Confused as to which printer to buy? Here’s help
Upon reading the title, many of you might just say that, “Oh no! We don’t need one!” However, let’s put it in plain and simple words – it’s always handy to have one in the vicinity. So if you intend to buy a printer, but are in a dilemma as to which one would be ideal for you, than here are certain suggestions that might just help you.
Inkjet or laser
Ideally, go for an inkjet printer if you have occasional high volume printing requirements. Inkjet printers are not that expensive to buy, however, the same cannot be said about their cartridges (ink cartridges are relatively costly). Nevertheless, the advantage of inkjet printers is that they can print on a wide variety of materials. Therefore, they are best suited for home use, where printing requirements are generally not that high.
On the other hand, laser printers are best suited for office use, where a high volume of printouts is generally the need of the hour. Though their initial procurement cost is considerably higher, the cost-per-printout balances the deal.
It is “the” deciding factor when it comes to buying a printer. Always keep one thing in mind; not just consider the buying cost of a printer in perspective, but also the cost required to operate and maintain them over a considerable period of time. With inkjet printers, since cartridges are expensive, their operational costs are quite high. Although, a workaround to this is to use generic cartridges, however, you cannot expect the same quality of printouts with them than with the branded ones.
On the other hand, laser printers have a higher procurement cost than inkjet printers. Yet, a toner cartridge of a laser printer can yield 10000 pages in comparison to close to 1000 that the ink cartridge of an inkjet printer produces.
It’s also worthwhile to consider the costs of maintaining a printer. For example, when it comes to inkjet printers, they are a tough nut to crack when it comes to their repair. Every part in an inkjet printer is a trouble maker. Large laser printers require their own maintenance costs. Along with regular toner cartridge, they also require a fuser cartridge to keep them going.
If black and white printing is what you would be printing in, then laser printers are ideal. Laser printers will also be better off when presentation graphics are to be printed. However, if a photograph is required to be printed for a family friend, then it is worthwhile to have an inkjet printer with a high dpi (dots per square inch) on board. Apparently, companies such as HP have a full range of inkjet printers designed to print digital quality photos at home.
The speed of laser printers (20 pages per minute in black) is significantly higher than that of inkjet printers (6 pages per minute in black). So, when you are required to print in large volumes, then the print speed can be a factor. However, considering the cost of laser as compared to inkjet, the former is never ideal for home.
An all-in-one inkjet (one which prints, scans, faxes and copies) is a great space saver. It is indeed ideal for your home or small office where space is very much less. If you intend to print from multiple locations, then opt for a printer with network support. Today’s printers have Wi-Fi capability as well. Also consider the paper holding capacity of the tray, especially if you are eyeing a laser printer to print a high volume of sheets at decent speed.
Finally, if you are not cash-strapped, you can opt for touch screen printers. Along with adding to the looks of a printer and removing button clutter so to speak, touch screens provide a host of capabilities to printers. With touch screens integrated in printers, you don’t need a computer as an interface to preview your docs or take printouts. You can also edit photographs and improve their quality through the touch screen interface itself.
Image by William Hook