Things to consider when buying a printer

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Should I get an Inkjet or Laser printer

When coming into printers for the first time, we can be overwhelmed at the range of printer that’s out there and we have a hard making a decision as to which printer we are going to get, as all looks good to us.

This guide aims to give a newbie to printers an idea on which type of printer to get, there are a lot of advantages and disadvantages to the printers that we will be discussing on this article, the trick to getting a printer that’s best for you, is to think of the type of prints that you will be making and getting one that can give all that.

Here are a few questions that you need to ask yourself before deciding which type of printer that you be getting.

a). How much money am I looking to spend on my printer?

b). How often will I be printing?

c). On what kind of material will I be printing on?

d). At what speed do I need to be printing my materials?

e). Will I be printing graphic materials?

f). Cost of maintenance (toners, cartridges and parts)

Above a few questions that you will need to ask before we look into the types of printer that’s available. Budget is a very important factor in this choosing, the pricier the printer, the better it performs and also, expensive printers prints faster.

Find the right compromise for your budget.

I am assuming that most of the readers of this articles are not looking for industrial grade printers, industrial grade printers are a class of their own and needs a separate article on its own.

Most readers of this articles are either going to be buying a printer for Home use or office use and some graphic designers also will be included here.

If you are using printers for home use, here are some uses that you are going to be using it for.

Home use

1). Printing documents

2). Printing images

3). Printing CD’s

4). Printing high graphics prints (If you are a graphic designer)

Office Use

1). Printing documents in high volumes

2). Printing graphics in high volumes

3). Printing on different kinds and sizes of papers.

There are two main types of printers that are available in the consumer market.

Inkjet and Laser printes. Both have different advantages and disadvantages over one another.

Let’s look at each of the type of printer and what they are best used for.

Laser printer

Laser printers uses laser technology to guide the ink onto the paper

Laser printer
Laser printer

Inkjet printer

Uses tiny spray nozzles with a magnet guiding the magnetically charged ink onto the paper, the nozzle sprays the ink and the magnet guides it onto the paper.

Inkjet printer

 

Myth: Inkjet because it is slower, it uses lesser ink than laser printers, this is untrue, Inkjet printers uses more ink over time and is a bit expensive in terms of ink maintenance, this can be a tradeoff for Inkjet printers.

Laser printer

Advantages

  • Speed: Laser printer prints faster that Inkjet printers
  • Prints high quality text and graphics
  • Does not produce buzzing sound
  • Cheaper ink

Disadvantages

  • Large in size
  • Expensive

Inkjet printers

Advantages

  • Can print different kinds of media (paper, cd, DVD’s)
  • Small in size

Disadvantages

  • Small in size
  • Print is not as high quality as a Laser printer
  • Pricier ink
  •  

So now that we have covered the two types of printers and what they are good for, its time for you to decide which kind you should get.

Choosing a printer is not really hard, even if you make a mistake, they are not really that expensive and still you can use that printer even if its slow or for whatever reason you chose it wrongly for.

Here are recommendations on the type of printer you should get

Home use:

If you are using a printer for home use, most probably, you are going to be printing documents mostly in black and white, some colored images from time to time, maybe you are operating a t-shirt business or a home recording studio and you are printing a cd’s.

My recommendation for home use, is to get an inkjet printer.

My reasons:

Inkjet printers are slow and inexpensive and also takes up the least amount of space as opposed to laser printers which can be huge in size.

Inkjet printers can also print on Cd’s and t-shirt paper print.

If, however, you have the money to get a high-performance printer, maybe you are a graphic designer and need to print on glossy paper, with high colored, graphics full print, get a laser printer.

Office

Office printers will need to be a high performing one as you will be printing high volumes of paper prints at high speed.

Office printers also need to be all in one, printer, copier, scanner.

Get a laser printer if you are buying a printer for office use, they can print large number of documents at very high speed and usually come with other addon like, scanning and copying ability.

It also won’t hurt if you get an inkjet printer for your office, this is if your printer will be used solely by you and not your colleagues.

Furthermore, some inkjet printers perform as good as laser printers.

Budget wise, most businesses will be able to afford laser printers as there are a lot of consumer grade inexpensive laser printers out there.

So, my recommendation for business use of printer, is to get a laser printer.

Summary

We all have our printer needs and uses of printers, with the variety of printers out there, choosing a good printer will avoid frustrations as some printers are simply not meant for the type of use that we are buying it for.

There are two types of consumer grade printers, inkjet and laser printer. Inkjet is a bit slower, prints different kinds of media but is cheaper and takes up less space.

Laser printer on the other hand, is high speed, huge sized and have cheaper ink that is why, it is recommend that laser printers be used in businesses.

There’s no hard rule about this, you could still get an inkjet printer for your business and a laser printer for use at home, its all about your preference, now that you are informed, its time for you to make a decision, which one are you getting?

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