Factors to Consider when Choosing a Printer

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Printer

Some common features to look for when purchasing a printer (either consumer or professional) are

  • Speed: Printers are rated in pages per minute (PPM). Low-end inkjet printers typically print about 12 or fewer PPM when printing black and white pages. When printing color documents, the number of pages printed per minute will be less.

  • Color: Almost all inkjet printers can print in color, but most laser printers only print in black and white. Color printers can be expensive to maintain because most inkjet printers have one cartridge for black ink and a second cartridge for colored inks. When one color runs out, you’re forced to replace the entire cartridge, or all of the colors won’t look right when you print the document. Color laser printers are available, although they are usually very expensive.

  • Resolution: Similar to monitors, a printer’s quality can be rated in resolution. Higher resolution means images and text will appear crisper. Low-end or older inkjet printers might print only a maximum of 600 dpi (dots per inch), which is more than fine for text, but might be low if you want to print high-quality photographs.

  • Connectivity: You can connect a printer to your computer in three main ways. Older printers typically connect to your system using a parallel (36-pin) port, whereas newer printers often offer both parallel and USB connections. The third way of connecting to a printer is by connecting a printer to your network, although this option is usually seen only on professional printers.

  • Duplexing: Another feature you might want to think about when considering professional printers is duplexing. Duplexing refers to the ability to print on both sides of a sheet of paper without you having to manually flip the piece of paper and put it back in the paper tray.

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