Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Three tips for buying a new printer

1) Buy what you need, not what the salesperson suggests
It may seem like a good deal to buy an all-in-one printer, scanner, fax and coffee machine, but if you never scan images and don't send faxes you will be buying technology that you will not use. Another problem with these all-in-one devices is that if there is a fault with the scanner you may not be able to print any more. If all you need is a printer, buy a printer.

2) Buy the right type of printer
If you are going to only ever print black and white documents on Letter or A4 sized paper, don't buy a colour printer. Rather, consider buying a B&W laser printer, especially if you are going to do a lot of printing, which makes a laser printer more cost effective. If you need colour prints or are not going to print regularly then an inkjet printer may be preferable, as the initial outlay is less.

If you are only intending to print photographs off from your digital camera look to see if the camera's manufacturer offers a printer designed specifically to work with their range of cameras. This may cost a little more, but the results will generally be better than what you would achieve using a cheaper inkjet on your computer - plus you will probably have the benefit of connecting the printer straight to your camera.

So, think about what type of printing you are actually going to do and buy the best tool for those jobs.

3) Check the price of consumables
Once you have decided what type of printer you want it is time to compare the cost of replacement ink or toner cartridges. Quite often the printer with the lower price will end up costing you more because the ink is more expensive. Remember, you only buy the printer once, you will buy ink or toner again and again.


Borski and Nai said...

hi..i dunno if you can help me. but i think it's worth a try. i wanna put a scrollbar on my blogroll..hope you can help me put one on help is welcome..

and oh..dropped you a card..

Anonymous said...

Very good printer advice.
Just to add:
If you are going to use your printer for photographs, do some searching on the internet and look in magazines for reviews, normally the more expensive ones are the better printers, and the more dpi you can get the better the photo (usually.) Canon and Epson normally come out as the best printers.

kaydee said...

Thanx buddy, appreciated your tips. I will use them when i upgrade my PC.

Computing Tech said...

Dear Web master,

I had great experience while navigating your Blog

I had create 2 Blog “Computing Tech” ( ) and “Google Bible” ( ). These Blog intend to share my Computing magazines and Books reading with all Internet buddies.

It will be great if you accept my invitation to exchange links and adding my blog URL into your blog; I will add your Blog URL into my blog too. Thanks

Frank J said...

Great information and wish I read this 2 months ago when I purchased an all-in-one.

infinitewebprofit said...

I am planning of buying a new printer. I think instead of buying an all in one printer. It is better to buy cheap one for my document printing and a very good one for Photo Printing.
What do you think?

Jonny Bonny said...

Good info, remember that most printers you buy are cheap because the ink cartridges are only 25-50% full, they fill the other 50-75% with some other liquid. I know, I used to work in Lexmark ;)

elaine said...

That's an informative post. But I am wondering what brands are the best?

Marilynn said...

Great advice, but I haven't had a printer printer in a long awhile. Luckily, I actually make use of the scanner/copier aspects as well.

Do you have any advice for laptops? I'm planning to buy one for college in the fall.

Fabio the computer guy said...

Most people just buy the printer and don't check which cartridges it takes and when it comes to buy the ink it costs more than the printer itself.

Fabio the computer guy

Stepterix said...

b&n: I see you got the scrollbar working. Thanks for the drop

anon: Thanks for the comments, it is always worth reading reviews, I find the user reviews on Amazon quite good too

kd: my pleasure, thanks for leaving a comment

ct: sounds good, will email you to confirm soon

fj: some people prefer all-in-one machines, but I haven't had much luck with them. thanks for the comment

iwp: That sounds like quite a good idea. Be aware that ink will dry up in a cartridge after a while, so if you don't print photos very often the ink will dry and you will have to buy more of the expensive fluid.

As I said in the post, consider how much printing you are going to do. If you won't do general printing very often then the best bet may be to buy a high quality colour printer. You can reduce the print quality for general printing and increase it for photographs.

jb: Interesting, I have a Lexmark printer myself. Nowadays I use a kit to refill the cartridges.

e: There are a number of major brands for inkjet printers: Epson, Brother, Canon and Lexmark; for laser printers HP and Kyocera are probably the market leaders.

I wouldn't recommend any one manufacturer. Look at use reviews of individual models to see how people are getting on with them, as I said Amazon is a good source of user reviews.

m: I have been considering writing a buying guide for laptops in a while. For now I would say the key factor is build quality. Make sure you get chance to look over a model before you buy.

f: Yes. The same thing happens with razor blades too.

Thank you all for your comments.

nicky81 said...

yes, its true that certain consumables are quite expensive.
im used to inkjet before but change to laser type printer. a bit expensive for start but so economic for d long run...