Here’s How You Can Buy the Best Printer

Choosing the right printer can be quite the task. The wide range of brands, features and price tags makes the selection all the more difficult. And given the complicated names that these come with, it seemed apt that we compile a mini guide for buying printers so that you end up with the best product.

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In this post today, we will be looking into home printers or printers for small businesses. So, without further ado, let’s get started.

1. Ink Jet or Laser?

The answer to this question solely depends on what you will be printing. The best part of Ink Jet printers is that they can print on a variety of materials like paper, cloth, photo paper and even canvas rolls. But the downside is that Ink Jet printers are notoriously slow. If you have

But the downside is that Ink Jet printers are notoriously slow. If you have huge print jobs to be taken care of, an Ink Jet printer will take eons to get that completed. And while Ink Jet printers are dramatically cheap, a major part of the cost lies in replacing the ink cartridges.

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On the other hand, a laser printer’s advantage lies in the fact that it’s fast and quick. And as far as the cartridge replacing process is concerned, the replacement cost is much lower when compared to an Ink Jet printer’s ink.

Another selling point in the favor of Laser printer is that these can go months without operation and yet maintain the quality of printing in the next print.

Sadly, this option is missing in the Ink Jet (the ink dries up and blocks the print nozzle). But Laser printers comes expensive when compared to Ink Jet. So the question ultimately boils down to the usage.

If you are a heavy user, then the laser is a good option. However, if you print scantily, then recovering the cost of the laser printer will run into many years. So in that case, investing in an affordable Ink Jet is the most viable option.

2. Is it Wi-Fi Enabled?

Usually, all printers have a USB port to connect it to your system. However, with the advent of wireless technology, most of the new-age printers support printing over Wi-Fi or through the cloud.

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So if you have a system fixed at your place, then a wired printer seems more than apt. But, if you want the independence of launching a print job from anywhere inside the house (or office), a Wi-Fi enabled printer will be the best bet. What’s more, you can even print from the comfort of your mobile device.

3. Does it Support Duplexing?

Given the present state of our mother earth, every printer should support duplexing. Duplexing or two-sided printing helps to save printing costs.

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Most of the mid-level printers support auto duplexing which means you don’t have to wait besides the printer to change the paper sides manually.

4. Ink Costs

Printer costs can be deceptive. While a printer’s price can be as minimum as $100, the price of its ink cartridges can go as high as $66.

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For instance in India, a combo pack for the Canon Pixma MG2170 printer (INR 4195) costs roughly around INR 2000, whereas a combo pack of colored ink for the HP Deskjet Ink advantage (INR 6000) costs only INR.834 on Amazon.

So, it’s not only the printer price that one should be concentrating on but also the price of the Ink cartridges in the long run.

5. Scanner Resolution

Unless you use a printer to strictly print, a multifunction printer which combines a bevy of functions like copier, scanner, printer seems to be the best bet. And if you opt for one, it’s highly essential that you check for the resolution of the scanner.

The resolution of 1200 x 600 is the minimum requirement for a good quality print.

However, if you want your printer to chuck out high-quality prints, the resolution should hover around 4800 x 4800.

6. Check for Good Print Speed

Aforesaid, waiting for a stack of printouts to complete can be quite annoying. And given our busy work schedule and lifestyle, it’s imperative that the printer speed is decent as per your needs.

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A printer which is able to print at least a dozen color pages per minute or one which accomplishes the job of printing around 20 pages under a minute can be considered as a good print speed. Print speed is measured in pages per minute (ppm) and can greatly vary in draft quality.

Apart from the features which are an absolute essential when you go to buy a printer, it’s also essential that you know a few features which can be avoided.

7. USB Printing, Media-card Slots

For a home or a small-business printer which is well connected over, one can easily avoid the additional cost that these features incur.

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Since most of the time, we can easily lay our hands on a mobile device or a computer to which we can quickly transfer the files, one can safely do without these.

8. Touchscreen

This again depends on the purpose of the printer. If it’s a huge all-in-one printer you are buying with multiple people throwing in their print jobs frequently, then yes, a touchscreen will be perfect to select the job or to punch in the password.

But if it’s a home printer you are buying, you can easily do way with this feature. After all, we have our shiny smartphones and PC to take care of the jobs.

That’s a Wrap!

So, these were few of the features which you should look before investing in a printer. Undoubtedly, a printer comes in great use whether it’s a home printer or a small business printer. It’s just a bit of research that we, as consumers, should do before we bring home a new printer that suits both the pocket and the requirements.

Namrata Gogoi

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