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How To Buy The Right Printer

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The variety of printers can be overwhelming. Answering these two questions will help guide you to one that will best meet your needs and match your budget.

  1. Do You Want a Dedicated Model or an All-in-One?
    A dedicated or “regular” printer does nothing but print. All-in-one models offer additional functions such as scanning, photocopying, and faxing, and they come in inkjet and laser versions. The advantage of an all-in-one is that it can save space and is less expensive than buying a separate scanner, fax, and photocopier. The downside is that an all-in-one printer doesn’t generally offer the range of features of a dedicated scanner, fax, and photocopier. And if one of the functions of an all-in-one printer stops working, you’ll have to repair or replace the entire unit.
  2. Should You Go With an Inkjet or a Laser Printer?
    Each type has distinct benefits and drawbacks. Here’s a comparison of the two:

LASER

THESE PRINTERS CREATE TEXT AND GRAPHICS BY TRANSFERRING TONER (POWDERED INK) TO PAPER PASSING OVER AN ELECTRICALLY CHARGED DRUM.

Price:  $100 to $550                                               

Pros: Black-and-white lasers are able to quickly print extremely sharp black text and charts (12 to 25 pages per minute) for 1 to 5 cents per page. They generally have low ownership costs. (Color laser printers are usually slower and more expensive.)  Toner does not run like some inkjet does.                               

Cons: They’re not good at printing photos (though color laser printers do a fine job with color graphics).

Best for: Novelists, students, and anyone else who prints text and graphics exclusively and is looking for high-quality copies and a low cost of ownership. 

INKJET

MORE POPULAR THAN LASER PRINTERS FOR HOME USE, INKJET PRINTERS SPRAY FINE DROPLETS OF INK ONTO PAPER TO FORM LETTERS, GRAPHICS, AND PHOTOGRAPHS.

Price: $30 to $400 

(NOTE: If you’re looking to purchase an inkjet printer it’s best to look for one with four separate cartridges for your ink)

Pros: Inkjets print text and color graphics and are by far the best choice for printing color photographs. They accept several sizes of paper and have become much faster at printing text, with many models now just as fast as laser printers. 

Cons: On average, they cost about 33 percent more to operate than black-and-white laser printers, mostly because of ink costs.  Another major drawback for inkjet printers is that once you run out of one color you can’t continue to print without that color instead you have to replace the entire cartridge.

Best for: Photographers, hobbyists, and anyone else who wants to print in color.

Need help setting up your new printer? call Stacy (941) 246-1048; she can help.

Do you need help?

Punta Gorda Computers has the experience and know-how to fix your computer and teach you how to use it. Just give us a call.
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