There are very few disadvantages to owning a laser printer in general but one of them is definitely the cost. The money that you could spend on a very high-end inkjet printer will only buy you a very low-end color laser printer with limited capacities. Color laser printers with multi-functions such as a copier and a fax all in one are even more expensive. However a middle of the line black and white laser printer is comparable to the price of a top of the line color inkjet printer.
Another disadvantage is the cost of the cartridges inside a laser printer. Sometimes the cartridges cost almost as much as the printer did which is why many people throw the entire printer out and buy a new one after the cartridge expires in year or two.
The cartridges for laser printers are several times more expensive then the cost of the toner cartridges for inkjet printers. However they do last longer especially if you remember to set the printer in black and white printing mode when printing black and white and only using the color mode when it is really needed. Another way to make an expensive color laser toner cartridge last longer is to keep the printer in low quality mode unless you are printing out the final document.
If you live in a hot or humid climate a laser printer may not be the ideal solution for you. This is because running these machines can make a room very hot. The fuser inside them, which is the device that melts the plastic granules that constitute the powder that makes up the toner onto the paper, heats up to as high as 200 degrees Celsius.
Another limitation of a laser printer is that they only really print on certain kinds of paper. If you want to print out photographs then a laser printer is not for you as they are not yet capable of printing high-resolution images. Also you cannot put photographic paper through a laser printer. For the best quality images you need to buy a bubble jet ink printer that can transfer an image onto photographic paper. The color quality that you get with a bubble jet ink printer is just as good if not better than the color quality that you can obtain with a laser printer. A high-end color printer that produces quality color images can cost as much as $3,500 to $10,000 whereas you can get a good quality ink jet printer for about $200.
Another disadvantage of laser printers is that many of them are limited by the amount of memory that they are sold with. This can sometimes limit the number of fonts that you can use. To expand the memory of your color laser printer you usually have to buy a small RAM board. This is the only reliable way to install memory so that the color laser printer can utilize a number of fonts.
The more expensive a laser printer is the faster it is. The affordable models only print out about four pages a minute. Top end models print out about twelve pages a minute but they are not really affordable for the individual.
Laser printers, especially the color laser printers, can also be heavy and take up a lot of desk space or room in the office. At the time of writing there was also no such thing as a portable laser printer. The reason that a portable laser printer has yet to be invented is because a battery does not yet exist that is small enough to provide laser printer functions with enough power so that it can be taken on the road.