Shopping for a printer is no easy mission since a one-size-fits-all model does not exist. Consequently, when on the lookout for a printer, serious thinking must be made in order to acquire the best one for the need.
What is it purposely for? Is it a printer for the office or home use? Will it be used for printing texts or photos? Is output quality more important than speed? What type of environment will it operate to? These are just some questions that needs to be answered in order to come up with a list of features that a user requires. Once the list is available, the user will proceed with matching it with printers currently available, disregarding those that do not meet the requirements, and choosing the perfect one among the remaining machines.
Inkjet Printers and Laser Printers Differentiated
There are 2 known types of printers as of date – inkjet and laser. While the main difference between the two lies on the technology used, it is still best to dig deeper in order to fully understand the features and nature of each; thereby help choose the perfect printer for the need.
Inkjet Printers Features
If printing photos frequently and colour is an absolute necessity for all other printouts, then an inkjet printer is the better choice. Users can still print photos with some colour lasers but output quality for inkjets is always superior.
- Color Tones or Hues. Most inkjet printers come with the standard cyan-magenta-yellow-black colour array; although some photo-centric printers, such as the Canon Pixma MG8220, offer more hues for better colour representation.
- Photo Sizes. Basically, all inkjet printers can handle printing snapshot and 8.5 x 11-inch images. But for specific needs like larger prints, it is best to go for a wide-format photo printer such as the Epson Stylus Photo R3000. Succinctly, determining the type of photos to print will help preen the options.
- Additional Features for Easy Operation. Since inkjet printers are more geared toward photo printing, these machines often come with features that make operations easier. This includes memory card readers and PictBridge connectivity, which allows users to print directly from their digital camera.
- Single Function or Multifunction. Inkjet printers come in two main categories – single function and multifunction. A single function printer, as the name suggests, is purposely for a specific function only – printing. Whereas a multifunction comes with a printer and other office functionalities including a scanner, copier, and fax. While it is enticing to go for a multifunction, most users recoil because of the high price tag. This is about to change though. Currently, the cost of multifunction inkjets has plummeted, it is almost a shame not to opt for one just in case the other functions will come handy.
Laser Printers Features
If the printer is purposely for a busy working environment, a laser printer is the best choice since the features are fitting for small to large offices with demanding printing requirements. Print speed is incomparable to inkjets. Duty cycle is higher – the number of pages printed in a given time. And printouts are excellent in quality.
- Single Function or Multifunction. As with laser printers, users have a choice between a single function and multifunction (similar with the inkjets). A single function laser printer is perfect for home use. Home use entails printing homework, arts and crafts templates, and other minor prints. On the other hand, a multifunction is good for office use where different sorts of reproduction are required in volumes.
- Monochrome or Colour. As abovementioned, an inkjet is the best choice for printing photos. But for simple graphics such as charts and illustrations included in reports, a colour laser printer can be depended upon. Yet, if texts are mostly printed and colour graphics are unnecessary, then the monochrome laser printer should do just fine.
- Affordable Consumables. The price of laser printers is remarkably higher than inkjets. This is the topmost reason why consumers recoil from acquiring this machine. But those who pushed through with the purchase are quite satisfied with the functionalities. Besides, there are cheaper options to keep the printing expenses at bay. Option one is to use a remanufactured toner cartridge. And option two is to buy a toner refill kit to replenish empty cartridges.
Learning the different features of each printer type helps choose the right machine for the need. So, take time for research and inquiry before finalizing a purchase.