Need some help when looking for a printer
Published: September 12, 2007
Every week someone says to me. I need a printer. When looking for a printer you need to decide what you want to do with your printouts. That is do you just want to print documents or documents and photos or high quality photos and documents.
If you are looking for mostly documents then the first question you need to ask is do I need a laser printer or an Ink Jet printer. A laser printer uses a powder ink called toner. It works by having a laser beam heat a round drum as the drum turns the part that the laser touched gets coated with toner. The toner is then fused onto the paper. Laser printers print multiple pages much faster than Ink Jet printer. The cost per page is usually much less than an Ink Jet printer. The inexpensive under $200 laser printers only print black and white. If you want colour you can purchase a colour laser printer for around $500. These are good for colour text and some images but not if you are looking to produce photo images.
If you are looking for documents and Photo’s or even high quality photo’s you need to look at Ink Jet printers. Ink Jet printers operate by spraying a very fine stream of wet ink onto the paper. If you are looking to print some Photo’s and some documents you may want to look at an Ink Jet printer that uses Black ink and three colours. For just a little more money you can get an Ink Jet Printer that uses Black and five colours. This will give you high quality photos. When printing photos you should always use photo paper. This paper does not absorb the ink like regular paper and has a reflective property that makes your photo’s come to life.
When looking for a printer you should always look into the price of ink and supplies. Laser toner usually costs $100-$400 however it prints far more pages than Ink Jet ink. You will also need to find out if the laser has a drum with the ink or if you need to purchase a drum every 3-4 times you purchase ink. If you decide on a colour laser you will need to buy toner for each colour. In most cases replacing toner will cost more than you paid for the printer.
You may be able to find ink jet printers for $50+ however when you look into the cost of ink you may find that it will cost you $75 to replace the ink. You may be able to purchase generic ink for some printers for far less than the branded ink. Epson and Cannon printers generally have the best price on replacement ink.
Finally before you buy check out the manufactures website for rebates. Most of the major manufactures will have some sort of rebate. Sometimes it’s just on the printer and other times if you bundle the printer with something else. These rebates can make a high quality photo printer sell for the cost of a cheap printer. Why do they do this? It’s the ink. If you print photo’s you will use more ink.
About the Author
Evan Freedman is an author for The Computer Geek Custom Web Page Design and for CSSZafco.com, distributor of computers and accessories. Evan has been diagnosing and fixing computer for over 25 years. Please visit the site to view a huge assortment of Computer Technology.