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What Are the Best Tips for Choosing a Printer?

Inkjet printers are best for printing color images.
Laser printer.
Multifunction printer.
An ink cartridge.
Printers typically have one Ethernet port.
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  • Written By: Jeremy Laukkonen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 18 October 2014
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There are a number of different factors to consider when choosing a printer, such as where and how often it will be used. If the printer is intended for an office environment, then you will want to select a unit designed specifically to handle a large volume of pages each month. For occasional print jobs, a less expensive inkjet may suffice. You will also have to determine whether you prefer a standalone unit or one that includes a number of different features. If you have a limited amount of space available, you may want to consider a unit that includes a scanner or other features when choosing a printer.

Each type of printer technology has its own benefits and drawbacks suited to different situations. The first step when choosing a printer is to examine your situation and determine if inkjet or laser technology is the best fit. Inkjet printers tend to be less expensive, though that cost advantage can disappear if you print a lot of documents and have to purchase replacement ink cartridges on a regular basis. Laser printers can typically print a great deal more for less money when used in high volume applications. Inkjets are typically slower than lasers as well, though they can both print crisp monochrome text and graphics.

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If you will need to print color images on a regular basis, then an inkjet printer will typically be a better choice. This is even more true if you are choosing a printer that will be used to create photographs on glossy paper stock. Color laser printers tend to be substantially more expensive than inkjets, and they are not meant for use with the type of glossy paper used to print photographs.

Another main factor you may want to consider when choosing a printer is whether to select a standalone or multi-function unit. If you have a limited amount of space to work with, then a multi-function, all-in-one unit can come in handy. These printers often include a scanner, fax machine, copier and other devices or functions. A standalone printer may also be a good choice though, especially if you already own some of those other devices.

Network connectivity is also an option that can be important when choosing a printer. Most printers can only be connected to one computer at a time, so if you want the ability to print from many different locations you will need a unit with network connectivity. Some printers have Ethernet ports, while others are able to connect to Wi-FiĀ® networks. This feature is useful since it can provide a convenience, but it is sometimes also necessary in office environments.

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