Manufacturers of printing devices periodically delight users with their new technological advances. And choosing a printer for home use among this variety of models is quite difficult, because. The list of tasks to be solved can sometimes be quite extensive. This includes printing color and black-and-white documents, printing photos, printing on films and on CDs. As well as scanning and copying. Finding a universal solution that would perfectly solve every problem is not an easy task.
Inkjet or Laser Printing?
In order to answer this question, you need to find out - in fact, what are you going to print? Black and white or color prints and how many?
If you plan to print exclusively black and white documents, and in large quantities, you should pay attention to laser printers. Laser printing technology has high quality and high speed printing, averaging 12 to 33 ppm. Such prints are not afraid of moisture, they are resistant to abrasion and fading. And the large resource of the cartridge, designed for thousands of pages (average 2300 pages), determines the low cost of printing. In addition, laser printers are characterized by high reliability and performance, their resource is designed for 25 - 000 prints per month.
A completely different recommendation will be if you need full-color printing - color documents or photographs. In this regard, in terms of price and quality, an inkjet printer would be the best solution. Inkjet printing technology - piezoelectric (Brother and Epson), bubble (Canon) and thermal inkjet (Lexmark and Hewlett-Packard), of course, is not as perfect as laser, but nevertheless has a number of excellent qualities. So, the cost of full-color inkjet printers is several times cheaper than laser ones, and the resolution of inkjet prints is much higher. For example, the Canon PIXMA MP550 MFP has a resolution of 9600 × 2400 dpi. Of the main disadvantages of inkjet printing compared to laser:
- A small cartridge resource, a b / w cartridge can print no more than 200 - 300 A4 pages.
- Low productivity, no more than 1000 - 2500 pages per month.
- Slower print speed, 9 to 30 ppm.
- The ink is not moisture resistant, when moisture gets in the image floats.
- Printed fonts are not as clear.
Printer or MFP?
The next question to find out is do you need additional features for scanning and copying documents?
As a rule, the price of a printer and an MFP of the same series differs slightly. Wherein print quality both models will be the same. The only difference is the print speed. If the speed characteristic is not critical for you, then you should choose the MFP. In addition, it is cheaper and more convenient to use an MFP at home than to have a separate stand-alone printer and stand-alone scanner.
Cartridges and ink?
Before finally making a choice on a particular model, be sure to check the cost of cartridges. Find out the resource of original cartridges, how expensive they are and how easy it will be to find them on sale. Are there alternative solutions in the form of refillable cartridges or maybe CISS.
Network connection or not?
If you are going to place the printer in the immediate vicinity of the PC, then you do not need to overpay for additional connection interfaces. You will only need a USB port. And, as a rule, all budget solutions have such an interface.
If there is not much free space on the computer and you don’t want to pile it up unnecessarily, and also if you plan to print from several computers and want to place the printer in a place convenient for you, then it would be optimal to provide for a network connection. It can be wired - Ethernet (RJ-45) and wireless - WIFI. The cost of such printing devices is much higher than budget solutions and the price here varies from 7000 rubles and more. An example of an inexpensive WIFI printer is the Canon PIXMA MP560. A wireless connection for a home environment is much more convenient than a wired one. The printer can be placed in a convenient and accessible place, and all members of your family can use it for their own purposes.
To use the network interface, your local network must have a router - wired or wireless. Routing functions have, for example, modern modems, access points and other network devices.
Memory card slots, Bluetooth and PictBridge?
Modern printers are equipped with a slot for direct connection of various memory cards - USB Flash Memory, CompactFlash, Microdrive, Memory Stick and others. By connecting a flash card from the camera to the printer, you can immediately make printouts. Similar functions are provided by PictBridge, which allows you to connect a camera and a printer via USB.
Bluetooth also allows you to quickly access your printer wirelessly. And you can print pictures directly from your mobile phone.
Consumables, paper feed?
When choosing a particular printer model, start from what material you will need to work with. Paper for printing is different:
- regular, for printing documents;
- photo paper glossy and matte;
- paper for high resolution printing.
In addition, printers can print on films - for thermal transfer of images to fabric or for the manufacture of photo stickers. Some models are able to print color images on CDs, such discs have a specially applied layer for printing. The next important point to pay attention to is the paper feed. It is convenient to have the paper cassette in the lower paper drawer. We “loaded” a full cassette with paper, pushed it into the tray and that’s it - the printer is ready for use. In unsuccessful printer models, the paper cassette in its working position protrudes beyond the printer body or holds a very small amount of paper. The latter is very inconvenient since you have to constantly replenish them. Well, a completely inconvenient solution when there is no paper cassette at all.
It is also worth paying attention to the presence of an option for automatic paper feeding during duplex printing. A very convenient and useful option that facilitates the process of printing on both sides. You just need to set in the print settings - "duplex printing", and the printer will take care of all the issues related to printing and turning sheets. Those looking for a home photo printer should make sure that the printer has a borderless printing option, so you can print photos and posters for yourself.
Print resolution is of great importance and, accordingly, the higher the dpi value, the better and better your picture will turn out.
In the case of inkjet printing, you need to take into account not only the print resolution, but also pay attention to the volume of print drops. The smaller the droplet size, the better the detail and sharpness of the images. The smallest volume at the moment is 1 picoliter (1pl).
And finally, when your choice fell on one or more models, be sure to read the reviews of the owners of these devices. What comments or vice versa dignity they express about their purchase.