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The Birth and History of Color Laser Printers

Before color laser printers took over the market of computer peripherals, dot matrix printers were the first in its place. These printers required a ribbon that was needed to be changed and in those times proved to be not very dependable.

Dot matrix printers are small type of printers and some of them are still in use today; these printers were regarded as “impact” type. This type of printer works by using 9 small pins which can be more or less, the number of pins will depend on the required quality.

The pins which are arranged vertically are used to print by striking against the ribbon just like a typewriter on a platen paper. Across the page the print head will move sideways so that by sequential types on the right pins a desired character will be formed. Dot matrix printers can print right to left or vice versa. The effect of dot matrix printer is rather similar to a digital clock and its segments.

The time came when changing ribbons became a struggle for people in need of the service of printers. It was in 1984 when the first inkjet printer was introduced in the market. The inkjet printer came with ink printer cartridges which were very convenient for everyone and colors are much easier to change, since then these types became fairly common. From the matrix of the inkjet printer, prints are formed at the speed of one line at a time. Inkjet printers are capable of producing high quality printed graphics. But the downsides of these printers are high maintenance cost for ink cartridge replacements and the dependence of its continuous use to the environment. Nevertheless, the vast majority of today’s consumers are in choice of inkjet printer technology.


The birth of laser printers grew and became widely used in the 80’s. This type of printer allows texts and graphics to be printed one page at a time in high quality standard. With laser printer, a complete page image is transferred to a photosensitive band or drums and from a laser beamed buffer data is scanned as the band or drum turns. By using separate sets of toners and drums color is made possible as well as availability of different sizes of paper.

Color laser printers are type of laser printers that add colored toner especially in printed graphics in three additional passes or steps. The order of the colored toner is cyan, magenta, yellow and key color which is the color black. It is also known for it’s acronym as CMYK and often referred to as the “four color” or the “process color”. CMYK which is subtractive color model that is used to describe the process of printing that is especially used in color printing. There are types of color laser printers that use a large belt that is capable of accommodating a full sheet of paper to generate colored printed images. Among other types of printers, color laser printers are the finest in terms of speed and quality of its printed text and images, but unlike inkjet printers, are way too expensive to common public consumers.



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