With so much corporate work being some form of documentation these days, the need for quick printouts is higher than ever, with most businesses dedicating some location to the task. It has even become its very own industry and thus a necessity to keep a personal printer at home. Facing these circumstances, one has to wonder what types of printers are there? And which one should we buy? Well, fear not, that is just why we’re here.
What Are The Various Types Of Printers?
The following are the most commonly used printers, currently used today:
1- Laser Printers
This machine produces high-quality output using a laser to form a pattern of electrostatically charged dots on a light-sensitive drum that attracts toner into the specific shapes needed.
2- Inkjet Printers
Probably the simplest to explain these come in commercial and personal varieties and use minute jets of ink to form characters on the paper that passes through them.
3- Dot Matrix Printers
Also, called impact matrix printing, this is a computer printing process where ink is applied to a surface using a low-resolution dot matrix as a layout.
4- 3D Printers
With 3D printing becoming all the rage these days, you’ve undoubtedly heard of these, but we’ll explain anyway. A 3D printer creates a physical object from a similar digital model, typically by laying down many thin layers of a material in succession.
5- Solid Ink Printers
Generally, only used in publishing, these employ a laser-class printer that uses solid wax inks melted into a liquid before use, which they then jet onto a drum that applies it to the paper.
6- LED Printers
LED printers are like laser printers, using a drum, toner, and fuser system to apply colored or black toner to the paper. However, they are more efficient and reliable than traditional laser printers due to reduced mechanical wear.
While each one of these has its advantages and uses, we’ll only be discussing the considerations of buying personal inkjet printers as they are seemingly ideal for home use.
What To Check When Buying An Inkjet Printer?
1- Your Budget
As with any purchase going in with a budget prevents you from getting sidetracked or ripped off (especially if you have already done your own research). The situation also suffers from the cost of printers varying wildly.
Furthermore, when it comes to printers, the issue of budgeting is bigger than its upfront cost, as you’ll also need to factor in the maintenance costs of replacement ink and paper.
2- Type of Ink Needed
Following this, we come to the ink itself. There are three commonly used ink cartridge configurations.
- Two ink cartridges (black and an all-in-one color cartridge)
- Four ink cartridges: (black, cyan, magenta, and yellow cartridges)
- Inkwells (large, refillable wells)
Inkwells are easily the most economical of the three in the long run. However, which configuration works for you depends on how you plan to use your printer. For example, whether you’ll primarily need colored or black or white prints, etc.
3- Print Quality
The main issue with choosing an inkjet printer is that while it definitely does its job as a home office printer, the printout quality varies significantly among its kind. These variations can result from the design of the printhead, the printer’s driver, the quality of the ink, and dots-per-inch (DPI). DPI (for those that don’t know) indicates how accurately a printer can replicate the pixels of the original image. Keeping all this in mind, you’ll probably want to run a few tests before committing to a sale.
4- Printing Speed
While this is much more of a concern in corporate environments, it is still something to consider. Especially since we’re certain nobody enjoys waiting for a printout while the machine slowly comes to life and starts to do its thing. So if you want to avoid that miserable scenario, check the documentation and find out what your desired printer’s PPM (Pages Per Minute) speed is and if it’s [reforming to that level.
5- Wireless Connectivity
Another major thing you should look out for when buying a new printer is its connectivity or, specifically, whether it is wirelessly accessible. With most of us communicating via phone on one of the numerous instant messaging platforms available to us, wireless provides the perfect out to avoid the hassle of connecting to desktops or using USBs.
6- Acceptable Paper Size
Paper formats can range from a letter to billboard size, so one of the first things you need to see is what size your printer is using and if it’s acceptable for official documents.
Extra’s, here, refers to any and all additional features that your printer might have. For example, quite a lot of printers these days come with an integrated scanner bed. Some even more complex variations even include whole fax machines incorporated within them.
Now, you are probably wondering who even uses fax these days, and you don’t have to pay for something you won’t use if you don’t want to, but you can’t deny it’s a neat little addition.
Clearly, since first entering the market, inkjet printers have risen to become the most widely-used type of printer available today, with more and more people relying on it to fulfill their daily printing needs. And with excellent print clarity, accurate color reproduction, and an affordable initial purchase price, why wouldn’t they. It was with this conviction that we set off to provide a user purchase guide exclusively dealing with non-commercial inkjet printers. Hopefully, our little breakdown helped you find the inkjet printer that works best for you and your family.