A printer is a device that produces a hard copy of documents stored in electronic form. Printers are very useful devices and have become an integral part of our lives. We use them to print important documents, school projects, and even photos.
There are different types of printers available in the market, and each type has its own set of features. So, how do you choose the right printer for your needs? Here is a printer buying guide that will help you make an informed decision.
Types of Printers
Printers are broadly classified into three categories:
1. Inkjet Printers
These printers use ink cartridges to print documents. Inkjet printers are ideal for home and small office use. They are relatively inexpensive and offer good print quality.
2. Laser Printers
Laser printers use toner cartridges to print documents. They are faster than inkjet printers and offer high-quality prints. Laser printers are suitable for office use. Moreover, they are more expensive than inkjet printers. However, the cost of toner cartridges is lower in the long run. The first laser printer was introduced to the market in 1984 by IBM.
3. All-in-One Printers
As the name suggests, all-in-one printers can print, scan, and copy documents. They are ideal for home and small office use.
Now that you know the different types of printers available, let’s take a look at the factors you need to consider before buying a printer.
Factors to Consider before Buying a Printer
1. Print Quality
The print quality of a printer is determined by the number of dots per inch (dpi). The higher the dpi, the better the print quality.
The speed of a printer is measured in pages per minute (ppm). The higher the ppm, the faster the printer.
Most printers these days come with wireless connectivity options such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. This allows you to print documents from your smartphone or tablet. Some printers also have NFC (Near Field Communication) which allows you to print documents by just tapping your NFC-enabled device on the printer.
The cost of a printer depends on the type, features, and brand. Inkjet printers are relatively inexpensive while laser printers are more expensive. All-in-one printers are somewhere in between. You also need to factor in the cost of consumables such as ink or toner cartridges.
It is always a good idea to buy a printer that comes with a warranty. This will ensure that you are covered in case of any manufacturing defects.
Now that you know the different types of printers and the factors to consider before buying one, here are a few tips to help you choose the right printer.
Tips for Choosing the Right Printer
1. Decide the Type of Printer You Need
The first step is to decide the type of printer you need. As mentioned earlier, inkjet printers are ideal for home and small office use while laser printers are suitable for office use. All-in-one printers are a good option if you need a printer that can also scan and copy documents.
2. Consider Your Printing Needs
Next, you need to consider your printing needs. If you print a lot of documents, you should choose a printer with high speed and low cost per page. On the other hand, if you only print occasional documents, an inkjet printer should suffice.
3. Compare the Cost of Consumables
Another important factor to consider is the cost of consumables such as ink or toner cartridges. This is an important factor because it will have a direct impact on your overall printing costs.
4. Check the Warranty
As mentioned earlier, it is always a good idea to buy a printer that comes with a warranty. This will ensure that you are covered in case of any manufacturing defects.
5. Read Online Reviews
Before making your final decision, be sure to read online reviews of the printers you are considering. This will give you an idea of the pros and cons of each printer. For your convenience, we have penned down several guides for buying a printer, check them below.
Inkjet or Laser – Which One Is Better?
The very first question you need to ask yourself is whether you want an inkjet or laser printer. Both have their own set of pros and cons.
Inkjet printers are cheaper than laser printers and offer high-quality prints. However, they are slower and the cost of ink cartridges is higher in the long run.
Laser printers are faster than inkjet printers and offer high-quality prints. Moreover, they are more expensive than inkjet printers. However, the cost of toner cartridges is lower in the long run.
You can print anything you want with both types of printers. If you want to print photos, then inkjet printers are a better option. On the other hand, if you want to print text documents, then laser printers are a better option.
Are All-in-one printers Good?
All-in-one printers are a good option if you want to save space. These printers can print, scan, and copy documents. However, they are more expensive than regular printers.
What is the difference between Wi-Fi and USB Printers?
Wi-Fi printers can be connected to your computer wirelessly. On the other hand, USB printers need to be connected to your computer using a USB cable.
Wi-Fi printers are more expensive than USB printers. However, they are more convenient to use as you don’t have to worry about connecting them to your computer using a cable.
Now that you know what to look for in a printer, it’s time to start shopping around. Compare prices and features of different printers before making your final decision.
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