How to find a killer printer
For many people, a home printer is simply not necessary most of the time; But with school up and running again for many and distance learning no longer just a passing trend, having a printer at home is less optional than ever. It’s a lot easier to plug the printer in in the living room than wandering around town and finding one before the task you put off is due.
But the home printer market is saturated with cheap hardware that will cost you a fortune in ink replacement. Unless you’re on an unlimited budget, buying a new printer that doesn’t suck can be frustrating. And don’t even bother picking a random low-cost option from Staples. In the end, you’ll end up emptying your wallet for $ 50 ink cartridges before the month is up.
So let’s dive into the chaotic world of home printers. You will thank us later.
It’s laser time
If you’ve taken the route mentioned above of picking a random Staples printer before, then it’s probably best for you Inkjet printer. Inkjet printers are probably the most common household printers. They work by mixing ink from cartridges and spraying it on pieces of moving paper.
The inkjet printing technology is perfectly fine. It’s been around a long time and does the job. Usually. Buying an inkjet printer (especially a low-tier option) is risky in terms of the overall print quality you will get.
The industry that has built up around inkjet printers is also quite toxic. Many home inkjet printers attract customers with inexpensive hardware – only to later discover that replacement ink cartridges are as expensive as the printer itself. A normal ink cartridge can print about 200 pages before it runs out; That’s about $ 50 every time you print 200 pages. It adds up and essentially negates the cheap hardware.
And then there’s Laser printerwho use a more complicated electrostatic process to create prints. The basic premise is that a laser beam travels back and forth across a drum; this drum then collects toner (powdered ink) and heats the image onto the page. This is the type of technology used by Xeroxes and other large photocopiers.
Laser printer hardware has a higher starting price than inkjet counterparts, and replacement toner is also generally more expensive than ink cartridges. Prices can be daunting to the uninitiated; Why buy a more expensive printer that will also require expensive purchases in the future? The math isn’t that simple – a single toner cartridge can print Thousands from sides. Your purchase goes much further with the purchase of toner cartridges. The cost per page is usually path lower.
The print quality from laser printers – even less expensive laser printers – can sometimes be much better than what you can get from a low-end inkjet printer. They are also much faster and more efficient than inkjet printers. So yes, you will likely pay more upfront, but the value of that investment is well worth the price. You can always save some money on toner by opting for a black and white-only option.
There is one exception to this general opinion and that is the Canon Megatank printer that we have listed below. Canon actually did quite a few megatank printers, and all of these have refillable ink chambers that you refill with bottles instead of ink cartridges. Not only can you use it to print tons of normal documents, but these printers also spit out hundreds of prints per bottle.
Choose your advantages
I know what you’re thinking. Choosing between laser and inkjet can’t be that easy. Well you would be right. It is not! There are roughly a thousand models that fall into each category. So how can you ever decide which one actually gives you the most value for the money you spend on it?
It’s best to take some time to decide which extras are most important to you. Home printers are big on bells and whistles. Most of the time, you’re not just buying a printer; They also buy a scanner and a copier. You can also buy printers with Wi-Fi connectivity, duplexing, and a variety of apps that add features like email and smartphone connectivity. (Editor’s note: duplex scanning is a lifesaver, definitely think about it.)
Which of these functions are important to you depends on your personal preferences and needs. What I want to say is that when choosing a printer, in general, it is a good idea to put print quality above these extras – it is always better to use a laser printer without Wi-Fi through an all-in-one inkjet printer This allows you to print from across the room.
Show me the printers
Oh, you wanted specific recommendations?
If you only print in black and white and you also need a scanner:
If you are printing in color:
If you have $ 100 and want something to last:
If you mainly print photos:
If you have $ 50 and only print something twice a year:
Check your local library or Staples. Seriously, any printer that you can buy new for $ 50 is not worth the effort it inevitably prints into your home.