Speed of a printer: Best Printer Speed Measured | What’s The Difference?

Best Printer Speed Measured | What’s The Difference?

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Written by:

Lawrence Bonk

Updated November 22, 2022

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Table of Contents_

  • How Printers Measure Printer Speed
  • Maximize Printing Speed
  • Laser Printers VS Inkjet Printers
  • Resolution Can Impact Speed
  • Consider IPM
  • F.A.Q.

Printing speed is one of the most important factors to consider when shopping for a new high-performing printer.


  • Printers typically measure speed in pages per minute, otherwise known as PPM.
  • Some image-focused printers will measure speed via images per minute, otherwise known as IPM.
  • In general, laser printers are much faster than inkjet printers, though they are more expensive.

Generally speaking, printers measure speed by counting the number of standard pages that can successfully be printed in a single minute. This is known as pages per minute, or PPM. This will be the metric used to measure speed on nearly every inkjet printer, multi-function printer, laser printer, and other types of printer. 3D printers, however, do not use this metric, due to the nature of their design. A printer with ADF, also called the automatic document feeder, will help increase the printer’s speed.

Insider Tip

Printers measure speed by counting the number of standard pages that can successfully be printed in a single minute. This is known as pages per minute, or PPM.

Maximize Printing Speed

There are several ways to maximize your printing speed. Here are some tips and general guidelines.

Laser Printers VS Inkjet Printers

If you need speed, you should consider choosing a laser printer over a traditional inkjet printer. Laser printers average around 20 to 30 pages per minute, whereas inkjet printers average five to 10 pages per minute. That’s a pretty significant difference. However, there are some downloads when it comes to laser printers, as they tend to be more expensive to purchase than inkjet printers. Though it must be noted, there are differences between a toner and ink cartridges. A laser printer’s toner cartridge will last much longer than an ink cartridge. In other words, the price will even out in the long run.

Although, some inkjet printers can hold a candle to laser printers, as you’ll read in our HP PageWide Pro 477dw review.

Insider Tip

Laser printers average around 20 to 30 pages per minute, whereas inkjet printers average five to 10 pages per minute.

Resolution Can Impact Speed

A printer’s overall resolution, typically measured in dots per inch (DPI), can impact a printer’s speed and output efficiency. There is no universally accepted resolution to speed efficacy rating, but in most cases, printers with an extremely high resolution will be slower than low-resolution models. However, there is some good news on this front: high-resolution printers can typically be adjusted via a settings menu to prioritize speed over resolution. Be sure to read the fine print before purchasing a laser or inkjet printer to maximize speed and resolution. For example, if you read our Epson Artisan 1430 review, you’ll find it’s not very fast, but the quality is phenomenal.

Consider IPM

Though pages per minute, PPM, is the standard operating protocol when it comes to measuring printer speed, there is another option. Some printers conduct measurements via images per minute, otherwise known as IPM. This is exclusively used by printers that traffick heavily in color images and related visual reproductions. If you are shopping for a color printer and plan on doing a lot of image-based print jobs, you should consider the printer’s IPM rating.

Alternatively, you’ll want to go with a dot matrix printer for a printer suitable for commercial and industrial settings.


Be sure to read the fine print before purchasing a laser printer or an inkjet printer in order to maximize both speed and resolution.


What printer should I use for high-quality color photos?

If you want to print a number of high-quality color photos, we recommend going with a color inkjet printer that boasts a DPI of 1,200 or higher.

What is the speed of a laser printer measured in?

Laser printers are typically measured via pages per minute, commonly referred to as PPM.

Which printer is better, laser jet or inkjet?

This depends on your individual needs. Laserjet printers, known simply as laser printers, tend to be faster than inkjet printers but can be initially expensive to purchase. On the other hand, Inkjet printers are slower but can excel at creating color prints.

STAT: Speeds in ppm usually apply to A4 paper in most countries in the world, and letter paper size, about 6% shorter, in North America. (source)


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Printer_(computing)
  2. https://www.statista.com/topics/2991/printers-hardcopy-peripherals/
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laser_printingr
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inkjet_printing
  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tkmzi_uNPcw

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

Comparison of Printer Speeds | Small Business

By John Papiewski

Desktop and workgroup printers for business employ a variety of technologies, each with its own tradeoffs for cost, speed and quality. An organization that prints its own manuals, financial reports and other multipage documents needs a faster printer than a company that produces only an occasional invoice. As of the date of publication, laser printers take top honors for speed; dot-matrix models have similar speeds but lower quality, and inkjet models are significantly slower.

Laser and LED

  1. Laser and Light-Emitting Diode (LED) printers share technology with copy machines, printing a whole page at a time. Inside the printer, a laser beam or array of LEDs scans the surface of a light-sensitive metal drum, forming patterns of static electricity. Toner powder sticks to the areas of static charge; when the mechanism presses paper against the drum, the toner binds to the sheet, forming a printed page. The speed of desktop laser printers ranges from 4 to more than 50 pages per minute; commercial models produce at rates up to 1,000 ppm.


  1. Thermal printers are specialty devices used in cash registers, bar-code systems, label makers and calculators. In a thermal printer, an electronic system controls an array of heating elements that produce tiny hot spots on specially-treated paper. Above a certain temperature, the paper turns black. The printing process is rugged, economical and easy to maintain, as it needs no ink. Some of the fastest examples print at a rate of 300 millimeters per second, or an equivalent of 60 pages per minute. These types of printers are not used for general-purpose word-processing or report documents.


  1. An inkjet printer produces relatively low volumes of high-quality documents. It prints by spraying microscopic droplets of ink from a cartridge directly onto a page; the cartridge moves back and forth across the paper, gradually rendering the document a line at a time. Inkjet printer speeds generally run from 1 to 20 ppm; the better the quality of printing, the fewer ppm.

Dot Matrix

  1. Although largely replaced by newer inkjet and laser technologies, dot-matrix printers continue to find uses because of their reliability, low operating costs and ability to print multipart forms. A dot-matrix printer is an impact design, forming characters on the page by striking an inked ribbon with thin wire pins. Depending on the model, their speed ranges between 200 and 1,120 characters per second, or about 12 to 60 pages per minute in draft mode. A high-quality mode runs half to a third of the maximum speed; the print mechanism makes two or three passes per line of text, filling the shapes of each character.


  • Epson: TM-T88V Receipt Printer
  • Wirth Consulting: Compare Printers’ Cost Per Page, Not Just Purchase Price
  • Escotal: Printers

Writer Bio

Chicago native John Papiewski has a physics degree and has been writing since 1991. He has contributed to “Foresight Update,” a nanotechnology newsletter from the Foresight Institute. He also contributed to the book, “Nanotechnology: Molecular Speculations on Global Abundance.”

Laser, dot matrix and inkjet maximum print speed

When making a decision to buy a printer, the speed and planned volume of printing are important. Indeed, is it worth overpaying for ultra-modern equipment that can replace a mini-printing house if you need to print a maximum of 50 pages per month.

What it’s about:

  • Top printer types and tips for choosing
  • Fastest printer models
    • Stylus Photo P50
    • Epson L800
    • Epson L550 and HP Officejet Pro X576dw
    • FS-4300DN
    • Xerox Phaser 4600N
    • FS-9530DN
    • 3D printers

Main types of printers and tips for choosing

For small volumes of printing (at home), it will be sufficient to purchase a simple inkjet printer. Its print speed is low: about 10 A4 sheets per minute, however, it also exceeds the print speed of dot matrix printers. If the mode of the improved print quality is set, the speed decreases noticeably. The same can be said about color printing.

However, modern technology has made it possible to create high-speed inkjet printers. For example, Hewlett Packard has models that are in no way inferior to laser printers in terms of printing speed: the Officejet Pro X series is fast, printing up to 70 color pages per minute. At the same time, no noise is heard from the printer, since the print head remains stationary during operation: the paper moves, and the ink “shoots out” from the nozzles.

This printer is quite expensive, so for everyday office and home needs, it is better to consider laser printer models.

If you print more than 100 pages a month at home, you can buy an inexpensive laser printer: even the cheapest model is faster than an inkjet. On average, a laser printer can print 17-25 pages of black and white text per minute. More modern models print up to 55-60 pages per minute, with color printing, the speed, of course, will be lower – from 12 to 40 pages per minute.

The fastest printer models

If we talk about the fastest printers, then you need to choose the leaders of each type of printing device. We will not evaluate the speed of dot matrix printers: dot matrix devices cannot keep up with inkjet and even more so with laser ones.

Stylus Photo P50

Stylus Photo P50 from Epson should be mentioned among high-speed inkjet devices. An inexpensive printer (the cheapest in the top five) prints 37 pages of black and white text per minute, and 9-inket color printing does not lag behind – this model allows the user to get 38 pages per minute. Among the advantages can be called the ability to connect CISS, which will significantly reduce the cost of each sheet.

Epson L800

In second place is the Epson L800 model. It initially has a built-in CISS, and the print speed is 38 and 37 pages of black and white and color text, respectively. The printer can print on any paper, including photo and glossy, films and discs.

Epson L550 and HP Officejet Pro X576dw

Keep up with the Epson L550 and HP Officejet Pro X576dw MFPs. The latter is ready to give out 42 pages of black and white or color text per minute, and the print speed of color images reaches 70 pages per minute. True, its price is about 600 dollars.


Kyocera’s FS-4300DN is a laser printer worth just over $600. For this price, the printer is ready to give out 25,000 pages without refueling, the first of which is 25 seconds after warming up. One page will come out of the printer every second (not the best quality, if the settings are improved, the printer will work a little slower).

Xerox Phaser 4600N

The inexpensive (just over $330) Xerox Phaser 4600N is slightly slower, delivering 52 pages of printed text per minute. But it warms up much faster (15 seconds), and the print resolution is excellent – 1200×1200 dpi. Quite an affordable option for a small office.


Very cool, but expensive – the FS-9530DN printer model from Kyocera. Worth more than $4,000, for this money you will be provided with:

  • 51 A4 black and white pages per minute;
  • 26 A3 pages.

Expensive and specific model, suitable for printing drawings, usually used in relevant organizations. The main difference is high performance – up to 300,000 pages per month, cartridge life – 40,000 pages, so printing has a low cost.

3D printers

Modern 3D printers cannot be ignored. Among the leaders, it is necessary to note the model of a 3D printer from QwikFab: the speed is 400 mm / s, while other printers cannot work faster than 100-300 mm / s, although in this case it is necessary to take into account not only the speed, but also the complexity of the work .

You should not focus on the highest specifications: for a mini-printing house, the maximum print speed of a printer can be important, for normal office work conditions, print quality can be much more significant, and “reactive” printers are much more expensive. So you need to choose based on the required parameters: for some, speed is important, for another, print quality.

3D printer speed: how to set it right?