An Introduction to Printers
There are an amazing number of printers and combination printer/scanner/fax machines and even photocopiers on the market today. Often this can be incredibly confusing for those that are not sure of exactly what they want in a printer. To simplifyy the process and avoid ending up with a printer that will not meet your needs or that is way too complex for the tasks that you need it to perform, it is a good idea to spend some time answering the following questions before you begin browsing online or actually going into stores to look at the various models.
One of the major factors in determining what type of printer to get involves examining your budget. There are relatively inexpensive, good quality inkjet printers that are great for smaller projects, can print in either black or color. Laser printers are ideal for larger projects and can handle lots of printing in a very short period of time. Laser printers tend to be more expensive than the inkjet models. Combination printers, scanners and fax machines are more expensive than printers but also save money on having to buy other types of machines.
Besides just color and black-ink inkjet and laser printers, there are also highly specialized printers for various types of project. Photo-quality printers use special paper and high pixel rates to allow printing of images that are crisp and clear and look just like photographs. There are many different types of photo printers, including liquid and solid ink, dye sublimation, and thermal wax transfer printers. Each produces vivid colors and crisp images, but may not be effective in printing documents and text copy.
All-in-one printers include photocopiers, fax machines, scanners and printers all in the same unit. These can be relatively small desk-size printers or can be large free-standing printers. The size of the all-in-one printer is largely dependent on the amount that you wish to spend, the amount of printing, faxing, photocopying and scanning you will need to do and the amount that you wish to pay.
Another option for a printer is a portable printer that is perfect for those people that rely on their laptop when they are out of the office. These small printers usually weigh less than five pounds and produce high-quality text and graphic prints. They are not generally recommended for large quantities of document printing as they have smaller ink cartridges and paper handling capacities. Understanding your needs when looking at printers will help you find just the right match.