Information Technology

Gartner Glossary


An output device that prints one page at a time. This includes the following types of device:

• Laser — An electrophotographic technology in which laser beams are used to transfer images to a photoreceptor belt or a drum. It has the ability to buffer, in part or in whole, a page of images received from an electronic source and then transfer these images to a receiving substrate.
• Light-emitting diode (LED) — An electrophotographic technology in which precisely aligned arrays of LEDs are used to expose the print drum. Océ employs a unique and proprietary variation on electrophotography that it calls CopyPress. The technology is similar and uses a solid toner. The image is built up color by color and then deposited on an intermediate drum, just as is done in some color laser printers. The difference is that CopyPress can print seven toners for a wide color gamut. The toner is then pressed into the paper and fused at a lower temperature than on laser printers.
• Liquid electrophotography (LEP) — A technology in which the toner is a liquid and is absorbed into the paper fibers instead of adhering to the surface the way laser print does. As a result, the printed pages look and feel offset-printed. As on printing presses, the different colored inks are deposited on a rubber roller called a blanket and are then transferred to the paper. This means the inks mix as they soak into the surface of the paper rather than being layered on top of one another, as is the case with laser printers. With up to six inks, LEP printers can also produce a wider range of colors than the four colors usually found in dry-toner laser printers.
• Solid ink — An inkjet technology in which solid inks are liquefied by heating and then sprayed onto a drum, where they are then transferred to paper. Solid inkjet can print on a wide range of paper types because the solid ink does not wick into paper to degrade the image. Solid ink printers and MFPs are included in the page printer market because they compete directly with the laser output devices.
• Electron beam, imaging ion deposition and magnetography — Examples of other technologies that can be used in page output devices.

Experience Gartner conferences

Master your role, transform your business and tap into an unsurpassed peer network through our world-leading virtual and in-person conferences.

Gartner Webinars

Expert insights and strategies to address your priorities and solve your most pressing challenges.