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PRINTER BUYING TIPS: 8 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

(12/01/2019)

 

There are a few key details you want to pay attention to when shopping for a new printer. We obviously look at things like print quality and printing speed to determine which printers are best, but there are several other details to account for to find the one that best fits your needs.

  • Inkjet or Laser? If you want the fullest range of color printing, with the ability to print photos at home, go inkjet. If you want to print mostly text documents, or at high volumes, laser printers are the way to go, with sharper text and a lower perpage cost.
  • Home or Business? Some printers are built to offer great quality and value for the home user that prints a few pages a week, while others are built for busy offices where multiple users print dozens or hundreds of pages every day. Find the one that’s right for you to avoid paying for features you don’t need.
 
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  • Watch the Cost Per Page: Whether it’s using ink cartridges or toner, printers cost money over time. Check our reviews for a breakdown of the costs to print individual pages as a good measure of how expensive operating costs will be over the life of the printer.
  • Consider the Brand: You should also pay attention to who makes the printer you’re considering. We recently compared the top printer makers to see which ones consistently stood out for print quality and speed.
  • Mobile Friendly Features: You need a printer to play nicely with more than just a laptop. Look for printers with Wi-Fi Direct for easy connectivity, and dedicated apps that bring more printing features to your smartphone.
  • Automatic Duplexing: If you regularly need to print 2-sided documents, duplexing is a must, since it allows a printer to refeed a page through for printing on the other side. Skip this feature and you’ll need to manually flip every page to do the same.
  • Photo-Specific Features: If you intend to do lots of photo printing, look for a printer that has a dedicated tray for photo paper, which makes it easier to get printing without fumbling with the paper tray and settings. Also look for printers that use more than 4 colors of ink. Those extra colors make for better blended colors and richer detail.
  • Printing for School? For many college students a printer is still a must-have, so check out our guide to printing in college for all of our advice for students.
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  • Source: https://www.tomsguide.com/