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Overview

A good printer can really be a blessing. It is convenient to use and can print data with just a click. Off late, there are varieties of new printers introduced in the market. Before you need out to buy one, we suggest you refer these guidelines. These guidelines will help you buy the perfect printer to suit your needs.

List your needs

Address the basic questions! Why do you need a printer? How often are you going to use it? Whether you need to print a few pages daily, or you are going to use it once it a while, understanding these things will help you pick the perfect printer as per your requirement.

Know your requirements

Do you need to print high definition pictures? Or you need a printer only to print word documents. If you are mostly going to print pictures, you need a higher quality printer, if you just need to print word files a basic printer shall suffice.

Categories of Printers

There are basically two categories of printers, viz; laser and inkjet printers.

  • Laser prints cost less per page to print, especially if it comes with manufacturer toner cartridges are available.
  • Laser printers print faster and are preferable for heavy printing, such as in a large office. They give better print quality but inferior photo quality in comparison to an inkjet printer.
  • Inkjet printers consume less power than laser ones. Ink, unlike toner powder, can run off the paper when fresh out of the printer. The printing cost is comparatively less but can increase the cost in the long run with the purchase of the ink.
  • Inkjet printers are suitable for colour photo prints outs and, sometimes, feature memory card slot to print directly from the digital camera.
  • Read the Descriptions

This completely depends on what you are going to print often. If you are going to print web pages or colour documents, then you will require a printer with 2 inkjet cartridges or 2 laser cartridges. If you are printing some fun photos, then load on 4 inkjet or 4 laser cartridges. To get perfect photo print outs, then inkjet printer comes to your rescue and you may need about 7 of those cartridges.

Size it up

Size up space you may have reserved for your printer. This is the considerable point because laser printers are bigger in size and take up ample shelf space. If you have limited space, then inkjet is the perfect option.

Availability and Affordability of ink

Cartridges are expensive and not all cartridges are available at the local computer store. Check online for the availability of certain replacement cartridge. On the contrary, whatever the printer manufacturer states, using manufacturer’s or compatible cartridge doesn’t void the printer’s warranty.

Think about Resolution (dpi)

This is the simplest parameter to compare the image quality is

  • The standard resolution of a laser printer is 600 dpi (dot per inch) compared to 720 dpi of an inkjet printer.
  • 720 dpi of inkjet is equal to 600 dpi of a laser printer, but it gives an enhanced look to the print out results, and this can be seen while comparing the colour photo print outs.
  • Paper size and type compatibility

Your printer should be able to accommodate every size and type of paper. These papers can range from being glossy, stock paper to heavy or smaller paper, according to your need. It should also fulfil the need of duplexing i.e. printing on both the sides.

Updates

Before buying a perfect printer, look on its manufacturer website to make sure they provide driver updates and currently have the driver compatible with your system.

Other features

No matter which printer you choose, you will always have the AIO (All-in-one) or MFP (Multifunction Printer) options with the current one. The AIO/MFP offer additional features like a scanner, copier, fax and of course, printer.

Location for this to work

If you need a common printer for a work place, then you should consider a printer with network connectivity (through router/wireless internet). A network enabled can be connected to any computer through the network so long as the internet signal on the printer is on. This means you can print documents, wirelessly. This setup is easier as there is no need of USB connection with the host computer.

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