Home printers are wonderful inventions. But as any printer owner knows, they aren’t always as straightforward and convenient as we’d like them to be.
Paper-jams, disappearing ink, and compatibility issues are all common examples of the consequences of buying the wrong printer for the situation.
Doing a bit of research and shopping the market can really improve your printing buying outcome.
There Are A Few Printer Types To Choose From
Home printing technology basically comes in three forms. There are other varieties, but they are not common and are generally reserved for special uses. The three printer types you are likely to choose from are inkjet, laser, and dry-sublimation.
Inkjet printers – This is the most common home printer type. As the name sounds, Inkjet printers use little jets of colored ink to print paper materials. Inkjet printers vary in printing speed and print quality. Some downsides of inkjet printing are wet and wrinkled pages, water-soluble prints, and finicky ink cartridges.
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Inkjet are the cheapest printers and their quality is the lowest of the three. But they are sufficient for most home printing tasks. The really high-quality printers are on par with the other 2 popular kinds.
Laser printers – Laser printing is a higher-quality printing technology that uses toner instead of ink. The advantages of laser printing compared to inkjet printing are numerous. Of these advantages, laser printing is faster and doesn’t need any dry time. The quality of printing is usually better as well. The prints come out hot like freshly dried clothes too.
Laser printers use cartridges, and they don’t need to be refilled as often, though they cost more than inkjet refills. This kind of printer is the workhorse of the industry.
Dry-sublimation printers – Dry-sublimation is the technology used to print photos. Dry-sublimation printers are essentially photo printers. They are the highest quality printer available at home. However, they are only appropriate for gloss images and expensive papers. They are significantly more expensive, and they are slower than the other types.
Check For Compatibility Before You Buy
Depending on what you need your printer to do, you’ll need to consider the compatibility of your devices. There are many different operating systems that users depend on in their day. Some of them are more prone to compatibility issues and need special consideration.
So are you going to be using Apple, Microsoft, Android, Chrome, or a Linux build? There are some special printers for chromebooks that resolve past issues. If you are using a Linux build, you may also need to make special considerations. More information can be found on the printer’s specifications page online.
You don’t want to end up riled up for a new printer only to find it doesn’t even work for its intended purpose. Just a few minutes of research or questioning should yield a definitive answer to your unique needs. After all, you don’t want to spend your afternoons in front of the printer looking up “pc loadletter” on your smartphone.
Consider Maintenance Costs
Maintenance cost is something that always needs to be considered when buying any piece of technology. Often people can afford to buy a device, but then find the upkeep cost is too high to justify. This is particularly true with printers. And never more so than with cartridges and cartridge refills.
Some cartridges can be really pricey. This is particularly true with laser and photo printers. Some high-quality units need many different cartridges to print color. If that’s the case, make sure you can replace each color cartridge independently from the rest. The modular replacement will save you money.
Photo printers are the most expensive and can’t be used for any bulk printing. Laser printers have expensive toner refills, but you can print the most with these types before you need to perform cartridge maintenance. This makes them very convenient for big projects.
Refills are always a cheaper option for inkjet printers, but they often don’t work as well. New generic brand refills are also an option. But the real issue is printer consumption. Some of these printers just suck the ink down and produce sopping wet pages with little software options to reduce the saturation.
That’s why it’s important to lookup refill prices and read some reviews about the printer in question, so you can discover real-life issues that are plaguing actual users.
Ensuring Your Purchase Endures
There are a few things you can do to ensure that you make a good buy.
- Have a good idea of what kind of printing you’ll be doing
- Select the best printer type
- Read reviews about the printers in your price-range
- Lookup cartridge replacement expenses online
- Balance the information you researched to make the ultimate buy
If you do all of these things, you’ll end up with a great little machine that serves the purposes you, your family, and the demands of your printing needs.