May people when they printers they look at the cost of the actual printer, and not much more. Printer prices, along with most technology prices, have gone down over the last few years.
Other things to look out for is quality, speed, cost of consumables.
You can pick up a cheap InkJet printer for $60 or $70, which allows you to print both colour and black and white.
LaserJet units which allow you to print black and white only from $200, and around $450 for a colour laserjet printer.
However, things to look out for are whether the printer has separate ink cartridges for black and for colour, or just one cartridge. One cartridge means it uses all colours to print black. Having separate cartridges means you save on replacing ink cartridges and you get sharper black colours.
Many InkJets now allow you to print photos and the demo pages they give you at the shop are usually printed on the highest quality, on photo paper and may even have photo ink cartridges. Printing each page may cost you a couple of dollars each print
LaserJet printers will usually print better quality as they use toner and fuser the toner onto the page. Their resolution is very good.
Even though the speed has improved on inkjets, so has that of laserjet printers. Speed is something to look out for, but many of the quoted speeds are not of the highest quality print.
The speed really depends on the type of printer. An inkjet will print simple text fairly quickly, but full page photos will be slow.
LaserJet printers take a time to warm up and heat up the ink and fuser. But will print subsequent images in more time.
Cost Of Consumables
Keep in mind that many inkjet printers will only provide you one cartridge, or they may provide you with cartridges half full of ink. Which means you will need to purchase new cartridges in little time, which most of them cost around the $50 mark each. This means you would buy replacement cartridges which cost more than the initial outlay of the printer.
LaserJet cartridges will cost you anywhere from $100 to $200 but you will definitely get more print outs from this than you would of an inkjet. With the colour cartridges you may need to buy a total of 4 cartridges, again around the same cost. So the basic rule is the cartridges is where they will make their money.
LaserJets also have other consumables such as the fuser.
In conclusion, the initial outlay of a printer is fairly cheap, depending what you choose. However, the ongoing costs is what you need to look at. Make sure you check out how much your consumables cost, the speed and quality of the printer.
Personally, I prefer laserjet printers, but again it depends on what you need it for. If you want professional quality, and don't really need colour, then laserjet would be the choice. However, you might just need to think a little harder if you require colour and do your research.