There are a million reasons why you might need a printer at home. At some point you might need to print school work, bank statements, recipes or a Christmas list. While we can think of many reasons to have a home printer determining the right one to buy is a harder proposition. There are many types of printers on the market that can suit the particular need of a user. Here we will discuss the features of modern printers to help you decide which is best for you.
The Two Main Categories: Laser or Inkjet
The first consideration is whether you should get an inkjet or laser printer. Historically inkjet printers have been the staple of the home user. For one they are more economical than laser printers. The initial price point for inkjets can be up to $100 cheaper than a laser counterpart. The cost of ink refill cartridges is also a lot cheaper as is the cost of repairs through a company like Zebra Printer Repair.
In the past laser printers cost considerably more than inkjets. Yet in today’s world laser printers are becoming cheaper and cheaper. It is not uncommon to find a laser printer for around $100 at a big box store.
The one thing that distinguishes laser printers from inkjets is longevity. Laser printer toners can print way more pages than the typical inkjet cartridge. This means that the print cost per page is cheaper than it is for inkjets. It also means that you can print to your heart’s delight and not have to change the toner for months. Laser printers are also generally faster at printing and can spit out large print jobs in no time.
During past couple of years the lines between inkjets and lasers have become blurred. Inkjets are increasingly becoming more powerful and can rival the average laser printer. Most inkjet printers nowadays can provide a cost per page print that is close to that of lasers. They are also capable of laser-like printing speeds and quality.
Another plus for inkjets is that they are usually sold in multi-functional models. Most of today’s inkjets are “all in one” units. This means they have the capacity to print, fax and scan. These models are also real space savers and can easily fit into any room in your home.
For the home environment it is best to purchase a multi-function inkjet. You can easily find one for less than $100 at any store that sells electronics. If you choose a model with good resolution and a 30 PPM (Pages Per Minute) print rate you will be content. You will also get the benefit of a scanner which can be used to make digital documents or hard copies.
[Read more: Printer 101 – Different kinds of Printers]
The old way of connecting printers was to use a USB cable. Now many printers are able to connect to your home wireless network. This allows you to print from any PC in your home regardless of where it is. It is a lot more convenient than hooking up a cable every time you need to print. If you enjoy this feature make sure your new printer has networking capabilities.
Printing from Memory Cards
Many printers allow you to insert an SD card for printing. This is a particularly useful feature for photographers. You simply insert the card and use the printer’s screen to choose which files to print. This saves you the hassle of having to download photos to a computer first. Make sure to check the specifications before buying a printer to make sure you can use your type of SD card.
Most of us need to make two sided documents at some point. The old-fashioned way of printing required you to print one side then flip it over to print the other. This process is now a lot easier with the duplexing feature. Duplexing means that the printer will print or scan both sides of the document as it sits in the machine. This feature saves you both time and paper!
Making a Final Decision
We have provided you with up to date information about today’s home printers. Which one you choose is ultimately up to you. It is best to think of a comfortable price range and then examine the available printers. Focus on features that will make your home printing projects economical and efficient. There are many great products on the market so it is very likely you will find a suitable machine.
[Images via: Google]