How do we know which printer is right for our needs? Whether you’re working from home, have a small business or need a printer for personal reasons, the decision is not an easy one. That is why we’ve come up with a quick guide (influenced by Digital Trends original guide) on how to narrow down your selection.
Inkjet or Laser?
Inkjet printers can generally print about anything: from graphical charts, glossy photos, brochures, etc. Printed text however does not look the greatest and inkjet printers tend to be slower than laser. These printers are great for personal use and low-volume, good quality image printing.
Laser printers are great for printing large volumes of text-based pages. If you have lots of text-oriented documents the laser printer is your answer. Some of the cartridge refills can be high in cost, depending on the purpose of your printing. These printers are great for high-volume, good quality text printing.
Majority of inkjet and laser printers come equipped with scanners, but all-in-one machines encompass fax communication, copying and scanning. If you’re working with fax or have lots of copies that need to be made, an all-in-one printer is your answer. Plus having a machine that does it all can save you plenty of work space compared to having multiple machines for each function.
This feature refers to printing or scanning double sided without having to manually flip the paper once the first side has been printed. Many of the all-in-one printers come equipped with this feature and this could be a huge time-saver if you have a lot of double sided requirements for your printing and/or scanning.
Having the ability to connect multiple devices (mobile, tablet, PCs, laptops, etc.) is important for organizations where multiple people regularly use a printer. Printers can most commonly be connected via USB cables, but the real game changers as far as networking goes are WiFi network connections and cloud connections.
Wireless networking allows you to setup your printer on various devices without it having to be connected by a cable, and is fairly simple to setup assuming all devices are connected to the same wireless networks. Cloud-based connectivity is still fairly new, but machines which support cloud connectivity allow you to send files to the printer directly from the Internet from services such as Dropbox.
Virtually all printers accept 8.5 x 11 copy papers, but if you have socialized printing needs make sure your printer can handle the paper size. Envelopes? Business card printing? Glossy photos? Whatever your need may be, check out the printing features and how the paper feed works before making a purchase.
Cartridges can be costly, depending on the type of printer and how it is used. Take into consideration cartridge replacements; how easy is it to replace, will majority of refills be colour or black, are they recyclable, etc.
There you have it! A quick overview of features to look out for. Hopefully this will help you make the right decision when the time to buy or replace your printer comes.