The Type of Printer That You Need
The type of printer that you need to purchase depends on the amount of printing job it will be required to accommodate. Determine what types of documents you are going to print and how often you will be printing them. You must also consider the tasks at hand and think whether you will only be printing, or is there a need for other functions such as scanning as well. Here are a few key points you must consider when looking for a home printer:
Inkjet Printer vs. Laser Printer
Basically, there are two types of printers available in the market: inkjet or laser. The main difference lies in how these two transpose text or images on paper. Inkjet printers use liquid ink that are sprayed through micronozzles, while laser printers use coloured powder stored in cartridges and are heat-fused onto the paper. Each type has its own pros and cons and preference will depend on the required printing job.
Inkjet printers are reliable in terms of multiple functionality as these are good all-rounders. They also have less expensive up-front prices but have higher running costs. For people considering space constraints, inkjet printers may be the preferred type as these come in more compact versions than laser printers. In terms of printing quality, inkjet printers are better at printing photos.
Laser printers, on the other hand, produce better quality when printing documents. They are more expensive than inkjet printers but also have a low cost per page when considering long term operation. One downside to owning a laser printer is its bulkier build. Laser printers are bigger in dimension and, therefore, take up bigger spaces at home.
Single Function Printer vs. All-in-One Printer
If you think that the promises of convenience an all-in-one device presents would push single function printers out of the market, then it’s time to take a look at the market options again. As all things have pros, there must also be cons. Hence, some people still prefer the former over the latter.
When talking about single function printers, these are equipment that have a function dedicated solely to one thing – that is, printing; whereas, all-in-one or multifunction printers are devices that allow you to print, scan, copy, and even fax. What advantages do single function printers have and why do people still buy them? For one, these printers are offered at a significantly cheaper initial price. If you know that you won’t be doing any scanning, faxing, and copying, then why spend more for these functions? If you know that you are only going to shelf these features, then there is totally no point in shelling out extra for them. Another thing is, by focusing only on one task, single function printers tend to perform better at their job. This means better print quality and faster printing speed. For people who are into printing businesses, this means higher productivity. Also, in case the device does suffer a malfunction, there will be lower maintenance costs because only one utility is affected. Now, for the downside. What could convince you to go for the single function printers could be the same thing that convinces you not to – its singular functionality. While this promises better performance, this also means that the printer’s function is limited. Nobody wants limited capabilities, unless, of course, there’s a really good compromise. In this case, it could be an outstanding printing output or a really good bargain price. Along the course of events, in any case, you realize you need extra functions such as scanning or faxing after buying a single function printer you will have no choice but to purchase additional equipment and allot additional space for these new devices. Therefore, it is important to have your mind made up before deciding to go for this option.
Let’s go to multifunction printers or those that have all-in-one functionalities. These printers are equipped with printing, scanning, copying, and faxing mechanisms. However, these added features do come for free as AIOs are sold at a much heftier up-front price. One disadvantage, though, is that you have all these functions cramped up into one device, thereby saving you space and valuable cash. Imagine buying one printer, one scanner, one copy machine, and one fax machine and lining them all up in your home office. How impractical is that? In terms of connectivity, multifunction printers or MFPs are actually at an advantages. Most MFPs nowadays support Ethernet, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and USB connections, making printing easier and more convenient. This also allows people to print directly from their mobile devices without having to open and set up a computer. With this, MFPs are more suitable for people on the go. However, there are underlying drawbacks to choosing an MFP. If one function needs repair, this means that the whole unit becomes unusable. This also means that there will be higher maintenance costs because it’s all-for-one and one-for-all after all. The same is true if you ever want to have one feature upgraded. You either upgrade the whole printer unit or you don’t upgrade at all.
After considering all the pros and cons, it is equally important to also have foresight and think about how you want your printer to serve you in the long run. If you’ve resolved to have the printer focus only on printing and that you won’t need it for any other purpose, then purchase a single function one. However, if you think that your needs might expand into scanning and copying, then a good decision would be to buy an all-in-one printer.
These considerations will guide you into identifying the features you want in a printer and the best type of printer to purchase. There are other factors to consider, but these will be discussed in detail later on in the article.