Best Printer Brands – Things You Need to Know Before Buying
You are looking for a new printer, but you don’t know what to buy or which brands to trust. Let me help you with this buying guide for a printer. There are three main types of printers: Inkjet, laser, and dot-matrix printers. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages so it’s important that you keep in mind what your needs are before deciding on the best printer for your needs. Read on to find out more…
- 1) One of the most popular types of printers these days is inkjet printers – they use an inkjet print head and cartridge system in order to produce high quality images at great speeds (often around 22 pages per minute). Unlike laser printers, printers using inkjet technology require the use of cartridges (or ink tanks) which are filled with ink and then replaced when empty. The cartridges are designed to hold a certain amount of ink before it needs to be replaced, so there’s no need to worry about running out of ink. However, the cost of these cartridges is on average around $50 but it varies depending on the model you buy.
- 2) The second type of printer is laser printers – they use an all-in-one unit which includes the print head and print media in order to produce high quality images at great speeds (often around 38 pages per minute). As with inkjet printers, laser printers also require the use of cartridges (or ink tanks) which are filled with ink and then replaced when empty. However, the cartridges are designed to last longer than cartridges for inkjet printers, lasting around 10,000 pages before needing to be replaced. Some laser printers have a variety of different paper input options such as roll paper or flat paper and some others can even handle copy or fax functions. Price-wise these range from $80 to $600 but again it depends on the model you choose.
- 3) Dot matrix printers – these printers print using a dot matrix printer which uses black ink on white paper to produce images at great speeds – often around 15 pages per minute. There’s no need for any ink tanks or cartridges as the paper is run through a ribbon which is what leaves behind the print. The paper rolls have a line of holes down each side with which the printer head interacts to create dots on the printed page. Dot matrix printers are generally cheap to buy, but they do require your computer to be connected directly with a parallel or serial cable in order for you to print, so they’re not ideal if you want something portable that you can take anywhere (ie. printing from home to work). Also, dot matrix printers don’t tend to print in color and the quality of their images just isn’t as high as with other types of printers. These can be bought for as little as $50 to as much as $200.
So those are the three different kinds of printers available. As you can see, there are many different types of printers to choose from with pros and cons for each. There are some other printers which you may want to consider such as the dot matrix portable printers or those that are built in with laptops with a built-in printer – these will be the subject of another article either in this newsletter or in a separate one.
Now that you know about all the different types of printers, let’s get on to what you’re looking for in your new printer!
FIRST OF ALL: YOU MUST KNOW YOUR NEEDS BEFORE YOU BUY! I recommend that you check out this printer buying guide before deciding on a model. Also, take into account your budget. There are many different brands and models available so try to stick to the ones which fall under your price range and have features that you need.
What does a good printer look like? This will help you to decide what type of printer to buy.
- Easy to setup and use – if the instructions are hard to follow or there are too many steps involved in using it, you’ll find that you’re less likely to feel confident about using it and therefore it will become less useful. It also becomes more annoying for the person who is setting it up.
- Works with whatever software you use – a word processor should print from this without any problems, a graphics program should print from this without any problems, and so on…
- Can print on a wide range of paper – ideally it should be able to handle plain, colored, heavy, and light paper (and whatever else you might have lying around) without any problems.
- Good quality output – you want to be sure that the image you are printing looks good and that it’s not blurry or smudged. After all, if your printer is good enough for photos then you would want your photos to come out top quality.
- Fast printing – nowadays most people don’t want to wait 10 minutes while their printer prints a page or two of text. It should be able to handle small jobs such as envelopes effectively.
So what would be a good printer for you? First, you have to decide what features you want. Do you want a laser printer or an inkjet? Do you need to copy things or do faxes or print faxes? You need to get all of these out of the way before deciding on a model – otherwise you’ll just be going round in circles. Once these are established, here are some suggestions:
- 1) Brother Laser Printers – they’re very popular due to their reliability and great quality output. They come in two types: monochrome (black only) and color (these products are always laser printers). This type of printer comes with a color inkjet print head which means that they’re not only good for printing, but they can be used for photocopying as well as faxing. The downside of this kind of printer is that there are no toner replacements so you will have to replace the whole cartridge every few months. You may also want to look at Brother’s line of plain laser printers instead – these don’t have the same high quality photo reproduction capabilities, but are perfect for printing basic text documents and other everyday tasks.
- 2) Lexmark Printers – these provide high quality output and are very reliable. They come in two types: monochrome (black only) and color (these products are always laser printers). The downside of these products is that there are no toner replacements so you will have to replace the whole cartridge every few months.
- 3) HP Printers – these are great for basic home use. The downside is that there are no toner replacements so you will have to replace the whole cartridge every few months. However, the upside is that they’re priced very reasonably and provide excellent quality output. Brother and Lexmark also offer this type of printer.
- 4) Epson Printers – they’re known for their extremely precise quality output and their relatively low price compared to other printers. They come in two types: monochrome (black only) and color (these products are always laser printers). The downside of these products is that there are no toner replacements so you will have to replace the whole cartridge every few months.
- 5) Canon Pixma Printers – fantastic quality output, especially in photo reproduction and this printer comes in two types: monochrome (black only) and color (these products are always laser printers). The downside of these products is that there are no toner replacements so you will have to replace the whole cartridge every few months. However, this unit is extremely reliable and robust, although it’s no longer being made by Canon and is now made by Epson. You may also want to search for a cheap refurbished one if you’re on a budget.
- 6) Laser Printers – these have a higher rate of failure so they tend to have a higher upfront cost. They’re also very expensive to repair. If you do choose this type of printer it’s best to buy from a manufacturer that offers a generous warranty and support system, like Dell or HP, and ensure you purchase high quality toner such as Samsung.
- 7) Kodak Printers – they used to be the best in the business, but Kodak has really dropped the ball with this product line. Their quality is now only a few steps above most discount brand printers. So, if you have any printers that say Kodak on them and they’re not from their professional line of products, I feel confident in suggesting that you replace them.