Sept 95 Laser Printer: A printer that uses the electrophotographic method used in copy machines to print a page at a time. A laser is used to "paint" the dots of light onto a photographic drum or belt. The toner is applied to the drum or belt and then transferred onto the paper. Desktop laser printers use cut sheets of paper as in a copy machine, and large laser printers use either cut sheets or rolls of paper

In 1975, IBM introduced the first laser printer, called the 3800, which was designed for high-speed printing. In 1978, Siemens introduced the ND2 and Xerox introduced the 9700. These self-contained printing presses are either online to the mainframe or offline, accepting data in print image format on reels of tape or disk packs. Large-scale machines offer features such as printing on both sides the page and collating. Since laser printers use dot matrix technology, an infinite variety of fonts can be printed, as well as graphics. In addition, the form can be printed along with the data. Special models are available that can print up to 36" widths

In 1984, Hewlett-Packard announced the first desktop laser printer, called the LaserJet, which has revolutionized personal computer printing and has spawned desktop publishing. Laser printers now compete directly with high-end daisy wheel and dot matrix printers

Although high-resolution color laser printers are also available, less expensive desktop versions are on the horizon and should become widely used throughout the 1990s

Note: All large-scale printers that print a page at a time do not use a laser. Some use ion deposition, which creates the image with electricity rather than light

>From The Computer Glossary Fifth Edition by Alan Freedman. Amacom

Electronic version from the Computer Language Company Inc., Point Pleasant, Pa

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