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How to Choose a Printer

You’ve bought your computer, and you’ve got it set up on your desk. What’s missing? The most popular item that’s bought to go with a computer, is a printer. The trouble is there are so many different types, so how do you pick one which is right for you? Read on for a simple guide to help you choose.


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Home or Office

When choosing a printer the first step is to decide whether it will be a home printer, one that the family can use, or an office printer. Office printers are mainly used to print documents, usually in multiple copies, whereas home printers can be used to print anything from party invitations, to photos of your pet and even shopping lists.

Laser Printers

Offices generally use laser printers, as they offer high quality plain text. While initially slower than other printers due to the way they work, subsequent copies from the same document are printed a lot faster. The yield from a toner cartridge is vastly superior to standard inkjet machines, making them ideal for large output printing. Replacement toner cartridges are more expensive than other types so it may be worthwhile to buy HP parts online. Available in both mono and color, they can be ideal depending on the work you do. However it’s worth considering that color laser printers are generally three times the price of mono ones. Saying that, you may only ever print plain text, in which case a mono one will be more than adequate.

All in One Printers

As the title suggests, these printers offer features other than just printing. They also have an inbuilt document scanner. Which means you can scan documents onto your computer and the files can be attached to an email. You can also use the all in one printer as a photocopy machine, this can be useful in a small office environment where space is a premium. The all in one has also effectively replaced the outdated fax machine.

Inkjet Printers

As the name implies, these printers use a very fine jet to spray ink onto the paper. Not as crisp or precise as a laser printer, they are more suitable for a home environment. Inkjet printers are generally at the low end of the budget scale, and usually come with only four ink colors (cyan, magenta, yellow and black).

Photo Printers

A step up from the inkjet printer, these printers offer a vastly higher resolution suitable for photographic quality. Higher end models offer the ability to print directly from your camera using Wi-Fi, or by inserting a memory card. Images can then be viewed from a small onboard monitor, meaning that you don’t even have to switch on your computer to print. They are also very capable of printing documents using a lower quality setting, which saves on ink. Using a photo printer at its highest setting can be expensive due to the amount of ink it needs. Though this can work out significantly cheaper than paying to have them printed elsewhere.

Whichever type of printer you choose to buy, it might be worth checking one of the many online review sites to help you decide.