Things To Consider Before You Buy A Printer

By: Craig Thornburrow

When you have bought your computer then the next thing you'll want to do is buy a printer. It's a good idea to do some research before you actually go out and buy and while you’re looking there are a few things you might want to consider.

What Sort of Printer?

Most people find that their printing needs are quite well catered for by the popular inkjets. Inkjet printers work by emitting small dots of ink onto the paper. They can produce ordinary text documents with the odd splash of color or they can print out a full color photograph – although this can take a little while. Inkjets work very well for most home needs and for general business purposes. Prices for this type of printer can vary widely but generally speaking the more expensive ones work faster and produce a better quality print.

When you are looking to buy a printer then as well as the inkjet the other type is the laser printer.

Laser printers work on a similar technology to that of a photocopier where an electrical charge on the printer's drum is what produces the image. An electronic charge then pulls particles of ink into the printer. Laser printers usually produce excellent print quality and they can handle a higher volume than the inkjet. Lasers are great if you need to print a lot of documents.

Printer Variations

Printers vary in print quality and speed and not just between inkjet and laser printers. Quality and speed also vary by manufacturer. The people who make printers are constantly looking to improve the print quality and the speed at which the printer produces a document.

One of the best ways to judge the quality of the print is to go down to your local computer store and take a look. Most stores run printer demonstrations and you will be able to judge for yourself what the quality is like. Good quality printing is determined by the clarity of the text and the contrast between the colors.

The speed of a printer refers to how many pages they print in a minute. Color printing takes longer than text and the ratio is usually 12 pages of text to 10 pages of color, or thereabouts.

Running Costs

Printers have running costs because the printing ink has to be replaced. Inkjet printers work with cartridges and they cost around $30-40 to replace, although it is possible to get refillable cartridges. These are cheaper but you mustn't let the ink run out completely as this can cause problems. If you try to carry on printing you could damage the print head nozzles because some brands use heat in the printing process and the ink cools the print head nozzles. Laser printers use toner cartridges and drums. Sometimes the cheapest printer can be the most expensive in terms of running costs so you need to weigh these things up before you buy a printer.

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