Choosing a new printer

We are frequently asked to recommend a printer by our customers. Here’s what we tell the majority who ask:

It all depends on what sort of printing you do the most. Let’s break it down this way:

Inkjet printer

Epson Stylus Pro 4800

Epson Stylus Pro 4800

Pro…

  • Best for printing photographs
  • Best for printing CD/DVD labels on disks
  • Most affordable way to print color for the average home office/small office (SOHO) and home user
  • Less expensive printers on the market, often free with a new computer
  • Affordable multi-function printers (all-in-one printers)

Con…

  • Most expensive cost-per-page printing solution
  • Must be used at least every 2 weeks to prevent printhead drying
  • Inkjet printers are not designed to be repaired
  • Leaking ink can permanently stain many materials

Laserjet printer

Pro…

  • Lower cost-per-page than inkjets
  • Doesn’t have to be used frequently to avoid printhead drying (no printhead!)
  • Average 2000 pages per cartridge as opposed to less than 200 for an inkjet cartridge
  • Generally faster printing speed, less setup time
  • Usually has drivers for Windows, Mac and Linux

Con…

Samsung ML-1710

Samsung ML-1710

  • Higher initial cost for printer and supplies
  • Color laser printers are generally still too expensive for the average SOHO user
  • Personal laser printers rarely offer duplexing or other advanced features
  • All-in-one laser printers are still quite expensive

Just as when you consider buying a new computer or even a new car, how you intend to use it should be your primary consideration. If you think you might someday want to print photos or holiday cards, you need an inkjet printer. If all you plan to do is print out forms or receipts, consider a laserjet. If you need an all-in-one machine (printer, copier, fax and scanner) you should buy an inkjet printer.

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