Whatever you need to print, there’s a home printer that can do it. And intense competition among competitors like HP, Epson, Canon and others has forced prices to such absurd lows that you can now walk into a store – even a local supermarket – and walk out with a brand new printer for Rs 4000 or even less.
But selecting a printer can be tough – given so many options – especially with all the difficult terms that can complicate the process. But do not worry this guide by Yes Electronics will guide you for sure. With that in mind, we’ve put together a quick-and-dirty printer buying guide for selecting a home printer, with simple explanations of the most common terms and our recommendations that will serve a majority of users.
Inkjet or Laser?
The first question all printer buyers must tackle, comes down to a simple matter of what and how much you plan on printing?
Colour inkjet printers comprise the bulk of the market simply because they can print just about anything: essays, pie charts, or glossy photos, you name it. But printed text from inkjets doesn’t always look as sharp as from a laser printer, they’re typically slower, and in some cases they cost more to keep running.
Laser printers rule the roost in offices because they can print large volumes of text quickly, reliably, and on the cheap. And besides looking sharper than text from an inkjet, laser printouts won’t run when they get wet. Colour lasers have also fallen into the range of affordability for consumers recently, but the cost of replacement colour laser toner can be prohibitively high, often making them a poor option for home use.
Unless you plan on printing novels or page after page of school reports, inkjet printers usually make the best bet for home users due to their flexibility. If you need to print a lot of pages, and print them fast, a laser printer is worth considering.
One thing to keep in mind in making your decision is that recently, inkjet printers have been introduced with higher capacity ink cartridges that decrease the cost per page. And inkjet printers have become faster in recent years, sometimes giving laser printers a run for the money. Companies like Canon and Epson are best in this segment.
Both laser and inkjet printers are available with a scanner bed on the top of the unit, turning them into all-in-one (AIO) machines: printer, copier, scanner, and/or fax (also called a multifunction printer, or MFP). Although you might not need all the functions, buying an all-in-one printer for home use makes a lot of sense, not only because it’s cheaper than buying a printer and a standalone scanner, but also for the sake of saving room. Since all-in-ones are extremely common and manufacturers rarely charge much of a premium for them we highly recommend them for home users. Canon and Epson make the best All in one printers
If your aim is to get your photos printed than printing off homework assignments and pie charts, consider a dedicated photo printer. Though they lack the flexibility of multitaskers, the quality of prints is typically much better. The price you’ll pay for the convenience comes out in the print cost. Photo printers can use separate ink and paper, or both can be contained in a single cartridge (portable photo printers). Most printers sold only for dedicated photo or graphic use are either small-size (printing photos up to 4 x 6 inches), or wide format, printing on media up to 24-inches wide. Supplies for these specialty printers are generally more expensive than those for the typical multifunction printer. And many all-in-one devices are quite capable of turning out photos up to 8.5 x 11 inches when you use the right paper.
Do not forget Networking Capability
Today, nearly every printing device offers multiple connectivity options. USB has been the standard interface for years, and every computer has several USB ports. Because USB is generally a short, direct connection, it requires that the printer or AIO be located near the PC or laptop.
But most new printers can now be shared by multiple devices via a network. That could be via Ethernet, where you connect a cable to the router or switch in your network. Ethernet also provides the faster connection. However, this wired setup is more common in an office environment than in the home, so few printers except those in the high-end will have an Ethernet port built-in.
More common is Wi-Fi, which has become the most popular method of home networking, and just about every new printer sold for home or small business has Wi-Fi capability. Many even offer one-button wireless setup (if the router it’s being connected to supports it), making network pairing a snap. A new option called Wi-Fi Direct lets you connect the printer to a laptop that supports it, without having to connect the printer to a network first. With Wi-Fi you can give commands to print using a smart phone or even a tablet.
So keeping all this in mind you should purchase a printer. Feel free to visit Yes Electronics for more information.