Purchasing a good printer can be difficult work because there are so many of them, costs vary too, and so do the functions of a printer.
With today’s technology printers are able to do so much more than just print. While some printers remain, indeed, very simple and their performance is limited only to printing from the computer, others come with multiple functions and include the ability to connect to wireless network and run mobile apps.
Investing some time to get to know what’s available today is worth it because with all this development in print devices, you could decide you need a all-in-one printer, or you could decide the opposite: that you only need your printer to perform the simple task of printing.
So here a few things to know and a couple of steps to follow that will help you simplify the selection process.
Anticipate how often you will be using the printer
If you’ll only be using the printer occasionally, then purchasing a budget model instead of a more developed printer is the right choice. Best performing printers can cost a good hundreds of dollars, sometimes well over $1000, which is an investment not worth making for occasional print jobs.
Understand the difference between inkjet printers and laser printers
There are several types of print technology, but two common types. One is inkjet technology, the other is laser technology.
The difference between them is that inkjet printing uses tiny ink droplets to produce images on paper, whereas laser printing uses toner and static electricity to produce images on paper. Both technologies offer great quality prints, but there are some differences that can help you sort out which one is better for you.
– Inkjet can print at a much higher resolution than laser. The higher the droplets per inch (dpi) the better the quality of the print. The lower the dpi, the faster the printing speed, but with a lower quality print.
– Laser prints are much more efficient at high volume printing than inkjets. Generally laser technology is people’s first choice for office use and inkjet technology is people’s first choice for home use.
So if you want a printer that is able to print high resolution images, inkjet is the right choice. If you want to print in high volumes and faster, laser printers make a better choice.
Determine if you need black and white or color
Laser technology is usually the best choice if you don’t need color with your printer, but instead need to print a lot on a daily basis and perhaps prefer a combination of functions. For good quality images and graphics quality, however, color inkjets perform better than most laser technology printers.
Know which features you need to use
Low end simple printers will only include the printing function, but you may want a printer that can scan documents, perhaps also photographs, copy and fax. These are called multifunction printers or all-in-one printers and are a very good option if you need to use all these functions and want to save desk space, power outlets and computer ports.
Multifunction printers can be either inkjet technology or laser technology.
Consider all the costs involved with using the printer
This is especially relevant if you’re looking to purchase inkjets. Inkjet printers can consume a lot of ink. Note that inkjet printers can have as many as six individual color ink cartridges, even more if it’s designed for high quality photo printing, and these can cost $30 or more each.
And cheaper inkjets usually include one black cartridge and another tri-colored cartridge, but the entire cartridge has to be replaced even if only one color runs out.
Finally don’t forget to check for compatibility with your computer and operating system and to compare prices for the printer you are choosing.