Printer Buying Guide

Printer Buying Guide – 8 Things to Know in 2020

The moment you decide to buy a home printer, several questions start popping into the head as the choice is a bit tricky. The selection of the best home printer among several brands and models can be confusing. 

Buying the right home printer depends a lot on your usage intent like –

  • Choice of the Operation – heavy usage or infrequent usage
  • Print preference –  text or images,
  • Portability and size, and
  • Associated features like connectivity, etc.

Emphasizing features like resolution DPI, Cost of refill, print speed, and print quality also influences the home printer buying decision.

Let’s go through the below printing elements to understand various parameters one should consider before buying the right printer for setting up a home office or for commercial use.

#1. Inkjet Printer vs Laser Printer

Inkjet printing technology accumulates droplets of ink to the paper while in laser printing technology, laser beams draw text or image by using electronic devices and selenium coating.

Inkjet printers are known for their image quality. If you are looking for a printer for image printing, you should prefer an inkjet printer over a laser printer. But if you want to print text documents in monochrome settings, a laser printer can be the right choice.

Home printers are used to print less often. What we generally seek from a home printer is quality, flexibility, and color accuracy, so inkjet printers are the preferred choice for home printing.

If you want to print photos along with documents, it is a good idea to invest in an inkjet that could produce professional printing results for you.

Canon Pixma MG series is a collection of popular Canon inkjet printers that deliver quality text and graphics printing.

Printer Buying Guide Canon Pixma MG3620 Printer
Canon Pixma MG 3620 Printer

With changing technology, inkjet printers are now more efficient and offer a higher page yield – few offerings as many as 10k printed pages for monochrome ink cartridges.

Laser printers are preferred when printing black and white text documents is a priority. However, Laser printer vs inkjet cost per page can be on a higher side for Lasers.

Brother HL series is recommended for simple, reliable, and affordable laser printers. Few popular options being Brother HLL2390DW, Brother HL-L2300D, and Brother HL-L6200DW

For enterprise usage, a budget printer with a quality laser printing, the HP Colour LaserJet Enterprise series might interest you.

#2. Regular or All-in-one Home Printer

Stand-alone printers were considered more user-friendly till the multi-functional printers took over the market and earned user’s credibility with easy to use features at lower prices. 

Spending extra pennies for buying a scanner is not smart if you can have it along with your printer, which makes it cheaper and more compact.

Also, the latest technologies in printers’ have pushed customers to go for all-in-one multi-functional printers, and thus a printer with a scanner, copier, a fax machine for home office printers is a smart choice to go for. A printer that can scan both sides of a paper in one go can be a good choice for scanning documents is a requirement in day to day jobs. 

All-in-one printers are highly functional and speedy being Cost-effective. These multifunctional printers are more popular now owing to the benefits they bring in. 

For a business printer that could also be used at home, the HP office jet pro series is a right buy. 

#3. Color or Monochrome Printer

The monochrome printer uses a single black cartridge whereas the color printer has to use four cartridges, i.e., cyan, magenta, black and yellow thus making it costlier both to purchase and run.

Color prints are impact-based, so they are more substantial, bigger, and slightly slower than black and white monochrome printers. Color prints are more attractive and engaging as compared to black and white prints. So, if your fondness is making your prints enchanting, you must go for a color printer. Epson Eco Tank Wireless Color Printer is our recommended option here

Apart from print quality, if the cost of ‘print per page’ is your primary consideration, then a monochrome printer for your home is the right choice for you. 

A monochrome printer is optimal for home office usage where print quantity is large, whereas the color printers are preferred for personal needs along with home office purposes. The affordable and compact Brother Compact Monochrome Laser Printer is a right fit with many 5 star reviews on Amazon 

#4. Printing Quality Images

Print quality is measured by Dots per Inch – DPI. 

DPI is the number of dots present in a one-inch square surface. The higher the DPI, the more detailed the results. However, DPI is not the only criterion to define the print quality. 

Usually, a 300 DPI is standard, 600 DPI will produce professional-quality results and 2400 DPI means good quality images.

Besides, if you are interested in quality image printing, a dedicated color printer should be preferred.  A printer with good DPI resolution and color precision is a go-to choice if you are fond of printing images, family pictures, or vacation albums. 

The quality of prints of a color printer is definitely better than the one you may get outside or from mail order services. Also, you will have the convenience to print as per need. 

HP Envy 785 Photo printer is an excellent choice in this series which has wireless connectivity options along with HP instant ink services. It supports a wide range of paper sizes including letter, legal, 4×5 in, 4×6 in, 5×7 in, 8×10 in, and No 10 envelopes. Definitely the best buy under 250$

However, such printers often come with a supply cost with space requirements. For only photo usage, you might also want to explore ultra-compact instant photo printers as they are small, handy, and easy to use. 

#5. Print Quantity Per Month – ADF Printer

If you have to print large docs in a month, a useful paper handling feature like a decent page holding tray capacity and ADF technology is to be well-thought-out while purchasing.

Paper handling features like automatic document feeder (ADF) are characteristic in printers in which a stack of paper is put into the machine and is then automatically fed via it, allowing the user to print, scan or copy. 

For high printing usage, features like Ink replenishment services, automated notification of low levels of the ink cartridge, and paper refilling are some features to consider while choosing the right home printer. 

HP Office Jet Pro series or Canon Pixma is the preferred ADF printer on the Amazon Printers store. 

#6. Connectivity

Today printers are coming with the latest connectivity options like Wi-Fi, USB, Bluetooth for remote prints. You can print from your phone, cameras, or other devices using smart apps, directing your printer for instant remove prints.

A new alternative is known as Wi-Fi Direct also lets you connect your printer to a laptop that helps it, without having to attach the printer to a network first. AirPrint is an Apple printing protocol that permits you to print from an iOS telephone or tablet the usage of AirPrint-compatible printer.

Connecting USB to your printer via your computer or laptop is also an option if you aren’t that tech-prone. Several printers also have Bluetooth connectivity that lets you print using your phone or other Bluetooth compatible device to your Bluetooth technology in your printer.

The connectivity option you choose can rely upon your investment in the printer, brand, model, usage, network, etc.

Epson Expression Home Series and Brother HL Series printers are a range of home printers with excellent web connectivity.

#7. Ink type and Supply cost – Budget Printing

Ink usage is an important parameter to consider for budget printing while buying a printer EcoTank series because ink replenishment will definitely have a cost in the long run. 

Depending on how often you intend to print, it can be worthwhile to decide if you want a Laser printer or an Inkjet printer. Inkjet printers will have cheaper cartridges but laser printer cartridges will yield more prints per cartridge.  For printing texts and Photos, the best home printers are Epson tank printer belongs to printers that use less ink as it has in-built tanks that can hold ink for up to 2 years. 

Also, try to check the ink plans a printer brand offers. Instant Ink replenishment services by HP is an interesting feature where you can subscribe for regular ink deliveries on the basis of your usage. 

There are applications that send you notifications while your ink runs low. This feature is present in many printers like HP Smart App in HP Officejet series and HP Colour LaserJet Enterprise series that help you notify when ink level gets low.

Tank models of Epson Tank Printer and Canon can hold ink in their tank yielding a lost cost per page and could save a lot of money for you in the longer run. Certainly, a nice printer to explore under 200$ for budget printing

Also, printer brands charge for their ink replenishment – often so high that buying a printer for home turns out to be a costly process. Thus, reviewing the brand’s ink replenishment service is recommended.

#8. Pictbridge, Memory Card Slots, & Cloud-Based Apps 

A printer with built-in memory slots, Bluetooth connectivity, PictBridge, or a cloud-based app helps you to print directly without connecting the printer physically with the computer. HP ENVY All-in-One series, Epson WorkForce series and Canon PIXMA MG are a nice collection of printers that have memory card slots

Printers with Cloud-based smart apps allow you to transfer images directly from Google Cloud Print, Dropbox, etc to print. Such features are smart features that even allow you to print images from your phone using Google Cloud or Dropbox and giving print instructions to your printer. 

Conclusion

If you are ready to setup home office usage, prefer all in one printer with functions like printing, scanning, and copying as it helps you in work from home too. 

Like a home printer, one that prints both text and images with quality and is easy to install and set up is the best home printer. Inkjets are the usual choice here!

Check out our top Compact Printers for Home office usage and find the right printer for printing your vacay photos or spreadsheets!

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