Difference Between Printer and Plotter - Printer Vs Plotter

By Mohit Uniyal|Updated : April 27th, 2022

Difference Between Printer and Plotter: Both the printer and plotter are a type of output device. They are used to produce the output. The major difference between printer and plotter is that printers are commanded over the network whereas plotters are commanded over the computer. 

Both printer and plotter can produce images. The speed of producing images in a printer is better than that of a plotter. Here we will first learn about printer and plotter then we will discuss in detail the difference between printer and plotter in the coming sections.

Table of Content

What is a Printer?

A printer is a type of hardware which is used to produce output. It is used to convert the information in soft copy to the hard copy of the same information. Printers are operated via a network where a command is given from another device. It can be connected to multiple devices at a time. 

Printers are able to read PDF, JPEG, BMP, etc formats and can produce the desired output on command. There are added features to the printers such as copying, scanning, faxing, etc. There are various types of printers which are mentioned below:

  • Toner-based printer
  • Liquid ink printer
  • Solid ink printer
  • Dye-sublimation printer
  • Inkless printer 

What is a Plotter?

A plotter is also a type of hardware used to produce outputs from devices such as computers. They produce graphical information on a sheet of paper. They produce output with the help of a pen, pencil, etc. Their work is different from the printers which only use a single phenomenon to produce images. 

There are various types of plotters as well which are mentioned below:

  • Drum Plotter
  • Inkjet Plotter
  • Cutting Plotter
  • Flatbed Plotter

Let us now see the difference between the plotter and printer in the coming section.

Difference Between Printer and Plotter

There are various similarities between printer and plotter such as both being hardware devices used to produce desired outputs and a lot more. But there are a few differences between the two which are explained in the table provided below:

Difference Between Printer and Plotter
PrinterPlotter
Can process files in the following formats: JPG, PDF, TIFF, BMP, etc.Can process files in the following formats: Al, CDR, DWG, etc.
They receive commands over a network.They receive commands from the computer and not over the network.
Cost-effective and cheap.Expensive and less Cost-effective
operates at high speed.Low speed 
Cannot draw continuous lines.Can draw continuous lines.
Examples: Ink Printers, Business Inkjet, LED Printers, 3D Printers, Home Inkjet,  Laser Printers, etc.Examples:  Pen plotters, Inkjet plotters, Flatbed plotters, Electrostatic plotters, Drum plotters, etc.

 

 

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FAQs

  • The major difference between printer and plotter is that printers are operated over a network and can not produce long continuous lines whereas plotters work from the command of computers and can draw long continuous lines.

  • A Printer Vs Plotter is the comparison of printers and plotters. It depicts the Difference Between the Printer and the Plotter. There are various differences between the two such as printers are able to get connected with various devices whereas plotters can't.

  • A printer is a hardware device used to produce the output from the devices. Printers are widely used nowadays as they are cheap and can perform operations quickly. They can be of various types such as:

    • Toner-based printer
    • Liquid ink printer
    • Solid ink printer
    • Dye-sublimation printer
    • Inkless printer 
  • A plotter is also a hardware device used to produce outputs from a computer via command. They are capable of drawing long continuous lines over the continuous command. They are of the following types:

    • Drum Plotter
    • Inkjet Plotter
    • Cutting Plotter
    • Flatbed Plotter
  • Based on the speed of performing a task, a printer and plotter are different because the speed of the printer is better than the plotter. Printer can easily perform the same task way quickly than the plotter and are cheaper.

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