Buying Laser and Inkjet Printers – 10 Quick Buying Tips
1. First decide what kind of documents you will print. Color, monochrome, text, graphics or photos. If you will print black text and won’t need color, you may want to go for a monochrome laser printer which offers the best text quality and speed. But if you’ll print high resolution photos you may want an inkjet printer which offers the best photo and graphics quality. If you want true photo quality outputs, go for the photo inkjet printers that specialize in photo printing.
2. Inkjet printers may seem affordable, but consider the cost of ink cartridges too. Before you buy your inkjet printer, check the prices and yields of the ink cartridges and find out an estimate monthly cost according to the number of pages you will print in a month.
3. Laser printer toner cartridges prices will be higher than inkjet cartridges prices. But toner cartridges last much longer which makes their cost per page less in the long term.
4. Bear in mind that the speeds stated by the manufacturers are often higher than real life speeds. Inkjet or laser printers’ print speeds may vary depending on many factors such as print mode, system configuration, page coverage, document complexity and software. A typical inkjet printer print speed may vary between 1 to 28 ppm for black text and 1 to 20 ppm for color photo or graphics. A mid-range monochrome laser printer’s print speed may vary between 6 to 25 ppm for sharp black texts and 2 to 20 ppm for black & white graphics. A typical color laser printer’s print speed will vary between 6 to 20 ppm for black text and 1 to 12 ppm for color graphics.
5. If you print a large number of documents each month, make sure the inkjet or laser printer’s monthly duty cycle is high enough to cover your needs. Duty Cycle means number of pages a printer is able to handle in a month.
6. Don’t spend extra money on some special features that you will not need. For instance if you are a home user you may not need a laser or inkjet printer with an Ethernet port (most monochrome laser printers have Ethernet ports).
7. Check the connectivity specs (USB port etc.) of the printer. Make sure the printer is compatible with your computer.
8. Some laser or inkjet printers come with enough memory to print anything you’ll need. These printers do not allow memory upgrades. Others that do allow memory upgrades may not come with enough memory. So check if the inkjet printer has enough memory for the types of documents you will print.
9. Choose a laser or inkjet printer with enough paper capacity. So you won’t have to keep adding paper. For example, if you print 20 pages a day, get an inkjet or laser printer that holds 100 pages, so you won’t need to add paper before 5 days.
10. Make sure that the manufacturer of the inkjet or laser printer provides convenient tech support and driver updates on their website.