Printer Buying Guide
Whether you seek a printer for your office, home or want to replace your old Printer, you should consider a few things while purchasing. Apart from this, a printer for a home is a significant investment. It lets you print whatever you need, all in comfort. But the main question that arises, how to select a perfect printer?
Selecting a printer is not an easy job; it needs in-depth knowledge about it. As there are many brands with different printer styles and choosing one from all the among is difficult. But no worries, here are a few points that you should know and look at while purchasing one.
Brands play an equal and vital role as another feature of the printers. The reliable brand assures you the right quality product that is about performance and better user service. Despite falling for cheap products from newer brands, you must go for the brand with a great reputation among consumers.
The list of different famous brands for printer are:
Brother: The Japanese Multinational company known for the production of electronics and electrical equipment.
Canon: One of the well-known Multinational Corporation from Japan has specialization in optical, imaging, and industrial products manufacturing.
Epson: “Son of Electronic Printer” is the full form of Epson. It is a Japanese electronic company and the world’s largest printers, information, and imaging related equipment.
HP: The Hewlett-Packard Company is a multinational IT company that provides a wide variety of hardware components and software and its services.
Purpose / Requirements to buy the printers
Before going through other factors, it should be clear in your mind for what purpose you want it. If you’re going to print pie charts, graphs, and any other coloured paper, you should pick an inkjet printer. Besides this, if you need a printer for office use, then go for a laser printer. Laser printers are great for black & white printing.
Do you have a Space?
Size is an essential point in the printing machine. Indeed, you choose the size as per the available space where you want to install. To sufficiently assess the size of a printer, you must consider the trays’ fully extended position. There many compact Printers are available in the market that is excellent for home use. Some printers may have a small base while having a height that may be inconvenient.
Choose between Inkjet, Ink Tank or Laser Printer
An Inkjet printer delivers a hard copy of text or images by spraying the ink onto the paper. It contains several tiny nozzles inside the print head. Most of the inkjet printers are inexpensive.
The paper is fed to rollers, and the print head moves and back forth, precisely spraying ink. It is a simpler process than laser technology but leads to smudging.
Ink Tank Printers
It is an improved version of an inkjet printer. This Printer doesn’t require an ink cartridge. In Ink Tank Printers, the cartridge is replaced by an ink container that is filled with bottles.
The laser printer uses a toner powder that is melted onto the paper to create an image. This type produces smudge-free and fade-resistant output. It works by aiming the laser beam at a rotating light-sensitive drum to flash the image on the paper.
Do you require a Single Function or Multifunction Printer?
Single function: This Printer comes with only a printing function, and it doesn’t offer any extra features. It is perfect if you want only print outs. Investing in a multifunction printer cost you more for other features like scan and copy that you are not likely to use. The best about it is that you get an excellent print quality as compared to multifunction printers.
Multifunction: A multifunction printer offers printing, copying, scanning or even fax documents feature. These features make a printer an all-in-one device. It is suitable for small workgroups as you can place a single unit in the corner or a desk.
Output: Colour or Monochrome
It would be helpful if you choose a Printer based on your requirement. If you want to print photos in colour, then buy an inkjet printer as their detailed photo quality is better than laserjet. Otherwise, you can buy a laser printer for cheap black and white prints cost.
Usually, printers offer wireless and wired connectivity. There are different types of connectivity options like Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi direct, mobile printing, USB port, iOS printing (AirPrint) and cloud print.
- Wi-Fi: A wireless printer supports Wi-Fi technology that allows you to connect to the Printer using its various gadgets like mobiles, computers, laptops and others to interface with the internet. It quickly transfers data from one system to another, which gives fast printouts results.
- Mobile Printing: There are two main points of mobile printing. With the first type, you can directly connect your smartphone to a printer. The other is to communicate between a computer to a printer.
- AirPrint: AirPrint is an Apple technology that helps to create high-quality print output. You don’t require to download or install drivers. This AirPrint technology works with Mac, iPhone, and iPad touch without installing any other software drivers.
- Google Cloud Print: Google cloud print is an online service that allows users to print from any Cloud Print application on any device in the network cloud to any printer for support google cloud print service.
- Bluetooth: Bluetooth connectivity is used in printers to allow effortless, cordless and wireless printing. It is an easier way of transferring data from computer to Printer without any physical connections.
- USB Port: A USB connectivity is a perfect way for fast printing without stress about signal issues. Also, you can make peer to peer connections with the Printer by using smartphones and computers. The main problem with USB Port is that your Printer should be near to the PCs.
- Ethernet: A wired connectivity printer uses an Ethernet cable instead of a USB Port, and it connects directly to a router like an individual computer. Also, you need to install software on your PC for connectivity.
Key Functions / Features
Duplexing is one of the important features of the Printer. It is a user-friendly function that helps to save paper by printing both sides on the pages. It reduces the wastage of the pages drastically. If you want to print bulk documents files of 100 pages, it takes only 50 pages with this duplexing function. Most printers have an automatic duplex printing function, and few budget printers provide manual duplexing.
ADF (Automatic Document Feeder) saves you from the trouble of having to feed paper sheets individually. You should buy a printer with an ADF feature if you have a lot of scanning work and scan any long-form paper. With the support of a paper feeder, you leave the set of sheets in the tray; the rest will do the Printer. You don’t need to scan each page manually.
Processor and Memory
Today’s printers have outstanding value. You don’t have to wait for a document to print before allocating another. You can assign many reports at a time. The printers arrive with processors and a decent memory to carry out the printing activities with ease.
Similar to smartphones and laptops, you have printers with upgradeable memory. You need this type of Printer if you use it to print designs and graphics using PCL or PostScript language.
There are two types of sheet holding trays – the input tray and the output tray. The Printer’s input paper handling tray has the ability to keep a stack of paper for regular paper. The high capacity of the paper tray is 250 sheets. Also, an input tray can hold up to 150 sheets, and an output tray can hold up to 100 sheets.
Many papers include dedicated feed trays for different kinds of paper like Legal, Envelopes, index cards and glossy stock. The smaller tray size will require you to add paper all the time, but the 250-sheets hopper can make it a once a month affair. The fully-enclosed tray shields the paper-sheets from dust, moisture and wind.
It is also known as the monthly duty cycle, which means the number of pages printed in a month at the device’s rated print quality. In other words, the monthly duty cycle is intended to show how much a printer can produce over a single month period without any breakdowns.
It is less important for typical less-intense home use, but it is crucial with many printing requirements for a busy office. If your expected number of pages per month count below this value, then your Printer doesn’t experience wear and tear issues.
The maximum number of pages the user can print by using an ink cartridge or toner cartridge system. Apart from that, this will decide when you need to refill the tank or change the cartridge. It would vary from machine to machine.
If you purchase the ink tank printer, this will don’t bother you since you can refill the tank when the ink runs out. It is worth to compare cartridge price and page yield across the device to make sure you are getting the best one.
Page Size or Media Support
If you want a printer for home use, look for a printer that supports A4 page size, but if you wish for an office, go with an A3 page size printer. However, A1 is the most basic paper’s size, and A10 is the smallest paper size. You can also print cover flyers, brochures, magazines, business cards, standard type documents, and envelopes and postcards.
The type of paper formats that the machine supports has vital importance on its use. Inkjet printers usually support paper formats such as standard Envelopes, Letters, and Legal sizes. Most of these additional properties come at a higher cost as well as a larger size.
What would be the Printer’s Running Ink?
The high cost of printer ink has been a sore spot always among both home and business users. With advancement, the manufacturers have introduced low ink cost running printer. Some producers arrive with high-capacity cartridges, and they will last for a long time.
The inkjet printer comes with an in-built ink container system. This process allows you for fast printing and better image quality. Inkjet printers are capable of a long run time, but the limiting factor is expensive to replace its cartridge. It is not used in laser printers whether they used powder toner and ink-soaked ribbon, respectively.
The Toner Cartridge system is used in Laser Printers. They are cylindrical shaped containers that are filled with an adequate power of toner. It’s made from polyester as a type of plastic. Moreover, the coloured laser printer has four separate black, cyan, magenta and yellow toner cartridges to produce a print.
Ink Tank Printers use ink bottles instead of the ink cartridge or toner. After running out of ink, Ink Tank Printer uses ink bottles to refill its tank built inside the Printer. It is easy to fill and free from spillage.
Pages Per Minute
PPM stands for Pages Per Minute. It gives you the printing speed at which a printer can print a page. At the same time, faster pages per minute rating do indicate a higher printing speed. When printing in daily mode, the rate may be twice as slow. It is measured by using basic text pages with no graphics, lines or other objects. Therefore, if you want a text printout with a graphic image, the page could take several longer to print than a plain text document.
Resolution / Print Quality
The clarity and sharpness of the printouts are measured in terms of dot per inch (dpi), that means the Printer applies thousands of ink drops on a piece of paper. Generally, these printers produce 600 dpi resolution for text documents. The higher resolution is giving better printing quality. If you want to print graphic images, you may need 1200 dpi or more.
Cost Per Print
The CPP refers to the cost per page, that means how much you will spend on your printed pages. For heavy usage and home use, the cost per print factor must be ideal.
The average printing cost can measure by dividing the page yield by their total amount. It will vary according to the print media. The page yield is the number of pages the Printer can produce before replacing cartridge or toner.
Durability: It is a property that determines how often you need to change the ink. A few printers can work for years before they require a refill and replacement of parts. Others may require a refill and replacement of components in a few months. It would help if you counted the endurance of a printer before making a choice.
Loading: Identifying if you can load a printer from the top or the bottom is another feature that needs careful consideration. This feature depends on the space where you want to set up the Printer. A top-loading printer is a common choice when there is a limitation in the area.
Operating System: OS creates a platform between printer and devices. It helps to communicate when printing command is send to printer. Printers are compatible with different OS like Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.
User Interface: A good user interface helps to create interaction between a user and a device. It is one of the essential parts of the display screen. This display screen is significant as it offers necessary feedback and helps in configuring the feature. Some laser printers come with a touchscreen control panel.
Voice Compatibility: Experience the ease of voice-activated printing that allows you to operate the machine use your voice to print shopping lists, calendars, recipes or any other item.
Warranty & Support: It is essential to look at customer support and warranty. It’s a great deal or bonus if the company offers services like doorstep maintenance and a reasonable warranty period. Usually, the companies give a standard warranty for the printer cartridge for 12 months. All the manufacturers cover faulty printheads for up to one year.