GeneChips - Best Technology Product Reviews
Search
GeneChips is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Printer Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Printer for You?

  • 15 Sep 2021 15:36
  • 120

Choosing the finest printers for home or work may appear straightforward, but there are a lot to consider. Do you prefer an inkjet all-in-one printer or a black-and-white laser printer? A compact machine that fits into a laptop bag, or a photo printer capable of producing everything from photos to frame-worthy prints? 

We can help you choose the perfect printer for your needs, whether you want to stick to simple document printing or buy something that can also handle copies, scans, and faxes.

Types of printers

There are many different types of printers on the market nowadays; therefore, we will focus on the most common and best accessible types in the following segments.

1. Laser printers

This is Gary Starkweather laser printing system's initial printing type, which was released in 1971. It uses laser technology to print text, pictures, graphics on various paper sizes. Laser printers are commonly used in businesses, households and for minor tasks due to some extraordinary characteristics, such as quick printing speed, low noise printing, printing quality and more. Let us explain to you the function of a laser printer.

The essential parts of a laser printer include a laser light beam, the drum, the toner cartridges and most importantly, the paper tray. Basically, when you want to print something, digital information is transmitted through a laser beam striking at a drum, which is rolling through an ink toner reservoir where a special coating layer of the drum automatically attaches ink, and then the ink is permanently marked on the paper rolling besides the drum, transforming the computer language into physical sheets.

2. LED printers

The LED printer is almost like laser printers, except a point that LED (light-emitting diode - LED) lights are taken from the source, and less moving elements. A LED printer is another form of computer printer. Many businesses had tried to adopt LED technology into printers, but OKI was the first company to ever make a success. Until now, this is still one of the most advanced printing technologies.

The LED printer functions similarly to a laser printer; however, the LED source is different. The light was sent straight to the rolling drum, where paper and ink attach to the technology system for printing, which results in quick printing and using less moving components compared to the laser printer.

3. Solid Ink printers

Another sort of printer on the market that very few people know about is a “solid ink printer”. Since the term indicates solid tint, it signifies the printer that depends on tint, and indeed, it depends entirely on printer tint. They use liquid ink reservoirs in other computer printers, which essentially is a solid "wax" inserted in the ink location. Let us tell you how a solid ink printer works.

The solid wax ink is fixed, either colored or uncolored. If you want to print something, then stick to it. After the print button has been clicked, the desired printout is transferred to paper automatically.

Contrary to other printouts, the paper looks waxy and is ultimately colored. It provides fantastic color quality but takes you 10 minutes for a single page to be printed.

4. Business Inkjet Printers

The Inkjet Printer is one of the greatest types of printers in speed, characteristics, and functionalities. Many companies prefer inkjet printers due to their various capabilities and ease of use, which range from low-cost versions to professional work. In addition, a multi-colored inkjet printer gives black & white prints that entice a customer in multi-print applications.

Taking cartridges as an example, individual "sinks" are positioned in tubes, helping to provide tins to the pulling dump between the operation of the mechanism. With tint, the pushing dust works to glue the tint based on computer data so that you need to print methodically.

5. Multifunction Printers (MFP)

The name MFP suggests its function, a "Multifunction Printer”. It is a printer designed for many jobs, including e-mailing, scanning, copying, faxing and being a regular printer. The features and compatibility ensure that users would not ever want to stop using it and switch to another device with fewer functions.

The printers work well both in the work environment and during work from home sessions. In addition, the MFP is available in different sectors like All-in-One, SOHO MFP, Office MFP, Manufactured MFP. The printer is available in several functional ranges.

6. 3D printers

The 3D printer is a new computer printer type that allows users to print any computer item into a 3D model. In 2021, due to their wonderful creative solid items, 3D printers are becoming known to more and more people. However, it does not mean that the 3D printer patent is brand new, but it has previously been successfully given its first patent in 1986.

The 3D printer works by excluding molten plastic material from a small nozzle hole; the entire printing and material handling process is controlled by a computer and the 3D printer algorithm. Making a 3D model is a much slower process in which molten plastic dries and takes shape layer by layer.

3D printers have proven its effectiveness by successfully constructing a full house or even buildings in such a 30-time-shorter period than traditional constructions.

7. Plotter Printers

Plotter is a sort of printer that is used to draw lines on paper, such as plotter print vector design, charts, and graphs with a pen. Furthermore, unlike other printers, plotters are not used for home alphanumeric printing; rather, plotters are used in companies to print banners, graphs, and are maintained by engineers. There are two kinds of plotters: Drum Pen Plotter and Flatbed Plotter.

8. Line printers

Line printers are used to print a whole single line on paper. They have numerous advantages, such as high-speed alphanumeric letters printing in a single line (300 to 3000 lines per minute), low cost, good quality, and much more. This printer works quickly for business forms in line, is inexpensive, and is simple to use. However, it is incompatible with residential use. You cannot print photos or desired text like other printers, and it has fewer features than other printers.

9. Thermal printers

A thermal printer is a sort of printer that is used to print ATM receipts, invoices, or any other type of disposable print. It is now known as digital printing, and it is used to produce banknotes quickly.

Three components were in charge of printing thermal pictures on paper. Thermal Head, Platen, and Spring. When printing on thermal paper, the thermal head creates heat and provides pressure to the platen, which is a roller feed paper and a spring applies pressure to the head.

That is how the printing was accomplished using a controlled heating technique on thermal paper.

Buying Guide

1. Speed, resolution, and color claims

It used to be very simple for a printer company to make wild claims about how quick their printers were or how many pages could be expected from an ink or toner cartridge. 

Almost all suppliers now employ a standardized set of tests established and licensed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The ISO test methods ensure a fair playing field by requiring all claims and ratings to be generated using the same document sets and test processes. Important specifications include:

  • PPM stands for "pages per minute" and is a measurement of how quickly a printer can print pages. That appears to be easy enough, but PPM may soon get difficult. Printers, for example, have significantly different PPMs for black and white vs color, therefore it's typical for many color-focused printers to give two distinct PPMs. PPM isn't really relevant for home printers unless you're under time constraints for a print job or need to print a large number of pages at once. The average black-and-white PPM is 15 to 20 pages. Color tends to be slower, with speeds ranging from 10 to 15 pages per minute.
  • DPI stands for “dots per inch,” or how many ink dots a printer can apply to a square inch of paper. This specification is important for determining how good a printer is at producing high-resolution, high-detail pictures. However, it is a bit out of date: Newer printing processes and software can improve a printed image's resolution without increasing the DPI, so don't let it be the determining factor.
  • Duty cycle: This is the number of pages per month that a printer may fairly be anticipated to print. You want your projected number of pages per month to be far lower than this figure so that your printer doesn't suffer as much wear and tear. It's a crucial figure for a busy workplace with a lot of printing demands, but it's less relevant for home use, which is generally less intensive.

2. Connectivity

Almost every printing equipment now has several connecting possibilities. Although basic Wi-Fi and cloud printing connectivity are now normal, other types of connections may be more beneficial for certain tasks.

  • USB: USB connections are popular on printers, particularly the USB-A standard. This lets you connect external hard disks and other devices, then print files straight from them using the printer's menu screen. It comes in handy if you don't want to utilize your computer as a middleman. Cameras and other devices that accept the PictBridge standard can make this procedure easier, although it is no longer as required as it was when it was first launched in 2003. Remember that most home printers do not currently accept USB-C connections, though this is changing.
  • Ethernet: Printers may be outfitted with Ethernet connectors for wired internet connectivity. However, printer data requirements are quite modest, and a wired Ethernet connection is rarely required for a home printer (it can be more useful in some office printer setups).
  • Wi-Fi: The vast majority of home printers are intended to connect to your Wi-Fi network immediately. During setup, you will generally supply them with your Wi-Fi details. Then, without the need for a cable, you may download software on your computer, phone, or other devices to transmit printing tasks straight to the printer. It's one of the most practical alternatives for home improvement tasks. Wi-Fi connections also enable remote printing to an office, which is useful in work-from-home scenarios.
  • SD cards: Some printers may include SD card slots, which you may then go through using the printer's menu and pick files to print. Photographers who can transfer SD cards directly from cameras to printers may find this very handy.

3. Ink Costs

The cost of ink per page may be calculated, however, efficiency is determined by the printer model and how it is built. A strong, costly printer might cost as little as 4 cents for each black-and-white page and 8 cents per colorful page. 

A less expensive printer (or a lower-cost cartridge) may raise these expenses by a couple of cents, but the difference isn't significant unless you print hundreds and hundreds of pages every month. Some printers give direct cost-per-print statistics that you may check up to learn more, or you can split the cost of toner cartridges vs cartridge page yield from the cost per print yourself.

Subscription arrangements for a continuous supply of printer ink might help home businesses minimize costs if necessary. Purchasing renewed cartridges or refilling them yourself is a difficult task: Many printers will not recognize cartridges that are not brand new and were not obtained straight from the manufacturer.

4. Paper handling

Every printer can handle 8.5 by 11 paper, but what about legal envelopes, index cards, and glossy stock? Fortunately, many printers now have specialized feed trays for printing on specialty papers with odd sizes or weights, making it easier to deal with those circumstances when they arise. 

Consider the size of the input tray in this case: Smaller trays will demand you to add paper on a regular basis, whereas a 250-page hopper would only require it once a month.

5. Duplexing (two-sided printing or scanning)

Automatic duplexing is a feature that is becoming increasingly popular and is regarded to be a significant benefit. Duplexing is the process of printing or scanning both sides of a sheet without having to physically flip the paper over. Duplexing is performed on a printer by printing the first side of the page, then bringing the paperback through the printer, flipping it over, and printing the second side.

Many all-in-one devices with a scanner that has an automated document feeder (ADF) also offer duplexing, which allows you to scan both sides of the page as the document feeds through the ADF. Without an automated document feeder, an all-in-one printer cannot do a duplex scan without you turning the sheet over on the scan glass.

If you often scan two-sided pages, such as those clipped from a magazine, duplex scanning is a huge time saver.

Famous brands

1. Canon 

Canon is a well-known brand in the photography and printing industries. They offer a vast inventory of printers to satisfy the demands of both ordinary customers and businesses, with their most popular lines being the PIXMA and imageCLASS lines. 

They manufacture both inkjet and laser printers, in color and monochrome, and provide a wide range of price points. Because of their photographic knowledge, their printers are typically the go-to solution for both casual and professional picture printing.

Canon printers usually have flatter design than other brands; therefore, if you lack space in your room, a Canon printer would be a good choice.

2. Epson 

Epson is a printer manufacturer that produces a wide range of printers to meet the demands of most ordinary families as well as small and large companies. 

Aside from specialist printers such as label printers and disc printers, their consumer-level all-in-ones are primarily inkjets, since they haven't made laser printers in a long time. Having said that, they have a staggering array of inkjet printers for virtually any use, with the WorkForce, Expression, and EcoTank lines being the most popular.

Epson printers also have exceptional scanning capabilities, ensuring not the output, but the input be good.

3. Brother  

Brother is a firm that manufactures printers that are tailored to the demands of small businesses, whether you operate from home or in a small office. They specialize in laser printers, which allow you to optimize your page yields, which is ideal if you're printing forms. 

They also have a few inkjet printers, so adding a dash of color to graphs is simple. Overall, they retain fast print rates, allowing you to get your report out the door as soon as feasible.

As for designs, Brother products are designed to be bosses. Brother printers are mostly black, sturdy, and durable.

4. HP 

HP, often known as Hewlett-Packard, is a consumer electronics company that specializes in computer-related goods such as printers. They produce a wide range of printers, including inkjet and laser, color and monochrome, all-in-one and printer-only models. While their choices might be overwhelming, they are divided into numerous lines to better meet your demands.
 

Each series has various benefits and downsides that are more closely aligned with their specialized usages, and they are available at a variety of price ranges, making it easier to select a printer that works for you.

HP has been around for a while, but they don’t act like an old man in the printing market. HP printers are packed with Wi-Fi technology, Google Cloud Print, and even work with Amazon Alexa Assistant.

5. PANTUM 

Pantum is a multinational corporation that designs, manufactures, and distributes laser printers and toner cartridges produced in China. Its Pantum branded laser printers have cutting-edge core technology and extensive self-developed patent systems. 

The Pantum is ideally suited for use as a light-duty printer in a sole proprietorship or home office, or as a personal laser printer in any size workplace for someone who will mostly print text. It is not the quickest mono laser in its class, but it is enough.

Pantum printers are affordable and made to last, so it is perfect to use in office environments when accidents can happen at any time out of nowhere.

FAQs

1. What kind of printer should I buy for home use?

If you frequently print a mix of text, graphics, and photographs, an inkjet printer is the way to go. Most can print practically anything, and they excel at pictures when compared to laser printers. However, keep in mind that brand dependability and owner satisfaction ratings for inkjet printers are often lower.

2. What should I look for when buying a new printer?

If you want to print a large number of black-and-white papers, fast printers with a big print capacity are required. There is no requirement for gallery-quality photo prints. Need a printer for the office? Laser printers are huge and heavy, making them unsuitable for home offices.

3. Which printer is better, HP, Canon or Epson?

Overall, Canon comes out on top. Canon produces high-quality prints, copies, and scans at a lower cost of operation than EPSON. However, although Canon outperforms EPSON in terms of copying and scanning speeds, EPSON outperforms Canon in terms of printing speed.

4. How much do printers cost?

Basic printers range in price from less than $200 to more than $500. You may calculate the cost per page of your printer to have a better idea of how much it costs. This will also help you determine the total cost of a printer during its lifespan.

5. Is it cheaper to buy a new printer than ink?

A gallon of printer ink may set you back $12,000. It's more costly in cartridge form than vintage Champagne or even human blood. In fact, purchasing a complete printer may be less expensive than purchasing fresh ink cartridges.

Conclusion

In the above sections, we have introduced you to all the types of printers, what you need to know if you want to buy a real good printer for your home or your office, as well as some most popular brands in manufacturing printing devices. We hope with the guide, we have provided you with enough information for you to make your purchases. Please follow us and stay up to speed on the latest changes in the future article if you find this is good for shopping!


0 ratings
Krystina Ritchie By, Krystina Ritchie
Krystina Ritchie is an English Literature graduate and Content Delivery Manager at HiSpeed. With a background in academic writing and journalism, she has experience in Computer, social media marketing, content writing, and proofreading. In her spare time, she enjoys reading fiction, listening to music, and taking photos of her local area.
Prev Post
How to choose right Computer Monitors?
Next Post
Desktop Computer Buying Guide: Find the Best Computer for you