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Printer Buying Tips

So you're in the market for buying a printer and like everybody else you know what a printer does and how it works but you're not quite sure of all the feature sets or things that you should look for when buying a new printer. Below is a generalized guide on the main things you should consider when making that next printer purchase.

How Much Does the Ink Cost?

A lot of printer companies market their printers at a lower cost only to make up all that lost revenue in printer ink cost. Like vacuum cleaners, the money is not in the sale of the vacuum but in the sale of the bags. Before making your next printer purchase do a quick search on the cost of the ink.

Types Of Printers

Contrary to popular belief not all printers are made the same below is a brief explanation of the most common types on the printer market.

  • Inkjet printers use cartridges that use drops of ink injected through small nozzles to print on paper. They by far dominate the consumer market and cost about 40 to 250 dollars for decent one. Output is roughly in the range of 2 to 9 pages per min. Get an all in one if you plan to print, fax and scan.
  • Laser printers are the way to go if you need higher page per minute output. The cartridges use powered ink that gets injected into an electrically charged drum. Printing yield is roughly 12-20 pages per minute. Cost range anywhere from 200 to 600 dollars.
  • Snapshot printers are your specialty printers that allow you to print right on special photosensitive paper. If you like printing out photos this is the best way to do it your self at home. I have a all in one printer in conjunction with a snapshot printer to facilitate my printing needs. Printing yield is roughly the same as your inkjet printer.

Refillable Cartridges

There are many do it yourself kits that you can buy out there to refill your printer ink cartridges. This might be another alternative for you if you buy a printer with ink cartridges that are a slightly pricier. After all if you can get two uses out of one printer ink cartridge you've just cut the cost of the cartridge in half.

What Do You Print?

What you print most often should be a huge deal breaker in regards to what printer you are going to buy. If you make lots of copies and print plain black text a lot, then a all in one printer might be your best bet, however if you printing photos are the bulk of your printing jobs, then a snapshot printer is the way to go. The rule of thumb is buy the features that you use the most, not the features the printer company wants you to buy.