Almost half of home office workers prefer inkjet printers, according to a PC Advisor poll. When asked 'For your home office, do you prefer an inkjet or a laser printer?', 49 percent of respondents selected 'inkjet printer'. 

This is, perhaps, unsurprising. Inkjet printers are great options for households and small businesses that print a variety of content, including text-based documents and high quality photos and images. Although not always the best at text reproduction, colour inkjets tend to be the most versatile printers with relatively inexpensive initial costs. They have traditionally been viewed as expensive to run in the longer term, because of their high ink cartridge costs. But good-quality modern inkjets enjoy lower ink costs and better efficiencies. Some even have discrete toner cartridges - so if one runs out you don't have to replace them all. It's always worth checking out the total cost of ownership before you purchase.

The next most popular answer in our poll was 'laser printer', with 31 percent of the home office workers who responded to the poll saying they use that type of printer. Laser printers are traditionally associated with high speed printing and cheap running costs, after an initially expensive purchase. They also tend to produce better quality text. We might have expected laser printers to have been much the most popular devices for home office workers, but the result supports the view that inkjet printers are starting to give lasers a run for their money. As we mentioned earlier, low ink replacement costs are bringing down the total cost of ownership of inkjets, and these days better quality inkjets boast impressive feature sets with functions such as automatic duplexing and document feeders, high capacity trays and remote printing functionality. Perhaps the biggest benefit for home offices is the versatility of inkjets, as lasers are unlikely to reproduce photos well, for instance.

Perhaps the best answer is to enjoy the best of both worlds, and 14 percent of respondents to the poll said they have both inkjet and laser printers in their home offices. Perhaps unsurprisingly for readers of the UK's best-read technology magazine, only 4 percent of respondents said they are not sure what the difference between a laser and an inkjet printer is. Read our printer buying advice and Buying advice: Five things to check when buying a printer for more on this.

Finally, despite years of businesses aiming for the 'paperless office' only 2 percent of respondents to the poll said they do not have a printer in their home office. This suggests that, even if only occasionally used, the printer remains a hugely important part of every business setup. 

At the time of writing there have been 529 responces to the poll. Have your say. Vote now in our poll 'For your home office, do you prefer an inkjet or a laser printer?'

For further information visit Business Advisor, Tech Savings and Printing Advisor.