What to look out for when buying a printer?
Resolution is important when getting a photo printer. Most printers already output great typed document, but when considering a photo printer, quality and toner costs are the most important aspects.
Ink cost has to be considered as this is probably the second largest investment in the printer. Cheaper printer models usually have more expensive toners. That of course doesn’t mean that cheap is bad. It’s just that manufacturing costs of printers have to be recovered by other means. It’s much like when Amazon sells you Kindle Fire HD tablet at the cost hoping that you will buy some books and movies. If you’re printing a lot of documents, get a laser printer. The costs are greater, but you will save in the long run. You may consider saving money by getting a black and white printer.
Speed is important when you’re printing large batches. For basic home use this may not be the most important thing to watch out for. Remember, the more you get, the more you pay. Consider what’s important to you.
Size of the printers matter to people that have limited shelf space in mind. Some people require legal size documents. If you’re concerned about the size of paper, ask the sales rep. Most printers handle up to 11×17 inch paper.
All-in-one types are very useful if you need occasional scanning, faxing and copying. If you think you’d never need any of this and you’d be fine just printing documents, then save your money and buy just a printer.
Ok, now that we have that out of the way, let us take a look at some of the best picks of 2012.
HP Photosmart 5520 is an all-in-one solution producing an amazing 4,800 max DPI prints. It offers some of the best printer connectivity via Bluetooth, WiFi, AirPrint and auto-duplex printing. 5520 sports 2.65-inch LCD touchscreen where you can easily choose the pictures you like on your USB or SD card. Scanner offers direct-to-email scanning. You can use this printer to print through the cloud as well. It offers no Ethernet connector however and no PictBridge support. HP Photosmart 5520 e-All-in-One Printer can be picked up at amazon for $98. If ethernet is important to you, CANON PIXMA MX512 seems like a good choice for $100.
HP OfficeJet 6100 is a good choice if you’re not big on all-in-one solutions. 6100 can handle a lot of your printing needs (up to 12,000 pages a month). HP offers ePrint tech and AirPrint so you can send your print jobs from anywhere. 8.5 x 11 inch size is the max size though. It has ethernet and borderless printing and water-resistant printing. HP Officejet 6100 e-Printer Wireless Color Printer sells for $79.99.
Brother HL-3075CW is a good choice for someone that prints a lot. The laser toner will last thousands of pages before you need to replace it. Throw in 250 sheets in a tray and press send. At 19ppm in full color, Brother HL-3075CW will exceed your expectations. It has a WiFi 802.11b/g and Ethernet capability. It also handles direct interface with USB. The output quality is up to 600 x 2400 dpi. At $199 Brother Printer HL3075CW Wireless Color Printer is a bargain.
If you’re ok with black and white docs, then HP Laserjet Pro P1102W for about $130 is a winner.
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