Printer Buying Guide: All You Need to Know

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Welcome to our buying guide special series, in this series we take you through the very basic and important options that you need to keep in mind before you head out to buy a gadget. In this edition, we are presenting you with a printer buying guide.

Yes, Printers are now very common because now they offer cool functionality and are more affordable. So, if you are planning to buy a printer make sure you keep these things in mind and read the complete printer buying guide here.

Printer Buying Guide

The printer buying guide is important as, Over the past few years, the Pinter market is seeing a very intense competition between brands like HP, Epson, Brother, and Canon. This has made the prices drop down and companies have introduced some really cool features. So, it becomes a little confusing to select the right one. So here are some things to keep in mind. First of all, decide on what purpose you are going to buy a printer. It can be for personal use, for office purposes, or for something else, like in a shop or somewhere.

Printer

There are many types of printers that are available out there and they all serve different functionalities and let’s discuss them. And know some stuff about printers by this printer buying guide.

Type of Printers

Inkjet Printers

These are the most common and cheap printers available out there. The inkjet printers spray ink on paper to print photos and it uses ink that is stored in the cartridge. So, what’s wrong? Well, a lot of things.

First of all, the cartridges are very expensive and if you are a frequent user, you will have to buy them often. Second, The ink in the cartridge will dry if you will not use the printer regularly, the build quality is poor. It has low page yield and it will not print if any cartridge is missing. It’s a thing of the past, to be honest, and the only good thing is that it is cheap.

If you just print a few papers a week, only then you might consider it otherwise these types of printers are a big NO! and you will end up replacing them soon if you will buy the Inkjet printer.

Ink Tank Printers

Ink Tank printers are kind of new and better in the market and they are almost like the Inkjet printers, but these seem to have resolved the issue of expensive cartridge and low page yield.

These printers have an ink tank on the side that you can refill. So, if any of the colors goes out, you can refill it individually. These printers are great if you print a lot of stuff and initially, they might cost a little more, but these are very economical over time.

Ink Tank printers print better photos, have a high page yield, ink costs are lower compared to Inkjet printers. The only thing is that you don’t get new printheads every time you refill the ink. And the feeder tube clogs sometimes but these are not very big issues.

If you are a student or have a small local business, Ink Tank printers are a really great option for you as they will be more economical and useful for you.

Laser Printers

The laser printers work on a completely different mechanism, they use heated drums, toner to get the ink and stuff to work. The cartridge for this one is very expensive, but it evens out as the page yield is also very high.

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The printers have a very high page yield, prints are fast, you have the option to replace cartridge individually, superb build quality, the good thing is that its ink won’t dry out if you will not use it for long. The downside is that photo printing is not that vibrant, and these printers are quite expensive.

Printing Cost

When it comes to printers, you need to see the long-term game. Just don’t fall for the cheap ones and then pay high amounts for cartridges. To give you an idea, in general printing a piece of paper from each type of printer will cost you as follows:

Type of PrinterPrinting Cost per Paper (in INR)
Inkjet Printer5-15
Ink Tank Printer0.7-1.5
Laser Printer0.5-2
The lower end is for monochrome prints and the higher end is for colored prints.

As you can see the cheapest cost of printing a paper comes from Ink Tank printers, then Laser printers, and Inkjet are the most expensive.

Resolution

Printers have a thing called DPI and it is like pixels in displays. So more DPI means better quality of prints. Usually, 72DPI is ideal for monochrome prints and 150DPI for color prints. 300DPI is the recommended printing quality for Photos. The more high-quality prints you decide to generate, the more ink they will consume. So, it is also important to pay attention to DPI while printing and selecting a printer.

Speed

If you have a lot of stuff to print and distribute, then the printing speed is an important factor. If you print a lot of monochrome pages, just consider getting the Laser printers as they are very fast at printing while the Inkjet and Ink Tank printers are slow.

Paper Tray

Just see the number of papers a printer can hold, because if it less than the amount of paper you print daily, go for the printer with a bigger tray. It is important as you will be irritated if you have to fill papers again and again.

Added Functionality

Although the majority of the Ink Tank and Laser printers already have scanning and photo-copying support integrated to them, it is still important to keep in mind that you get the printer will scanning and photo-copying feature.  

Some Other Things to Note

See for the wi-fi support in the printer. With wi-fi support, you will be able to print your photos wirelessly from your phone and PC and that is very useful functionality. And importantly, don’t fall for some fancy displays on printer, and some extra ports. These things just add up in cost and do not provide any good functionality.

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So, these were some of the things that you should keep in mind before you buy and printer. If you liked this printer buying guide, do let us know in the comments.

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tango
tango
Humanities Student from a small city, really interested in tech and computers. Here at Techlatest I do tech blogging and always ready to learn something new.

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