bilevel printerA type of printer that can print only two levels of intensity for each dot - on or off. For monochrome printers, lightness and darkness (shading) is simulated through dithering. Bilevel color printers use dithering to produce a wide variety of colors. Most ink-jet and laser printers are bilevel. In contrast, expensive color printers, such as thermal dye printers, can apply ink at various levels of intensity. Such printers are called continuous-tone printers. A third type of printer, called a contone or multilevel printer can print at a few intensity levels (usually 8), but not as many as a true continuous-tone printer (usually 256). These printers use a combination of dithering and multi-level printing to produce different colors.
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