There are many reasons why you would need a home printer. Whether it is for your home office, or for doing academic assignments, you can be assured that there is a printer that is up to the task. This has led to intense competition among the major printer manufacturers such as Canon, Epson, HP, and other. The result of this rivalry has been to the consumers’ benefits as the prices of printers have gone down dramatically. Today, it is easy to get a brand-new printer for less than $60.
Nevertheless, the sheer amount of printer options available on the market has ensured that selecting a printer is no longer a simple task. Because of that, we have put together a quick guide to help you choose the best printer for your home.
However, one thing needs to be pointed out. If you are running a small business from home, you might want to look for a printer meant for business purposes. This is because while home printers can carry out most functions handily, they may not be up to the task or efficient in handling business operations; particularly if your business involves churning out a lot of print.
With that in mind, here is what you need to consider when buying a home printer:
Inkjet or Laser?
The answer to this question will be dependent on what and how much of it you intend on printing.
Color inkjet printers take up the lion’s share of the printer market due to their ability to print just about anything. Whether it is photos, pie charts, or assignments, these printers can do it all. Additionally, inkjet printers today are exceptionally fast and have print speeds that can rival their laser cousins.
Laser printers, on the other hand, are what you need in an office setting, especially if most of the printing done there is in monochrome. Additionally, monochrome laser printers are often more affordable, have better print speeds, and in some instances, have a lower cost per page printed than the color inkjet printer. However, this does not cut across the board for all laser printers. Another option that you would consider is color laser printers. However, these are typically costlier than inkjet printers regarding the cost per page printed.
Traditionally, laser printers used to offer a higher page yield per cartridge than inkjet printers. However, this is changing. Today, some inkjet printer models offer as much as over 7,000 pages from a single-color cartridge an up to 10,000 pages out of a single monochrome ink cartridge. This translates to fewer cartridge changes and lower printing costs.
Nevertheless, since we are talking about a printer for home use, a multi-functioning unit makes more sense. This is because it not only saves you the costs of having to buy a separate printer and scanner, but it will also save you a lot of room. Additionally, all-in-ones are quite common nowadays with manufactures rarely charging a premium for them. In fact, you can get one with as little as $50. These are the most recommendable units for home users.
Also, note that standalone printers for home users are slowly being phased out by most manufacturers. This means that you might just have to take that all-in-one printer nonetheless.
If the motivation behind your looking for a printer is for photo-related purposes rather than for assignments, consider going for a dedicated photo printer. Even though they do not have the flexibility of their multitasking counterparts, they are exceptionally good at the one task that they can do and will give better quality prints than those you would find at Shutterfly. Nevertheless, the costs of printing are higher as well.
Most dedicated photo or graphic printers are typically small size units that are only capable of printing 4 x 6-inch photos. However, some wide-format models can print media that is up to 24-inches wide.
Another thing to put into consideration is that supplies for dedicated printers are typically more expensive than those of a multi functioning printer. For instance, Epson and Canon have models that can print 8.5 x 11-inches while using up to six ink colors to create photos with enhanced color accuracy. Additionally, most all-in-one machines can produce 8.5 x 11-inch images when the right paper is used.
The mantra ‘give away the razor and sell the blades’ has never been truer than in the printer business.
Many printer manufacturing companies are masters of this ancient business model. They entice consumers with unbelievably affordable printers, knowing very well they will get their profits from the numerous ink cartridge replacements the consumer shall need.
As such, it is imperative that you research the cost of replacing a cartridge before you buy any printer. Also, depending on what you intend to print and how often you plan on doing it, it might make more economic sense to buy an expensive printer but with lower cartridge replacement costs. Additionally, investigate printers whose cartridges are refillable. This should cost a lot less than having to replace a cartridge every time.
You should also consider ink plans. For instance, HP has an Instant Ink program which will send your cartridges automatically whenever you run low on ink. Additionally, the ink plan promises you a certain number of pages for a fixed fee. Epson and Canon have ‘ink tank’ models whereby you can refill from ink bottles.
This allows you to enjoy an economical cost per page. Brother has printers that contain multiple cartridges that will ensure you won’t have to refill for a while.
Buying a printer is not just about walking into a printer store and picking the one recommended by the salesman, you need to do some investigation on what sort of printer will suit your needs. This guide should help you choose the best printer for your home.