My first computer was a Commodore 128 with a dot matrix printer. Since computers have gotten more compact printers have gotten more complex with all they can do and if you’re like me you want one with all the bells and whistles whether I use them all or not. In today’s guest post Nicole Knupp talks about printers and how to a home printer that fits your needs and pocketbook.
Even in a “paperless” age, most people find they need or want to print documents from time to time, especially those who have home offices. If you’re in the market for a general-purpose or specialty printer, here are some things to consider.
What Will You Do With It Most Often?
The first and most important thing to think about is what printing task you’ll do most often. Most people print text documents most often. If that’s true for you, a general purpose printer may be the best choice. If, however, your primary use is for something else, like printing photos or preparing mass mailings, you may want to invest in a dedicated printer, such as a dye-sublimation photo printer or an inkjet label printer.
What Else Will You Do With It?
A second consideration is what your secondary printing tasks will be. If you plan to print text documents most of the time, but also want to print high-quality photos, you may want to go with an inkjet printer, which, according to CNET, produce high quality images as well as crisp text. If you’ll need to print long documents on a semi-regular basis and don’t want to stand around waiting for your job to finish, a laser printer will give you speed.
How Much is Ink / Toner Going to Cost?
Ink and toner are, according to PC world, the single most important consideration when it comes to cost. A low-cost printer that requires expensive ink may not be as good an investment as a slightly more expensive printer that requires lower-priced ink. If you’re considering a dedicated-function printer like an inkjet label printer, you may find that ink costs less than it would for an all-purpose printer.
What About Service?
If you rely on your printer for regular or critical tasks (like printing mass mailings for work or papers for school), you don’t want to be stuck if something goes wrong. As a general rule, the fewer moving parts there are, the less that can break, which makes a dedicated function printer like an inkjet label printer slightly more reliable than an all-purpose printer.
Whatever type of printer you choose, you’ll want to buy from a company known to provide good customer service. A company with self-help videos, an extensive knowledge-base, and reliable technical support will help you make the most of your investment. When a company provides good information, you can solve problems yourself, so you won’t even have to call technical support.
Photo credit: Volpin / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND