Printer Guide: Don’t Get the Wrong Printer

While it seems that people are moving towards a paperless society, the need for paper copies still exists. That is why almost every office needs a printer and even home offices have the occasional need to print. Printers can also be important at home if you need to print coupons, documents or recipes. You may even want to print your own photos with a photo printer. Here is a look at some of the things to consider to help you decide which printer to buy.

>> Consider where you will place the printer

One of the first things to consider on how to buy a printer is where it will be placed. You will need the right size area for it and a stable foundation to keep the printer level and steady. You also need to make sure there is access to an electrical outlet, the network and an internet connection. You may need a phone line close by. These are all priorities if you are buying a wired printer. If you do not have that kind of space, a wireless printer might be the best printer for your needs. Wireless printers do need an internet connection.

>> Consider the size of your printer based on your space

Once you have determined where you will place the printer, you need to measure it to make sure you buy one that fits in that area. When you shop printers, you will find many different sizes. Some of them are large enough to be placed on the floor, while others will fit on a table. You can even find desk printers that will either fit on your desk or on a shelf under it.

>> Decide if you need a black and white printer or color printer

If you will only be printing text documents, you may be able to purchase a black and white printer. These types of printers are often less expensive than the ones that provide color copies. A color printer will be needed if you plan to print out color documents, charts or pictures.

>> Choose the type of printing capabilities

There are two main ways that a printer does its printing job. When deciding on the best printer for your needs, this will be a consideration because of the way they work and the results.

Inkjet printers are the most popular choice for the different types of printers. They work by dropping individual drops of ink onto the paper. They provide great detail and can often print photo-quality images. They are quiet to operate and take very little time to warm up.

The second option that is popular in printers today is laser printers. They move a laser beam over a drum to copy an image to the paper so that the image is transferred all at once instead of one letter or word at a time. Because of this method, they print much faster than inkjet models. Printing in color takes longer than black and white but the fastest laser printers are capable of producing 100 or 200 pages per minute.

>> Choose the speed of the printer -number of pages per minute

When you are looking for the best printer for you, the number of pages it can print will be an important consideration. If you work in a large office with multiple computers hooked up to the printer, you'll need one with a fast output. Otherwise, everyone will be waiting to get their printed pages and the office will lose efficiency.

On the other hand, if you have a home office or you are looking at which printer to buy for your home use, you can find one that prints fewer pages per minute to be sufficient. The fastest commercial laser printers can print over 100 pages per minute, but the average is 30 ppm and that is considered acceptable. Many different types of printers for consumers print only 8 or 10 pages per minute. It is also important to note that color printers will take longer to print color pages than black and white. When checking the print speed, you'll want to find out the speed of the type of printing you do most of the time.

>> Decide if you want a multifunction printer
Many printers come with other features that may be important to an office or home office. The best printer can often do other functions such as sending faxes, scanning documents or making copies. When you shop printers, look at the different combinations to decide what works best for you.

Many printers have a copy function that allows them to make black and white or color copies in addition to printing the original. Some multifunction printers may also be able to send and receive faxes. Another function you can choose in the different types of printers is the ability to print photos. While almost any printer can print a photo, only special printers can print them with photo quality.

>> Decide what quality and type of work you will print

The next thing to think about for which printer to buy is what kind of quality you need the printed documents to be. If you are printing for your own personal use, you may be less picky than if the documents are to be given to a client or shown to others. When you look at printer features, you'll want to check the resolution. This determines how clear and crisp the printing looks on the paper. For professional documents, you'll want a higher resolution. Anything over 1440 dpi or dots per inch is considered to be good quality.

Another thing to look at with a printer comparison is what kind of documents you'll be printing. Printers are designed to handle standard letter-size paper. Some of them are also capable of printing legal-size documents or even larger documents. Others can print on envelopes or labels. Not every printer can print non-standard documents, so you'll want to find out what trays are available. Choosing the best printer for you depends on several factors, including the operating system you have. Most printers work with either Mac or Windows but a few special varieties may be limited. Until everything is truly paperless, a printer will be an essential part of every office or home office.

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