Which Printer is Right for You?
Shopping for a new printer can be an overwhelming experience. After all, there are so many brands, models, and price points to choose from. The Apple Store has lot of options and some of the printers are free with the purchase of a new computer. If you’re in the market for a printer, here are a few tips to get started in selecting the best device to suit your printing needs and your budget.
Not long ago, a laser printer was out of reach for many consumers on a budget. But prices have dropped in recent years, and laser models have become much more affordable. A decent black and white laser printer will start around $125, while color laser models are typically over $200.
There are quite a few positive attributes in owning a laser printer. For one, it’s easy to replace the toner. You’ll also notice the text is somewhat crisper compared to an inkjet printer. This is because the inkjet utilizes a printer head that sprays ink droplets onto the paper. A laser printer, on the other hand, uses static electricity. Heated rollers melt toner powder which fuses with the paper as it passes through. This is why paper is hot to the touch when it comes out of a laser printer.
In the past, laser printers were best utilized in a business environment. And while they continue to serve small, medium, and enterprise businesses, many laser printers are also found in everyday homes across the country. If you have the budget, a laser printer is a great bet especially if you print documents often and/or use the printer for professional purposes.
Inkjets have been on the market for some time, and these models have become increasingly affordable. It’s easy to find a model for under $100, and manufacturers often offer incentives on printers purchased with other components.
In addition to being cost effective, another benefit of purchasing an inkjet printer is the availability of All-in-One models. These units combine fax, scan, and print capabilities in a single device.
An inkjet printer is best suited for the average homeowner on a budget who isn't concerned with the quality of the print job (i.e. someone who is simply printing out driving directions, recipes, or a shopping list). An All-in-One printer, on the other hand, is great for the average home user who doesn't print daily but does occasionally fax or scan.
Now that digital cameras have become a common fixture in our everyday lives, it’s no longer necessary to physically take film to a photo developer. That’s where a photo printer comes in. These specialty models often feature a higher resolution and an integrated memory card reader. With a starting price around $100, the cost can climb to over $1,000 for professional models. What features drive the price up? The ability to print on larger paper, border-free printing capability, and advanced print head technology for high quality prints that can be framed.
It’s relatively easy to take a photo on your digital camera and immediately print it out without having to go to a retail outlet. There is a greater level of control over printing mediums, and using a photo printer is an excellent tool for creating a portfolio of your finest snapshots.
If you’re a new parent or a photographer, a photo printer can be a great asset in creating copies for display. The ability to create larger prints makes a specialty photo printer stand apart from mainstream inkjet and laser models.
Key Features to Look for in All Printers:
- Resolution – The higher the resolution, the better the image quality.
- PPM – Speed at which the device prints a page per minute.
- Wireless – Ability to print from other rooms in the house based on connectivity.
If you’re in the market for a new printer, there are also a variety of ways to save on your purchase. By bundling a printer with a computer purchase, you may be eligible for a rebate or instant discount from the retailer or hardware manufacturer. The Apple Store, for instance, offers up to a $100 rebate by mail when you purchase a printer with a Mac computer. Depending on the model you select, some printers are even free. This offer is valid across the entire line of Mac systems, including iMac desktops and MacBook notebooks.