Picking the right printer, you need choose wisely, because you need to understand your needs and each printer’s feature. Here ares some tips to help you find both the right category of printer and the right printer model.

What Category of Printer Do You Need?
The three most useful ways to categorise printers are by:

  • purpose (general or special)
  • intended use (home or office)
  • technology

Define your needs by all three categories, and you will find the right printer easily.

Most printers that available in the market are photo printers, general-purpose printers, meant for printing text, graphic, and photos. Special-purpose printers include dedicated, near-dedicated photo printers, label printer, 3D printers and portable printers.

General-purpose printers are designed for home use (focus on photos) or office use (focus on text).  There are many multifunction printers are meant for the dual role of home and office printer, but usually one role over the other role. Therefore, you need to know how you plan to use the printer, and pick the one that designed for that role.

There are two common technologies: laser printer and inkjet printer. Nearly all lasers printers can print higher quality text than nearly any inkjet printer. However, nearly all inkjet printers can print higher quality photos than most of laser printers. Therefore, you might need to figure out whether text or photos are more important for you, and pick a technology according to your need.


Do You Need a Single-Function Printer or an Multiple-Function Printer?

Second, you need to consider whether you simply need to print or need something more, such as print high quality photo? For a photo printer, it has enough memory to store hundreds of photos, so you can bring the printer with you, show your photos and print it out.

For general-purpose printing, you can choose multiple-function printer, also known as all-in-one printer. Besides printing text and photo, the other functions include scanning, copying, and faxing from your PC, and even scanning to email. Some multiple function printers offer additional printing option, such as web-enabled printers which can connect directly to the Internet via Wi-Fi to access and print out without plugin printer cable to PC.

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Do You Really Need Color?

Many laser printers can print at high quality, if you often use it to print advertising handouts and trifold brochures, it can help you to save money with printing small quantities at your local print shop.


How are You Going to Connect?


Most printers are using USB port to connect with PC. However, many printers also include Wi-Fi capability. If you have wireless access point on your network, you can print wirelessly on that networks. Printers that support Wi-Fi Direct can connect directly to any Wi-FI-enabled devices, including computer, mobile device and tablets.


What Level of Output Quality Do You Need?

You need to understand which output you concern the most. Check out text, graphics and photos, because usually printer is high quality for on kind of output doesn’t necessarily mean high quality for the others.


How Much Speed Do You Need?

If you are used to print one or two pages, oyu probably don’t need a fast printer. If you need to a lot of documents frequently, speed is more important for you, which means you probably need a laser printers.


How Much Do You Print?

If you print only a few pages a day, you do not need to concern about how much a printer is designed to print. If you always print a lots, you  need to read carefully the information in its specifications. Figure out how much you print by how often you buy paper. Besides that, you need to consider the minimum and maximum paper size you used to print as well.



How Much Does it Cost?

Finally, you need to check out the total cost of ownership. You can know the cost per page, and many give a cost per photo on its specifications. Then, you can calculate the cost per year for each kind of output by multiply the cost per page for that kind of output by the number of those pages you print per year. Then, add the three amounts together to get the total cost per year. After the calculation, you can compare the total cost of ownership figures between printers to find out which model will be cheapest in long term.

(Jul 1, 2015 –