced more than 500 different models of laser printer during some dozen years, using just a dozen or so printer engines. Knowing this helps when you want to compare printers and when you’re shopping for the lowest-priced toner cartridges.

Laser Printer Performance

Consider how a small, four-cylinder auto engine performs in a sports car versus a mid-sized car. The sports car will accelerate and reach higher speeds because of its small, lightweight body, transmision gear ratio and a number of other engineered factors. The mid-sized car will carry more people and may even offer more luxury features, but it won’t perform as close to the engine’s maximum capabilities as he sports car will.

It is the same with printer engines. Two printers that use same engine (with the same rated speed) won’t necessarily get pages out of the printer at the same rate. Actual page output speed will differ according to the other features – controller boards, RAM memory, software – added by the manufacturers.

Who Makes the Printer Engine

laserserv-complete-printer-cartridge-resourceOnly a few companies actually manufacture printer engines. Canon, Inc. has dominated the market for quite some time, making engines for printers produced by a host of other companies including Hewlett-Packard, Apple, DEC, Samsung and Brother, to name a few.

Laser Printer Engine Manufacturers

Other major manufacturers include Minolta, Fuji / Xerox, IBM, Sharp, and Ricoh. The important point is that all printers that use a particular engine will have the same maximum rated engine speed, the same monthly duty-cycle rating and the same “true” resolution.