Choose the Best Printer for Your Needs

Everything you need to know to make an educated printer choice

If you’ve considered buying a new printer, you probably noticed that there are hundreds of different brands, each with its own features, ranging in price from twenty bucks to a couple hundred. How on earth is a person supposed to decide between all of these choices?

First of all, it’s helpful to know exactly what you’re looking for. So without further ado, here are the main types of printers and when you’re probably going to want them.

1. Combo printers

It’s become very common to find combination printer scanner copiers (or, on occasion, printer, scanner, fax machines) on the market. These can be very useful if you’re someone who’s actually going to use a scanner, photocopier, or fax machine. Otherwise, a combo isn’t worth the money — or the extra space it’ll take up on your counter.

2. Laser printers

Many people prefer a laser printer because it produces an extremely high quality image very quickly. However, a laser printer also tends to be large and quite expensive. If you need to do a lot of printing and you require high quality and speed, a laser printer is a safe bet; otherwise, you might want to look into something a bit simpler.

3. Inkjet printers

Most printers you see in the store will be inkjets. These can range from small desktop models to huge industrial types. An inkjet printer uses jets of ink (hence the name) to create reasonably high quality images quite quickly. There are a wide variety of inkjet printers, and a good thing to keep in mind is how much the cartridges cost to refill. A twenty-dollar printer is not a good deal if the replacement cartridges cost two hundred bucks.

4. Photo printers

You’ll also find a strange machine called a photo printer, designed specifically to print photographs. These machines print excellent quality photos, but many people find them a needless expense. It’s often cheaper to print off your photos at a local department store, and the size and method of a photo printer mean that it’s often not great for printing other jobs.

So even if we can’t tell you what printer to buy, hopefully this has helped you decide what type of printer you really need!