Tips for Choosing the Best Printer

Whether you need a printer for home or work, there are a number of factors you need to consider. The choice you make can have lasting repercussions, since the price of ink and other consumables is often higher than the initial cost of the printer. Taking those consumable costs into account will help you get the best deal and make the most of your money.

Besides consumable costs, there are a number of other factors you need to consider. Knowing how you will use the printer and what type of printer suits your needs is the best way to get the device you need.

Work or Home

If you plan to use your printer strictly at home, you can choose any make and model you want. Your choices might be more limited, however, if you will be using the device for work.

If your employer allows you to work from home, the company might require you to have a certain type of printer. You can check with your supervisor, or your IT department, for a list of allowable printers.

Inkjet or Laser

The choice of inkjet or laser used to be a relatively simple one. The prices of laser printers used to be prohibitively high, effectively restricting these devices to business use. These days, however, laser printers can sometimes be had for less than $100, putting them within the reach of more and more consumers.

A laser printer is a particularly good choice if you do a high volume of printing. While laser printer cartridges can be pricy, they also tend to last longer than inkjet cartridges. That can make printing more economical.

If color printing is important to you, an inkjet printer may be a better choice. While the cost of black and white laser printers has come down quite a bit, color laser printers are still quite expensive.

Standalone or All-in-One

Some printers do much more than convert your computerized documents to the printed page. All-in-one printers can also scan, copy and sometimes fax. If those extra functions are important to you, an all-in-one printer can be a smart choice.

If printing is the most important consideration, a standalone printer is probably the best choice. A standalone printer can provide a number of advantages, from faster printing to cheaper consumables.

Wireless or Wired

Many modern home printers now come with wireless capabilities, making it easier to share files and create hard copies from anywhere in your network. If you have a home network and lots of computers, a wireless printer can be a good investment.

If you just have one or two computers in your home, that wireless printing capability may not be worth the extra cost. As with all the other considerations, you need to weigh the convenience of wireless printing against the cost.

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