Published on February 23rd, 2017 | by Michelle Roper-Shaw
Which Printer is Right for You?
Are you looking to buy a new printer? Inkjet, Laser or All-in-One? With so much choice available you may be unsure which type of printer will best suit your needs.
In our recent article Guide to Buying Printing Supplies, we looked at the differences between inks and toners. Today, we look at the various printer options available and what you need to consider when you buy a new printer.
What Are You Using the Printer For?
Whether you are choosing a printer for the home or office, most importantly you will need to consider what tasks you will be using your printer for?
- Is speed important due to the large volumes you will be printing?
- Do you need to print in monochrome or colour?
- What size documents will you print, A4 or A3?
- Do you need automatic duplex printing functionality (printing automatically on both sides of the page)?
- Is quality more crucial, because you need to print glossy photos?
- Do you need to print from multiple devices?
- How many people need access to the printer?
For high volume printing, laser printers are the ideal choice. Suited for businesses or individuals who print on a large scale on a regular basis, they offer high speed printing and a low cost per page ratio.
If you need a high speed printer to print basic black text documents, Mono Laser Printers will be a good choice for you. These printers give the sharpest text output, suitable for printing out business reports and other everyday documents. Many include automatic duplex printing so you can print on both sides of the page to save on waste and excess paper costs.
Whilst the upfront costs of laser printers and laser toners are more expensive, they do offer more prints. Therefore, in a busy office environment they give better value for money.
All-in-one laser printers combine printer, fax, scanner and copier functionality. They provide convenience for busy offices and also networking options and wireless connectivity, compatible with tablets and smartphone devices.
For documents containing coloured text, basic graphics and charts Colour Laser Printers are preferable. However, laser printers are not suited to printing highly defined photographs and imagery and so you may find an inkjet printer is a better choice.
Inkjet printers suit the home or small office user, particularly if you require high quality photo prints. Most Colour Inkjet Printers models include automatic duplex printing, wireless connectivity and networking capabilities.
Many inkjet printers are also All-in-One Printers combining printer, fax, scanner and copier functionality. They can be as fast and cheap to run as laser printers and A3 inkjet printers are also available, including this HP Officejet 7510 Wide Format All-in-one Printer.
In terms of the ink itself, two options are available, dye-based and pigment-based. Dye-based inks are cheaper and will produce print outs of a decent quality. Yet, they will fade when exposed to UV light. Also, because dye based inks are water based they will smudge and run when wet.
Pigment-based inks do not fade as quickly and are therefore suitable for filing and archives. The majority of black inks are pigment based whilst colour inks are more likely to be dye based. However, the top end photo printers will only use pigment inks for the best possible photo prints.
Do you need to buy some ink or toner today? Use our handy Ink and Toner Finder to search by model or cartridge quickly and easily.