Buy a printer that works, not one for the looks!
When shopping for a printer, most buyers tend to disregard function and purpose. Instead, they settle for a unit based on its aesthetic appeal, particularly when it is on sale. An inkjet photo printer for instance may be inexpensive upfront. But in the long haul, it will be expensive to operate due to replacement ink consumables that often carry hefty price tags. But users have no other choice, particularly when printing photo 8.5 x11 inches in size since a dedicated inkjet printer is indispensable to this type of application.
Smart buyers are never swayed over by the aesthetic appeal of a product. On the contrary, the technical capabilities and features of the unit should be carefully assessed before settling for a particular printer. Once a unit has been chosen, deliberate in detail other printer expenditures that run parallel to the operation of the unit. Check out below the recommended considerations when buying a printer.
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Check average monthly print volume. If average print volume is high, the laser printer is the better choice considering the higher monthly duty cycles inherent of laser units. While laser printers can print over 100,000 pages, a dedicated inkjet photo can only deliver minimal pages in comparison which explains its low monthly duty cycle rating.
Review the cost of replacement ink and toner cartridges. In the print out of photos, cost expenditures will vary depending on the actual number of replacement cartridges consumed per month. Certainly if the user is printing photo 8.5 x 11 inches in size at a minimal rate, then a dedicated inkjet photo printer will be ideal. But if print jobs involve thousands of photos per month, then a laser printer will best satisfy print requirements under said circumstances.
Assess print color requirement. If the user prints mostly black and white documents, then a monochrome laser printer will effectively answer the need. If print outs often include color graphics and photos, a dedicated inkjet photo printer would be essential. Nonetheless, preference shifts to color laser printers for regular, high volume color print jobs.
Determine consumables setup. If print colors Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black are assigned with individual ink tanks, then printing will prove to be economical. It must follow that replacement will be made only on the particular printer cartridge that has dried out and not the entire set.
Ascertain speed of the printer. If fast printing is a priority, then you need a unit that considerably reduces the waiting time set in the turnout of printed pages. A typical inkjet can deliver 2 to 4 pages of text and graphics per minute. Printing photo 8.5 x 11 inches in size can be accomplished in 3 minutes. Compare that to a laser printer which can print a 4 page documents (not photo) in 15 seconds and even less. The first page out speed is necessary if the printer is intended to serve a networked environment since a lot of personnel will have access to the printer.
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In the end, the final choice of a printer must be based on the features and not just the form factor and appeal of the unit.
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