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How to Choose the Right Printer for Your Computer

How to Select the Right Printer

There are a lot of options and types of printers on the market today. The two major types of printers on the market are ink jet which is primarily used in homes and laser printers mainly used in business. The types of printers are endless and this guide will narrower your options and provide considerations.

Printer Brands and Types

The major question is which printer I should buy. There are many brands of printers to choose from: HP, Lexmark, Epson, Cannon, Brother, and more. Printer types include:

* Ink Jet: principally used in homes

* Laser: largely used in offices and some homes
* Label Makers: office and home use
* All-in-One: printer, copies, scanner
* Photo: print photos from camera or memory card
* Mobile: laptops
* Large Format: commercial
* Point of Sale: commercial

Considerations and Features

The major consideration is the purpose of the printer; this will help you select the features you need. Considerations include:

* Text Speed: normally used for text, then you need it to be fast
* Quality: photos and color graphics
* Resolution: ink jet 600 X 600 dpi and higher, laser 600 x 1200 dpi and greater
* Media: slots for memory cards
* Connectors: cameras, computers, networks
* Network: wireless, hardwired
* Paper Tray: capacity
* Memory: printer storage, RAM

Printer Cartridges

The ink cartridges you use in the printer are the biggest expense you will have over time with a printer. Laser printer ink cartridges are the most expensive, although discounts are available for returning empty cartridges. Ink Jet ink cartridges are not cheap and do not last long. The best way to make them last longer is use the draft mode for everyday work.

When buying ink cartridges find out the typical number of printed pages expected from the cartridge. This varies for ink jet and laser will normally last 6000 pages for monochrome.

Uses of Printers

Laser printers are usually used for big jobs in businesses because of their economy of scale, typically $0.02 per page. Ink jet is the staple for home users, because they typically print in less volume and in color.

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Range of Prices

Prices range from less than $120 to $13,000 and sometimes more.

Buying a Printer

Once you have narrowed your printer choice(s) visit your local store and check out its features:

* Controls: ease of use
* Weight: for mobile printers
* Size: foot print – amount of space it takes up on desk or stand, mobile printers
* Options: make sure the options meet you demands
* Speed: speed is based text on use and quality of color print
* Inputs: wireless or hard wired, network capable
* Sound: how noisy is the printer in operation