Finding the right printer for your needs can feel like a tough task because you may not know what a good printer looks like. You have experience using them in school or office settings, and even if you don’t have much experience, you always just expected certain functions and features, but never thought too much about it.
The reality is that, much like any other electronic device you can buy, there are going to be considerations that need to be made to make sure that you are getting the most bang for your buck, or at least the most relevant features. Here are some of the things you need to consider when shopping for a printer of your own.
What Printing Type Do You Need?
The first thing you want to think about when shopping for a printer is the type of printing process it uses. The two most common types are laser cartridges and inkjet cartridges. The laser printers can be more expensive upfront for the cartridges, especially color, but for long-term use, it can be cheaper because it is faster and more efficient. Inkjet is usually what people go for if their printing needs are more color-based, like graphs, but the cartridges themselves are not as expensive.
What Kind of Device Compatibility is Needed?
Finding printers that are compatible with your devices is also a must-need feature. Some printers will not work well with certain devices, so this information from BillLentis.com can help you narrow down your choice.
Devices like Chromebooks, tablets, or mobile phones may require different features than many traditional printers have, so you would want to shop for newer models that are able to accommodate those requirements.
What Type of Connectivity Features Are Important?
On the subject of compatibility functions, an important feature is connections. There are a few ways that printers can be connected to devices. They include USB, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi direct, cloud printing, ethernet, and SD card. The most common are SD, USB, WiFi, but even Wi-Fi Direct and cloud printing are growing in use because people need more flexibility and mobility with their printers.
If you need an office printer for many uses, it’s a good idea to find one that is connected via corded format as well as wireless so there is a lot of functional usage for people, but a home printer can be either/or.
How Important is Printing Quality to You?
The quality of the actual printed material should be something to consider as well, even if your printing requirements aren’t very robust. If you’re almost solely printing word documents or written material, then things like DPI (dots per inch) won’t matter too much, but printing photos, graphs, charts, and other visuals will matter.
The better the DPI score is, the more quality will be available on each page. Similarly, the resolution of printing is becoming much more advanced so computers and printers calibrate this automatically now so many new models of printers will be able to cover this step on your behalf.
Do You Need Multi-Function Use?
Not every printer is a multi-function printer, which may be something of interest to you. The best bang for your buck might be an all-in-one printer that features scanning or dual-side printing, but many people simply need printing. Still, it doesn’t hurt to have an all-in-one on the off chance that you need to scan documents.
They’re becoming much more affordable as well, with most models coming in below $250. If you need multiple uses out of your printer, it’s best to go with something that at a minimum has scanning, but faxing and dual-sided printing are also things to look for.
What is Your Budget Like?
Speaking of cost, you want to consider what your budget is. As mentioned, home printers are becoming much more affordable, as well as portable printers for on the go work. They often fall in a $150-$300 range for printers that cover most needs, plus when you factor in cartridges (roughly $20-$70 depending on type/color), you won’t need to spend a fortune to get what you need. For heavier duty office-style printers, you will be looking at over $500 into the thousands for a full package of features, but home use is enough to cover all your bases for now.
Getting the right printer for your needs is not a tall task, and as you can see, there is plenty to consider, but it takes no time at all to factor in everything that you will want for a printer.