What is the resolution of an inkjet printer

This article will discuss what technical characteristics are “hidden” behind the phrase “resolution of an inkjet printer”. There will also be recommendations on which device is best to choose for each case. Well, and finally - about the prospects for the development of this method of outputting documentation.

inkjet printer resolution

Printing Systems Technologies

Currently, three printing methods are widely used:

  • Matrix
  • Laser.
  • Jet.

The first one is based on a set of needles and a film with a tone coating. It is with their help that the set of points (picture) on the surface of the carrier is obtained. The disadvantages of the method include low speed, high noise level during operation, and disgusting print quality. On the plus side - cost-effective and unified drivers. Now such printers can be met very rarely and only where the requirements for print quality are minimal.

The essence of laser technology is that the toner powder is applied in a special way on the surface of a special drum, it heats up and "burns" into the surface of the paper. The advantages of this method include high speed, efficiency, low noise and a simple setup procedure. The minus in this case is only one - this is a lower quality compared to the jet method. When using this technology, speed and minimized costs come to the fore.

The last printing method is inkjet. This concept is based on the fact that liquid ink is gradually applied to the surface of sheets of paper and a picture is formed on its surface. Briefly, the resolution of an inkjet printer characterizes the quality of its prints. The higher it is, the better the resulting image.


On the paper surface, the picture, regardless of the printing technology used, is formed from “dots”. The more of them, the higher the quality of the resulting image, which can be a picture, a photograph, text, a table, or even a graph. But the resolution of an inkjet printer is the number of dots per square inch of the carrier. Again, this value may be physical, or it may be adaptive.The unit of measurement of this parameter is the dpi, which is translated into Russian as "pixels per inch". The words "pixel" and "dot" in this case are essentially synonymous.

inkjet printer resolution

Real, physical resolution

In 2004-2005, a landmark event for the world of inkjet printers. The developers of such peripheral devices rested on the maximum density of pixels on the surface of the carrier, which was 600x1200. Up to this inclusive point, the points were placed separately on paper and this is the maximum resolution of printing inkjet printers at the physical level today. Above 1200x600 is impossible to climb. At least using existing technology. But if this was enough for the text, then the photos turned out grainy. Therefore, the strict grid of dots in the next stage turned into a “blurred” one. That is, the pixels are now in a peculiar way shifted and superimposed on each other. All intervals were filled with ink. This arrangement of points on paper is called adaptive. This allowed to increase the quality of images.

Adaptive resolution

A modern high-resolution inkjet printer displays images and photos, as noted earlier, in an adaptive format.That is, when switching to this mode of operation, the pixels cease to be separate elements. The gaps are filled with ink, which greatly improves the quality of the picture. By switching to this mode, the density of dots on the page can be increased to 5760-1440. In this quality, you can print only photos on special paper. If this recommendation is not taken into account, then on ordinary pages an increased concentration of ink will cause the image to be distorted.

inkjet printer resolution print speed

Monochromatic concept

In black and white printing mode, the information is mainly displayed in text or tabular form. As a result, the mode of high-quality page output in this case is impractical to use and the number of dots per inch is reduced to 600x600 or 600x1200. This is the print resolution of an inkjet printer in monochromatic mode. Again, in this case we are talking about the real, physical location of the pixels.

Color mode

But the resolution of an inkjet printer when displaying images can be physical or adaptive. In the first case, the image will be very grainy and individual pixels in it can be without any problems even with the naked eye. But when using the adaptive mode, the output quality will improve by an order of magnitude.Separate points in this case will be indistinguishable. More precisely, they will merge into one.

The solutions of the initial and intermediate levels in the process of work use four color shades: black, purple, blue and yellow. The first of them is used in monochromatic page rendering. But when printing in color, all types of ink are used. And all this is true for both printers and multifunction devices.

The set of photo printer inks is complemented by two more colors: light magenta and light blue. This increases the number of printed shades and improves the quality of images.

canon inkjet printer resolution

The ratio of speed and resolution. Modes

Inkjet printer pages can be completely different. Resolution, print speed and quality are interrelated parameters. They can be adjusted at the level of print system drivers. Manufacturers set the following page output modes in the software:

  • Draft. When activated, the resolution is reduced to 600x600 / 1200x600. This, in turn, degrades the quality, but increases the speed of output sheets. The most optimal use of this mode when printing text or tables.

  • The initial or, as it is sometimes also denoted by manufacturers, is of poor quality. The resolution of the carrier when setting such a mode of operation increases to 2400x1200, the quality becomes better, but the speed decreases. Like the previous mode, this one is also the most optimal for displaying text or tables.

  • The average mode is characterized by an even greater increase in the number of points per inch to 4800x1200. The speed of the workflow system is reduced, but the quality is significantly improved. In this case, it is better to print ordinary pictures.

  • Maximum / Photo Quality. Such high quality is optimally used only for displaying photos. The resolution in this case is maximum and can reach 5760x1440. The speed of operation decreases to 90 seconds per one 10x15 photo.

maximum print resolution of inkjet printers

Development prospects

Water-based ink is the main factor that does not allow to increase the resolution of an inkjet printer. Canon, HP and Epson are currently developing new printing methods. Of course, the concept of the jet method does not change. The key difference is the type of ink used, called pigments.It is behind this subspecies of inkjet printing systems and the future.

Modern devices are able to provide a drop size of about 1.5-2 square. According to experts, the limit of rasterization of the human eye is 1 square. The transition from aqueous ink to pigment is able to completely solve the problem with the possible graininess of the picture.

Modern photo printers in the process of functioning use 6 colors. One of them is involved in monochromatic mode and this is black ink. There are also three primary colors — purple, yellow, and blue. To increase the gradation of shades, manufacturers have added this kit with light magenta and light blue. Perhaps this list of six colors will be complemented by two more colors. But so far no consensus has been reached on this issue, and this issue is still being worked out by manufacturers of document management systems.

high resolution inkjet printer

Recommendations for choosing a device

Entry-level printing systems are best suited for home use. They have an affordable price and acceptable quality of page output. But, again, this choice is justified in the event that there is no need to display photos in maximum quality.If it is the last factor that comes to the fore, then you certainly cannot do without a specialized photo printer.

In the office, however, it is most efficient to use the MFP, which, besides the usual functions, can also act as a fax. But when picking a photo center, a professional-level printing system is indispensable. The maximum resolution of an inkjet printer in this case should be as high as possible. This, in turn, will improve the quality of displayed images, photos and images.

Finally, it is also necessary to note one important point: all such document management systems must necessarily be equipped with the NFC systems. Moreover, it is allowed to use them both in the built-in version and in the integrated one. It is this component of the peripheral device that minimizes printing costs and, without using it, the economic effect of using an MFP or a printer based on an inkjet method of outputting information on paper is lost.

inkjet printer resolution briefly


As part of this material, not only was such a notion as the resolution of an inkjet printer considered, but also recommendations were made regarding the choice of such printing systems. The possible ways of development of this technology in the foreseeable future are also indicated.Anyway, in terms of the quality of the output pages, inkjet printing systems will be out of competition for a long time. At the same time, the processing of their hardware and software components speeds up almost to the level of laser devices. All this together allows using such solutions in the office, at home, a photo lab, and even a copy center.

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