600 DPI vs 1200 DPI Printer – The Differences

If you are getting confused about the print resolution, this article on 600 dpi vs 1200 dpi would be the most resourceful one for you.

DPI or the dots per inch is the parameter by which we assess a printer’s efficiency & effectiveness of printing capacity. It also affects the print cost per page and we will illustrate how.

We will also present a hands-on comparison summary between the 600 dpi and 1200 dpi printers with a conclusive statement to ease your decision-making process.

What is Dots per Inch (DPI)?

Dots per inch or DPI is a measurement that shows how many dots are there in an inch of prints or scanned document. A higher number of dots represents that the document is more clear & lively. In a higher DPI print, there will be a smaller size of ink drops which helps to make the documents sharper.

Usually, dpi is communicated as 600 x 600 or 1200 x 1200. The two numbers represent both horizontal & vertical measurements of the dots in a document. Similarly, a higher dpi in the vertical axis refers to slower printing nozzle movement across the document.

Here’s a list of 1200 DPI printers.

For instance, a printed document in 1200 x 1200 dpi will become more time-consuming compared to dpi settings of 1200 x 600. Because choosing a half amount in a vertical line creates printing nozzle movement faster due to the less amount of droplets in the vertical axis.

As of today – most people prefer 600DPI print for printing ID cards since those are printed on PVC sheets which automatically makes the colors more vibrant.

So far, this is the printer with highest DPI from Epson.

What is Pixel Per Inch (PPI)?

Pixel per inch or PPI measures the print resolution of any digital image, whereas the DPI is used to measure the visible quality of the printouts. A higher PPI represents that there will be more pixels in one inch of an image which allows the user to expand the printout.

Alternatively, an image with a lower PPI represents that it would be broken if printouts are made beyond the recommended size.

In a nutshell, PPI is the input resolution of any digital image and the DPI is the output resolution of that image or other documents.


600 DPI print

Printing at 600 DPI represents that there would be 600 print dots in a square inch. This is a minimalist setting and is appropriate for beginners and economical users.

For example, a 600 DPI print of a photograph would have a very sharp and clear appearance, with fine details such as individual hairs or facial features visible. In comparison, a lower-resolution print such as a 300 DPI print would appear grainy and blurred.

Usually, small offices and home users use 600 dpi settings to print draft documents which ultimately helps in keeping the printing cost down.

Advantages of 600 dpi printers

These are the positive sides of printing at 600 dpi

  • Minimum printing costs
  • Maintenance is easy
  • Ink consumption is lower than a dpi printer
  • good for printing draft documents


These are the negative sides of printing at 600 dpi

  • Print quality is not premium grade
  • Color printing is not so impressive with 600 dpi
  • Adversely affects users’ perception if used by the businesses

1200 DPI printer

A 1200 DPI represents that there would be 1200 dots in a square inch of print. This is doubled by 600 dpi which denotes the higher print quality of a document. However, 1200 dpi always costs high along with a significant impact on print yield quantity.

For example, a 1200 DPI print of a photograph would have a very fine level of detail, with individual hairs, facial features, and even pores visible.

Positive sides

These are the positive sides of having a 1200 dpi printer:

  • Ensures sharper prints with more details
  • Brings a premium appearance to the prints
  • Suitable for both color & black printing
  • can handle a variety of documents which a 600 dpi may not
  • Easy to maintain

Negative Sides

These are the negative sides of having a 1200 dpi printer

  • The cost per print is higher than that of a 600 dpi printer
  • Expensive compared to the 600 dpi printers

600 DPI Vs 1200 DPI Printer Comparison

600 DPI VS 1200 DPI

This is a quick comparison that differentiates between the 600 dpi and 1200 dpi printers.

600 DPI 1200 DPI
Cost per page Low High
Ink Consumption Low High
Print Quality Moderate Premium
Color Printing Not recommended Excellent
Scan time Low Medium
Sharpness Low Better
Maintenance Easy Easy
Best Printer Lexmark HP Office Jet

DPI (dots per inch) is a measure of printer resolution that indicates the number of individual dots a printer can place within a one-inch space. A higher DPI value means a printer can produce more detailed and higher-quality prints. The main differences between 600 DPI and 1200 DPI printers are print quality, print speed, and cost.

  1. Print Quality: A 1200 DPI printer can produce more detailed and sharper prints than a 600 DPI printer because it can place twice as many dots per inch. This increased resolution leads to smoother gradients, finer details, and better overall print quality. For example, small text and intricate graphics will appear clearer and crisper when printed at 1200 DPI compared to 600 DPI.
  2. Print Speed: Higher resolution prints generally take longer to produce because the printer has to place more dots on the paper. As a result, a 1200 DPI printer might have a slower print speed than a 600 DPI printer. However, this is not always the case, as advancements in printer technology have allowed some high-resolution printers to maintain fast print speeds. It’s essential to check the printer’s specifications to understand the relationship between resolution and print speed for a particular model.
  3. Cost: Higher resolution printers, such as 1200 DPI printers, tend to be more expensive than their lower resolution counterparts. This higher cost can come in the form of increased initial purchase price, higher ink or toner consumption, and potentially more frequent maintenance due to the printer’s increased complexity.

Case Study

Consider a small graphic design firm that needs to print detailed promotional materials, such as brochures and posters, for their clients. Using a 600 DPI printer may produce satisfactory results for text-heavy documents, but intricate graphics or images with fine details may appear pixelated or less sharp.

In this case, investing in a 1200 DPI printer would be a wise decision, as the improved print quality would allow the design firm to produce high-quality materials that showcase their work more effectively. While the increased cost and potentially slower print speed might be a drawback, the enhanced print quality would outweigh these factors for a business that relies on delivering professional and visually appealing products.

In summary, the main differences between 600 DPI and 1200 DPI printers are print quality, print speed, and cost. A 1200 DPI printer offers superior print quality at the expense of potentially slower print speeds and higher costs. Users should consider their specific printing needs, such as the level of detail required and budget constraints, when deciding between a 600 DPI and a 1200 DPI printer.

When should you use a 1200 DPI printer over a 600 DPI printer?

You should use a 1200 DPI printer over a 600 DPI printer when you need to print a highresolution image or document. 1200 DPI printers have a higher resolution than 600 DPI printers, meaning they can produce finer, more detailed prints.

For example, if you are printing a professionallooking image or document that needs to look crisp and clear, you should opt for a 1200 DPI printer. The higher resolution produces more pixels per inch, which results in smoother and more detailed images. Additionally, when printing text, 1200 DPI printers will produce finer and sharper lines, which makes for a more professionallooking document.

Does 1200 DPI cost more compared to a 600 DPI print?

Yes, 1200 DPI prints cost more than 600 DPI prints. This is because 1200 DPI prints require the printer to use double the number of ink droplets when printing, thus resulting in a higher cost of materials and production. Additionally, 1200 DPI prints require more processing power from the printer, which can also increase the cost of production. For example, if you were to print a 4x6 photo with a 1200 DPI setting, it would take twice as long to print and would use more ink than if you were to print the same photo at a 600 DPI setting.

Is there any problem if you print at 600 DPI from a 1200 DPI printer?

No, there is no problem with printing at 600 DPI from a 1200 DPI printer. The DPI or dots per inch setting determines the resolution or detail of the printed image. A higher DPI setting will produce a higher resolution, more detailed image. A lower DPI setting will produce a lower resolution, less detailed image.

For example, if you are printing a photograph, a higher DPI setting will produce a photo with more detail and clarity. However, if you are printing a text document, a lower DPI setting will be sufficient. So, if you are printing a document at 600 DPI from a 1200 DPI printer, the document will still have a good resolution and detail.

When would you need more than 1200 DPI?

A 1200 DPI printer is usually more than enough for most everyday printing needs. However, if you need to print very high-resolution images, or if you are dealing with complex graphics or text, then you may need a printer with more than 1200 DPI. For example, if you are a graphic designer who needs to print crisp, detailed images, then a higherend printer with over 1200 DPI is likely necessary to get the job done.

A case study from a professional printing company in the UK provides an example of when a higher than 1200 DPI printer is needed. This company specializes in creating highquality photographic prints for galleries and museums. To achieve the level of detail and accuracy in their prints, they had to invest in a printer with over 2400 DPI resolution. This allowed them to finely reproduce the intricate details in the photographs, which was essential for the highquality prints that they needed to produce.

Frequently Asked Question

These are the frequently asked questions or FAQs on the 600 DPI & 1200 DPI prints.

Is 1200 dpi better for printing?

Yes. 1200 dpi printers offer greater sharpness & details of the character and are recommended for professional printing. However, 1200 dpi prints require more ink consumption which must have to be considered from the users’ point of view. For home use and draft document printing, 600 dpi can also serve the purpose.

Does a higher PPI represent premium quality?

PPI or pixel per inch refers to the resolution of any digital image. A higher PPI image allows you to get it printed in a larger size due to having more resolution within that. However, PPI or pixel density does not always reflect the print quality of documents unless it is scanned from an earlier printout.

Which DPI is better for laser printers?

A laser printer is designed to print at 2400 x 600 dpi but the print quality would remain the same at 1200 x 1200 dpi since both options would make 1,440,000 dots in one printed inch. In both cases, the differences are not noticeable by the naked human eye and both DPI settings would work fine. If any user needs a pure Black & White photographic feel over the Monochromic prints, then the ideal choice would be to use an inkjet printer with a liquid ink tank that makes prints with pigment inks.

What is the best DPI for scanning?

Scanning at 1200 DPI will always create a larger file size. Unless you need press quality scanning, we recommend using 600 dpi settings while scanning any black or color prints. However, 1200 dpi deals with Grayscale & partially toned images very carefully.

What’s the best DPI for Image or Sticker Printing?

The best DPI for image or sticker printing depends on the desired print quality, the size of the print, and the viewing distance. Here are some general guidelines to help you determine the most suitable DPI for your image or sticker printing needs:

  • Small-sized prints or stickers: For small prints or stickers that are viewed from a close distance, such as labels or product packaging, a DPI of 300-600 is generally recommended. This resolution range will provide sharp details and clear images for most small-sized prints.
  • Medium to large-sized prints or stickers: For larger prints or stickers that may be viewed from a slightly greater distance, such as posters, banners, or wall decals, a DPI of 600-1200 is advisable. This higher resolution will ensure that images remain clear and detailed even when viewed from further away or enlarged.
  • Professional or high-quality prints: If you’re printing images or stickers for professional use, such as photography, graphic design, or fine art, a DPI of 1200 or higher may be necessary to achieve the best possible print quality. This resolution will provide the highest level of detail, smooth color gradients, and accurate color reproduction.

It’s important to consider the original image resolution when determining the best DPI for image or sticker printing. If the source image has a low resolution, increasing the DPI during printing may not improve the print quality, as the image may still appear pixelated or blurry. To achieve the best results, ensure that your source image has a high enough resolution to match the desired print DPI.

Best Printer for Vinyl Sticker Printing

These are the best printers for sticker printing.

Keep in mind that higher DPI settings can lead to increased print times and ink or toner consumption. It’s essential to balance print quality with efficiency and cost, depending on your specific needs and requirements.

In summary, the best DPI for image or sticker printing depends on the print size, desired quality, and viewing distance. A DPI of 300-600 is suitable for small-sized prints, while a DPI of 600-1200 is recommended for medium to large-sized prints. For professional or high-quality prints, a DPI of 1200 or higher is ideal.

What is the best DPI to print documents?

The best DPI to print documents depends on the specific requirements of your printing task and the type of document you’re printing. However, as a general guideline, you can follow these recommendations:

  • Text documents: For most standard text documents, such as office reports, essays, or simple presentations, a DPI of 300-600 is usually sufficient. This resolution range will produce clear, sharp text that is easy to read, while also being efficient in terms of printing speed and ink usage.
  • Documents with images and graphics: If your document includes images, graphics, or detailed diagrams, a higher DPI of 600-1200 may be necessary to ensure that the visuals are rendered clearly and with sufficient detail. The higher resolution will produce smoother gradients, sharper lines, and better overall image quality.
  • Professional or high-quality prints: For professional applications, such as photography, graphic design, or art prints, a DPI of 1200 or higher may be required to achieve the best possible print quality. These higher resolutions will ensure that fine details, subtle color gradients, and intricate textures are accurately reproduced in the final print.

It’s important to note that while higher DPI settings can improve print quality, they may also increase print times and ink or toner consumption. Therefore, it’s essential to strike a balance between print quality and efficiency based on your specific needs and the type of document you’re printing.

In summary, the best DPI to print documents depends on the nature of the document and the desired print quality. For standard text documents, a DPI of 300-600 is generally sufficient, while documents with images or graphics may require a DPI of 600-1200. For professional or high-quality prints, a DPI of 1200 or higher is recommended.

Wrapping up

Choosing between 600 dpi and 1200 dpi is an easy choice. If you do not need to print anything professional then 600 dpi is always recommended. Otherwise, go for a 1200 DPI printer which opens all the doors to experiment with different printing objects in the future.

Ethan Robert
Ethan Robert

Hi, I'm Ethan.

After graduating from the University of North Dakota, I started knowing the CNC and that becomes my passion.

Earlier, I had fascination of 3d printers, Laser cutters and other CNC machines. Later on, I started analyzing those machine and started blogging on my known things by a different way.

I aim to assist you with the insights of 3d printer, laser engravers and computer printers with the help that you save your money and take the right decision before you purchase any machine.

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One comment

  1. Great article. Small problem: the picture above is introduced as “600 DPI VS 1200 DPI PRINTER COMPARISON” but the image indicates 1200 DPI and 300 DPI

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