Definition of “Max Resolution” on a Color Laser Printer

Definition of “Max Resolution” on a Color Laser Printer

12/01/2023 Information 0

Definition of “Max Resolution” on a Color Laser Printer

Color laser printers produce crisp, waterproof text as well as vivid images. They are ideal for home offices and small businesses due to their high print volume per toner cartridge. However, not all laser printers produce photo-quality images. One limitation is the printer’s maximum resolution. Low-resolution laser printers produce coarser, less realistic prints than higher-resolution devices.

Laser Printing Process
Laser printers, both colour and black and white, work by fusing tiny dots of toner to the paper. When viewed with the naked eye, these dots appear to blend into smooth gradients. Smaller dots produce lighter shades of a colour in proportion, while larger dots produce darker shades.

Dots Per Inch
The resolution of a laser printer is measured in dots per inch, or dpi. A printer with a higher dpi produces smaller dots on the paper than one with a lower dpi. This results in smoother gradiants and less jagged prints. Smaller dots typically indicate a more complex image. A high resolution printer may require more memory and take longer to print a page with extensive toner coverage. The resulting print, however, usually looks better than one from a lower resolution printer.

Standard Resolutions
Laser printers are available in a few standard resolutions. Many older devices could only print at 300 dpi, resulting in a relatively coarse print with visible dots. Hewlett-Packard printers have 1,200 dpi resolution as of October 2011. High-end printers designed for photographic production can achieve resolutions of up to 2,400 dpi. This number denotes the printer’s maximum resolution. If you set your colour laser printer to “draught” or “high-speed,” it can print coarser images for proofing.

High-resolution printers may not produce as many visible dots as you expect. To fully render an 8 bit image, the printer must use approximately 256 dots for each pixel in the printed image. This reduces the printer’s visible resolution, giving a 1200 dpi printer an effective resolution of about 75 pixels per inch, or ppi. The halftone frequency of the printer can also have an impact on actual resolution. Halftones are patterns of larger or smaller dots that are used to create a shaded effect and are measured in lines per inch. Most laser printers can output at least 200 lpi, but coarser halftones for copying can be set as low as 85 lpi.

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