Printers that are expected for home or office use must be multifunctional and versatile as there will be a ton of people who will need it. It will be used for many outputs as well, like printing essays, photos or brochures and so forth. Therefore, a tough and adaptable printer should be on your rundown.
With that being said, there are different factors that you need to keep in mind when looking for a home printer or office. These imperative factors are mentioned as follows
Printer Buying Guide
Now, this may seem redundant but it is vital to understand how you are going to use the printer. Maybe you will rely more on printing documents or more on colour prints, maybe you will not print that much and just need it for the occasion. The catch here is that there are tons of printers out there in the market but you will need the one that gets your job done and according to that you’ll have to buy.
Well before you go all busting out for printers it is important to get a fair share of an idea about printers and its types so that you can find the one that gets your job done.
Irrefutably an inkjet printer is best for all-round use. These types of printers use liquid inks to print on the paper. The innovation has now arrived at where models can print sharp content rapidly with exceptional quality photos on the paper. Some of the printers can even print on blank CDs. That covers all that anyone would require to print, which is the explanation inkjets are so acclaimed for home users.
The catch here is that inkjet printers can prove to be costly to print, especially if you use them to print photos. Inkjet ink is expensive, especially in case you buy a comparable brand as the printer maker, but that is a marketing strategy that obviously all manufacturers recommend you do.
Practically all inkjet printers can colour print, however, make certain to get one that ensures separate ink tanks for each of its four colour tones that are cyan, red, yellow and dark. This makes it easier and more affordable to finish off each one of the colours when it runs out, rather than overriding a single joined cartridge that is by and large for all intents and purposes full.
We would recommend you inkjet printer if you don’t rely too much on the printer, and you have less printing requirements.
An adversary of the inkjet printer is the laser printer, laser printers dominate at creating text reports rapidly, and low running costs make them ideal for hefty customers. For quite a while, the least expensive laser printers could just print in white and black colour tones, yet now colour models are entirely reasonable, as well.
Less expensive colour laser printers are not on a par with inkjets for printing photographs. However, they’re better to use for printing newspapers as they combine coloured documents with printing photos that are mixed with texts.
Laser printers as the name suggest are known for delivering prints that are water fast, so in case if you are looking for printing posters then consider using a laser printer.
They are also inexpensive to refill much the same as inkjet printers with the same conditions apply such as manufacturers restrictions and so forth. In case you’re purchasing a colour laser printer then make sure to search for the one that uses separate colour toner so that you can get it refilled without much of cost and time.
We would recommend you laser printer if you are not looking for some colour prints cause inkjet plays well in that domain. Having said that, if you find yourself printing regularly that too in larger quantities than a laser printer is your best shot.
Dye Sublimation Printers
In the event that all you need is to print some postcard-sized colour photographs that too from a digital camera, you should consider a dye-sub printer. These types of printers use special ink tapes and paper to produce photographs at home that you’ll battle to distinguish from those delivered by a photo lab.
Back in the days, these were the only ones used to print glossy photos, however, inkjet printers have now taken that job from them. As they are not used for anything else it makes them hard to suggest.
We would recommend getting these only if you rely on colour photos and nothing else, which is generally rare.
Ink Tank Printers
Supertank inkjet printers or otherwise known as ink tank printers shed expensive substitution of cartridges for refillable reservoirs renewed with a container of ink. These models will in general cost more straightforward in the beginning however they can set aside your cash over the long haul.
Aforementioned they have reservoirs which significantly reduce the cost of printing just because it requires less ink to replace, plus it is easy to fill the ink regardless of the price the printer is available.
Now, this printer will cost you more upfront, a regular inkjet printer could cost not exactly a large portion of that much straightforward, however, you can undoubtedly wind up spending more than that every year on ink.
Supertank printers offer a greatly improved quantifiable profit. The average user (one who prints 45 pages or more for every month) will begin setting aside cash after around two years of utilization of the printer.
After two years of use, these reservoir based printers will be less expensive than other printers. So we would recommend this printer if you rely more on printing like on a weekly basis and need it for a longer run.
Inkjet vs laser
Inkjet printers come with ink cartridges that are generally less expensive when compared with laser printers, regardless of the lower page yield. So as long as you are not using the printer to print regularly high-quality images or photos then an inkjet printer will not shell out a ton of money every time you will need new ink. At the same time will bring more remarkable photos to the table.
A laser printer, on the other hand, is more costly than an inkjet printer but they can not only offer better page yield but also great printing speed. So if you wind up regularly printing in huge amounts then a laser printer is a more commendable choice.
Block vs Individual Ink
When talking about inkjet printers it usually highlights block inks or individual inks. Individual inks (Ink tank printers) as the name suggests have a separate cartridge for each colour, so they are great for those you rely on printing regularly and need photos or documents with a single colour or letter. Also, they are easy to replace.
As far as block ink is concerned they kinda combine the main three colours into one unit. This way they tend to be cheaper than purchasing the inks individually. They are a great option for those who don’t print that regularly.
A multifunctional printer (MFP) or also known as all-in-one can print, fax, copy, and scan. They are generally available in both inkjet and laser printer variations.
For both home and office usage, these are the best ones and for good reasons. They are not just cheaper than purchasing a printer as well as a scanner, yet they don’t take up much space. They are also common so the manufacturers won’t charge much on them, thus they are the best bang for your buck.
Scanning is especially valuable as a feature of your printer since it makes it simple to scan your documents directly from your computer. Faxing is not that great as it has diminished from the business world so that additional feature is not worth considering.
Page yield simply is a way to calculate the expense of printing one or each page. This calculation is determined by standard industry guidelines. This gives you a good idea about the capacity of the cartridge. That said, the page yield is a subject to the contingency and depends on the type of pages you want to print. If you print high-quality photos then it will consume more ink than normal text documents.
Cost Per Print
Cost per print or CPP is an important factor to keep in mind, as it displays how much it is going to cost you to print one page. This basically refers to replacing ink and stuff but it is something that you should consider while looking for a home printer or for office. Supertank inkjet printers are a good player in this field as they have a low cost per print.
Print speed or PPM (Page Per Minute) determines how fast your printer can print. That may not seem important enough but is crucial for those who print on a daily basis. It saves time and effort. Nevertheless, generally for home use print speed is not that big of a factor unless you are tied by time or job, however for office prints it is needed.
PPM is different for a black and white printer which is around 15 to 20 pages. While for colour printers it is near 10 to 15 pages.
Quality of your prints is determined by DPI that stands for Dots Per Inch. So a printer with better quality DPI will provide clear, glossy, and detailed photos or pictures. That said, other factors also play a part in better quality clear images. So don’t let this alone be the definitive deciding spec.
Duty cycle represents the number of pages per month your printer can print. You will find the number mentioned on the printer with something like this “Duty Cycle 1000 pages”. For better usage, you’d generally want your number of pages printed per month less than the number. This is important if you find yourself printing regularly.
So you can use these factors as basic building blocks for printers, but they are not the only ones, if you are looking for something specific then read along.
There are a ton of connections that come with printers and nowadays there are even amazing features that help you print remotely.
- USB:- This is the most common type of connection when it comes to printers and you will find this in every single printer especially USB-A. This can allow you to connect it with other external devices and print from the printers screen without the need of a computer. Keep in mind that some printers do not support USB-C connections.
- Ethernet:- Printers with ethernet connection provide ethernet ports for internet connection. This feature is not that vital for home printers and can be helpful for certain office setups.
- Bluetooth:- This feature is also great but not so famous nowadays as so many new features have made its way. The printer can be connected with all the devices that support the Bluetooth feature.
- WiFi:- Speaking about home and office printers, most of them are designed to have wi-fi connections that help you to connect them directly with your wi-fi network. You can easily print from anywhere in your house as long as your device and printer are connected with the wi-fi network. This is the most convenient feature for home users as well as for those working from home apart from office space.
- Wi-Fi Direct:- This feature provides a wireless connection without any wi-fi network or signal. It establishes a signal between your printer and device. Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print are good examples of this feature. This is safer and faster, just what you need in your home printer.
- Apple Airprint:- Airprint comes as a built-in feature in most of the recent apple products, this feature allows you to print directly from the IOS product.
- Google Cloud Print:- Google’s cloud print is available in all of the android devices and allows you to print from either phone or tablet. To get started, just simply log-in to your Google or Gmail account.
- NFC:- NFC or otherwise known as Near Field Communication is a type of feature that is available in some printers. This lets you connect with your printer by simply touching the printer at a specified area with your smartphone or device.
- SD-Cards:- Some printers also have dedicated sd card slots that you can use to insert your cards and get your prints by using the printers menu screen. This feature is best for photographers as they can directly transfer their photos through sd card.
- Email Printing:- Now, this feature is not so common and is available in some of the printers. It facilitates the user to connect printers with any email device, and once connected it can print any documents or photos it receives.
Duplexing or also known as two-sided printing is a common feature that should be considered and is not always available with most of the printers. What this does is, it lets you print or scan on both the sides of the paper without turning them every time which you will inevitably do if this feature is excluded.
Most of the multifunctional printers come with an ADF (Automatic Document Feeder) feature that is really handy. This feature allows you to scan or copy through numerous documents at the same time without manually inserting them.
All printers can print with the common papers but what about index cards or envelopes or other unusual sizes of paper? Thanks to modern printers most of them include a separate tray to print special types of paper. This is a good feature for home users as sometimes uncertain situations show up and we might have to print in an unusual size.
Optical character recognition or abbreviated to OCR is a feature that you will find in most of the multifunctional printers and scanners. This feature helps you to convert a scanned document into a Word file that can be easily edited on a computer or a tablet.
Os stands for an operating system, it is important to check whether the printer supports your os. Most of the printers support windows and mac, but if you are a Linux user then make sure that it is supported by the printer you seek to buy. This is mostly important for laser printers.
There is an old mantra in the business world that says “Give them the Razor, Sell them the Blades” and this mantra is absolutely perfect in the printer industry. How you may ask? It is because many printer manufacturers attract the customers with low deals on the devices while charging them the most on the replacement supplies or in this case ink cartridges.
So it is important that you figure out how much it is going to cost when the replacement cartridge finally runs out. So that when it does you are already ready or you have the perfect printer to counter that like for example super tank inkjet printer and so forth.
You have to invest in a printer that offers a good warranty, this way it ensures any accidental damage or problems to your printer. What’s more important is to find out what is included in the after-sale service, traditionally in most of the cases, a warranty will cover almost everything related to the device while excluding the network in which it operates.
Frequently Asked Questions about Printers
Why printed colours look dissimilar from the colours on the screen?
Printers and monitors work on two different principals. While printers use RGB (red, green, blue) colour models to support a wider spectrum of colours. Printers, on the other hand, use CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) colour model, which cannot produce all colours in the RGB colour model. CMYK matches 85–90% of the colours in the RGB model and if a color doesn’t match, it chooses the nearest matching colour.
At what resolution should you save graphics and photos?
To get the best resolution, you should set the final image to 300 dpi. Most of the images you draw from the internet is as low as 72 dpi, which will appear pixilated and blocky. As far as the mode is concerned, save it in CMYK mode instead of RGB mode.
Which is better laser or inkjet?
When it comes to coloured photos, Inkjet printers are the best option. On the other hand, if you work with monochrome photos with higher PPM, go for laser printers. Even laser printers are coming with colour options, but it’s going to be expensive.
Do laser printers dry out?
Laser printers use toners instead of ink, which is used in inkjet printers. Toners don’t tend to dry. So, you don’t have to worry about dried ink any more. If you are not a regular user and leave the printer for long, laser printers are your option.
If you want a printer for a small office or home, you don’t need to buy something super expensive and huge. Go for a compact printer with a speed of 30 ppm. The best one here in terms of home usage is Canon Pixma E477 Wireless Printer.
And, if you are looking for a compact printer for office use, then pick the Epson EcoTank L3150 Printer. Eventually, what you choose depends on your individual requirement.