The questions you should ask yourself before making a decision on the best printer for your usage.
- What category of printer is required? There are three categories to chose from:
- Do you need to print in color?
If the answer is yes, you are probably leaning toward an inkjet printer. If you answer no, then find yourself a laser printer.
- Do you need a single function or multifunction printer (MFC or MFP)?
If all you want to do is print, go with a single function printer. If you would like the option to make copies, scan documents/images and fax, you are going to need a multifunction printer.
- What kind of print quality do you need?
Print quality differs by the type of printer. Check the print quality for text, graphics, and photos separately. Just because a printer prints high quality text does not mean it will print high quality graphics and photos. Find a printer that produces high quality results for what you print.
- How much speed do you need?
If you are the sole user and you typically print 1-2 pages at a time, you probably don’t need a printer with a lot of speed. If you are printing individual documents with many pages, or share the printer with a number of people, you are going to want a printer with a high print speed.
- How much do you print?
Make sure you check the printer’s monthly duty cycle.The duty cycle the manufacturers recommended number of pages you should print each month. Each printer has a different duty cycle. Printing in excess of this number may cause your printer to wear out faster.
- How are you going to connect?
In addition to USB ports, most printers now allow you to connect via an Ethernet connection or Wireless connection. The advantage of Ethernet and Wireless is that they allow you to add your printer to your home network. You can link all your computers to a single printer.
- How much does it cost?
Be sure to check the total cost of ownership for any printer you are thinking about purchasing. You’ll pay a certain amount for the printer when you buy it, but remember you are going to need to buy cartridges in order to continue to use it. To get the total cost of ownership, calculate the cost per year for each kind of output (monochrome, color document, photo) by multiplying the cost per page for that kind of output by the number of those pages you print per year. Add the three amounts together to get the total cost per year. Then multiply that by the number of years you expect to own the printer, and add the initial cost of the printer. Compare the total cost of ownership figures between printers to find out which printer will be cheapest in the long run. More on this at a previous article.
Additional information on what printer to get can be seen on a video from PC World
We thank our sponsers at ABC Printsupplies along with other suppliers for providing this information.