Top 5 Tips for Buying a Printer

December 12, 2011 | Author: | Posted in Family Issues

By Unknown

Buying office equipment such as new printers or toner cartridges can be a hassle. Brands, specifications and print quality are just some of the things you need to consider; forgetting a vital aspect might mean you end up with equipment which doesn’t suit your needs. With this in mind, here are the top 5 things to take into account when buying a printer.

1. Printing activity

Are you doing a lot of printing or just occasional print jobs? The volume of printed pages you produce on a daily basis is a huge factor when considering buying a new printer, as it will ultimately influence the device that you need. Buying the wrong printer for your needs could be a disaster, and may end up with you wasting money on something unnecessary. For this reason, if you print over 250 sheets per day from your office or home, it may be more cost effective to buy a laser printer, particularly if you print mostly text documents in black and white, in which case you could get a mono printer which uses single toner cartridges rather than multiple different colours.

2. Ink or toner cartridges?

A laser printer which uses toner rather than ink is cost effective in terms of how much each page costs to print. Toner cartridges will tend to last longer than ink and so are favoured by those who do large volumes of printing – for example in large offices.

3. Which brand of toner cartridges?

When looking at ink or toner cartridges, it’s important to consider the brand of cartridges you’re buying and whether they will be readily available if you need to buy more in a hurry. Be sure before you buy that the toner cartridges are compatible with your particular printer, and always go for quality if you care about the finish of your print jobs.

4. Multifunctional printers

You may have heard the phrase ‘MFP’ in printer shops or online. Many people buying printers for the first time aren’t aware of these ‘all-in-one’ printers. MFP stands for ‘multifunction printer’ and, as you would expect, these printers have several functions, all in the one device. They are great for a variety of print related jobs, often serving as printers, fax machines, scanners and photocopiers all at once. Saving time, money and space by buying one of these multifunctional devices may be a wise option, particularly if your print needs are varied.

5. Printer speed and other specifications

Specifications for printers are often difficult for the average consumer to understand, unless you know specifically what you’re looking for. Printer speed, for example, is measured in pages per minute (PPM), and measures the speed at which a printer will produce prints. It’s important to remember, though, that print jobs will vary. For example, a colour page will take longer to produce than simply a page of black text.

You might also have heard of something called DPI or dots per inch. This specifies the number of ink dots per inch, a metric which will vary depending on which type of printer technology your printer uses. A laser printer using toner cartridges, for example, will be in the range of 600 to 1,800 DPI. A dot matrix printer might have a DPI in the region of 60 to 90.

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