We’re big on laser printers and toner cartridges here at City Ink Express, but just how good are the devices themselves? The best thing to do to answer such a question is to look at both the positive and negative aspects of laser printers, and then you can make up your own minds about owning one.



  • Laser printers are generally faster – the higher volume of printing you need, the more you’ll notice the difference.
  • When it comes to sharp black text, smaller fonts, and fine lines, laser printers are definitely the way to go as they produce these perfectly.
  • The way in which laser printers are prepared and setup means they can handle large-volume print jobs more efficiently.
  • When it comes to printing graphically simple documents, laser printers beat inkjet machines in a price-by-price comparison. Though the toner itself is more expensive than ink cartridges, its larger yield works out at a cheaper cost per print price than you get with inkjet printers.


  • Though faster, laser printers take a long time to warm up.
  • The upfront costs of toner are greater – though you will find it cheaper in the long-run.
  • Any kind of heat-sensitive paper or printing materials cannot be run through a laser printer (although you can do so with inkjet printers).
  • Laser printers can handle simple graphics just fine, but for more complex prints like photographs an inkjet performs much better.
  • Laser printers are generally a lot heavier and more sizable than their inkjet counterparts, though you will find more compact devices on the market.




Colour printing, as a general rule, is significantly more expensive than black-and-white printing. For one thing, colour printers cost quite a bit more than their monochromatic counterparts; you can get a B&W printer for next to nothing nowadays, but you still have to fork over quite a bit of cash for a colour machine.


But what about the toner? Are colour toner cartridges more expensive than standard black ones? And if so, how much more expensive?


Let's look at two examples from City Ink's toner department:

  • The HP LaserJet 4000 is a mono printer, only capable of printing in black and white. A compatible toner cartridge for the HP 4000 costs £30.30 (at time of writing); an original HP cartridge costs £95.40.

  • The HP LaserJet 3600 is a colour printer, and so it requires four toner cartridges (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) to print properly. The compatible cartridges for this printer are £37.57 apiece, although the black cartridge - being slightly larger - is more expensive at £43.38. Original cartridges for the HP 3600 are £86.97 each - slightly cheaper than the LasreJet 4000's original cartridges, but also offering a lower page yield (4-6,000 pages vs. 10,000).

So there you have it - now you know why colour printing is so much more expensive in your local library!

At City Ink Express, we understand that people are fed up with paying astronomical costs for printer ink, which is why we strive to ensure that our toner cartridge prices are as low as possible. We go to great lengths to get the best prices from our suppliers, so we can then sell to you the customer for an extremely competitive price.


As we documented before in a previous blog (it’s such a staggering fact that it's worth noting again), did you know that if you filled up the fuel tank of a brand new £300,000 Lamborghini Aventador with Neopost’s printer ink, the cost of the ink would surpass the cost of the car itself? Quite unbelievable, you'll surely agree!


It is for this reason that we need to keep our toner cartridge prices low, as low as we possibly can in fact. Even in our particular collection of toner cartridges you will find a range that includes both compatible and original options; one is made by the manufacturer themselves, the other by a third party, and both are of an extremely high quality.


As you can tell, then, City Ink really do strive towards cheaper toner cartridge prices – though thankfully all of our cartridges are still tested to ISO standards, so a dip in prices needn’t mean a dip in quality whatsoever. 

A question we are frequently asked here at City Ink Express is ‘Do I actually need an original toner cartridge?' By this, the customer is referring to the difference between original and compatible toner cartridges; original toner is made by the printer manufacturer themselves (Epson, for example), while compatible toner cartridges are made by a different company to fit that specific printer.


Now, compatible cartridges are generally much cheaper, but are they cheaper for a reason? There have been hints of unreliability in the past, but just how common are they?


Well, for starters, rest assured that we extensively test all of our products to ISO standards, so we’re confident that all of the compatible toner we stock is of a very high standard. Under closer scrutiny though, which one performs better and which one do you actually need?


Printer manufacturers have often made big claims about using their original toner, and even made threats about what will happen if you don’t – at one point they claimed it would void the warranty, but this is illegal in many countries. One of their biggest claims is that their toner is of an irrefutably higher quality, and studies support this. A study on HP showed that original toner on average printed 97% of acceptable sample pages, while the non HP toner had an average of just 61%.


This same study also found that compatible toner had an average reliability score of 41.7%, while impressively the original toner had no failures. In fact the only category in which the compatible does score highly in is pricing – so it really is true that you get what you pay for.


What you have to consider when deciding whether or not you need original toner is how much the quality of your prints means to you. If you are in a company and sending out a lot of external documents then this may of a great importance to you. A cost-effective solution may be to have two printers, one with an original and one with a compatible, and use the original one for those prints that need to be of a superior finish.


Buy original and compatible toner cartridges here >

As we live at an increasingly green-conscious time, it is handy to know just what you can do with your empty toner cartridges that doesn’t involve just chucking them in the rubbish. By recycling your empty toner cartridges you reduce your amount of solid waste, conserve raw materials, and even potentially make a profit in the process.


There are 3 main ways in which you can recycle your old toner cartridges, and here they are:



There are a few charity organisations that directly accept your used cartridges, so this is a feel-good way to dispose of them. You may also want to consider local organisations such as churches, libraries, and schools, as these may also have a toner recycling programme.


Sell Them Back

A lot of stores will now buy back your used cartridges for cash, but more often than not for store credit. Always remember to seal your cartridges in a plastic before bag before sending them off to prevent any accidental leakages. It is also advised to place your toner back in its original box to stop breakages in transit.


Sell Them To A Special Organisation

It is not just printer ink vendors and charities that accept toner cartridges, but also certain organisations specialising in recycling too. A quick Google search pulls up a number of different companies that will buy back your toner cartridges, and a lot them will even send you prepaid packaging too – which is nice of them.