PCL vs. Host based printer

What’s the difference between a host based printer and a PCL printer? PCL is an acroynm for Printer Command Language. You can see a lot of detail on PCL history going back as far as 1984 on Wikipedia website. These printers have their own processor and can printer faster among other things.

Host based printers are older types that are still sold today and are not compatible with certain things. One major issue is with some host based printers like HP laserjet 1020 series can’t print PDF documents. There are work arounds that sometimes seem to work using another printer driver. The other issue with host based printers are that they print as fast as your computer can process the job. So if your computer is slow, the print job will only come out that slow. Obviously if your computer is fast enough, needless to say, the print job will be quicker, but you still have the compatibility issues, that may or may not be an issue for you.

With that said, try to stick with PCL printers if you can afford to spend the extra money. Otherwise, host based printers can be purchased very inexpensively.

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