In the personal computer world, a printer is a device that accepts text and graphic output from a computer and transfers the information to paper.
Printers vary in size, speed, sophistication, and cost. More expensive printers are used for higher resolution color printing. Personal computer printers can be distinguished as impact or non-impact printers.
The dot-matrix printer has been a popular low-cost impact printer that strikes the paper a line at a time.
The inkjet printer is a non-impact printer. The inkjet sprays ink from an ink cartridge at very close range to the paper as it rolls by.
The laser printer uses a laser beam reflected from a mirror to attract ink (toner) to selected paper areas.
The evolution of laser printers started in 1969 when Gray Starkweather, at Xerox, demonstrated a laser beam with xerography process to create a laser printer.
From 1979 and on, many companies started releasing different versions of laser printers with different variations among them. The four keys of difference among printers are color, speed, resolution, and memory. Companies that developed printers throughout the last twenty years are IBM, Xerox, Apple computers, Hewlett-Packard's, QMS and Epson.
In 1995, Apple computer introduced its first color laser printer.