What factors affect print color quality?When it comes to printing to an inkjet or color laser printer, there are a number of variables that can affect the end result that comes out of the printer.
When you print to your printer, you are seeing the combined characteristics of the physical printer (is it firing all the nozzles correctly?), the effect of the paper type (plain bond paper will print poorly regardless of file quality, whereas photo paper should print well), the printer profile you choose to print with (could be from the printer mfg. or the paper vendor), your print settings in either the program or the printer driver, and finally the quality of the digital file you are printing.
Most inkjet printers print very well, assuming that all the nozzles are firing correctly, and the biggest cause of images that are unacceptable would be improper print settings in the program or printer driver, or a paper type that isn't correct for the inkset of the printer.
When it comes to printing on a color laser printer, the quality and the age of the paper can be a major factor. If your printer has a large capacity paper tray, please keep in mind that the paper in that tray is either losing or gaining moisture, based on the room conditions. When paper changes the amount of moisture in the sheet, that can make for a mottled area of flat solid color.