Print quality

Updated: 11/13/2018 by Computer Hope

The quality of the hard copy produced by a computer printer. Below is a list of reasons why the print quality may differ.

  • Printer - Each printer has its own capabilities of printing. With standard printers, dot matrix is commonly the lowest quality printer, inkjet printers are commonly average quality, and laser printers are commonly the best quality.
  • Low DPI - Printer has a low DPI (dots per inch).
  • Print mode - The mode that the hard copy was produced may also affect the overall quality of the print. For example, if the mode is draft quality, the printer prints faster, but with a lower quality.
  • Available toner or ink - If the printer is low on toner or ink, the quality can be dramatically decreased.
  • Dirty or malfunctioning printer - If the printer is dirty or is malfunctioning, this can also affect the quality of the print.
  • Image quality - When printing a computer graphic, the quality may not be what you expect because of any of the reasons below.
  • Printer does not have enough colors to produce the colors in the image. For example, some printers may only have four available ink colors, where others may have six or more available ink colors. See process color.
  • The image is a low quality or low resolution image.
  • Image is too small or has too many colors in a small area.

Printer engine, Printer terms