If you are on the market for a all-in-one printer to do your scanning, then you know that there are many to choose from. There truly is a printer for everyone no matter what it is that you need it for exactly, be it photo printing or large format scanning and printing.
And as with anything else you purchase, you want to know how to find the best printer to buy. Well, that decision mostly depends on what you are going to be using it for but overall there are a few main features and ideas to help you whittle down your choices to a manageable list.
Based on the lists of bestselling printers, it seems most people opt for an all-in-one printer, also known as a multifunctional printer. The price to have a printer that is also capable of scanning, copying, and faxing really isn’t that much greater anymore so it makes sense why people would prefer a multifunctional item.
Imagine having an all-in-one device that can print, scan and fax for for less than $200! If you do a lot of work from home or just like to stay organized, having all this functionality at your fingertips is really great.
But every good thing comes at a cost, even if it is monetary, so what you gain in functionality you may lose in print quality or compactness. The good news is that there are many great printers for sale at affordable prices.
Here are some general guidelines when shopping for a printer.
You obviously want a printer which has a high resolution as the resolution will determine the quality of the print. You’re in pretty good shape there because even the lowest priced printers these days have adequate resolution to get most jobs done in a satisfactory manner. You can find the resolution listed on the side of the product’s box, or if you are searching online you can usually find it in the product description. Do expect to pay more the higher you go on the resolution scale.
If you are going to be using the printer for photos then it is recommended that you buy one that is specifically meant for photo printing. This is important because if you try photo printing on a plain old regular printer they will not come out quite as good because the printer is meant primarily for text printing. Another plus is that these types of printers often enable you to connect your camera or media directly to the printer, bypassing the need for the computer. For more information see on guide on buying a photo printer.
Many printers come today with a wireless option. This allows multiple computers within a home to use that one printer through a wireless connection which is very convenient. Some printers are even compatible with mobile devices like phones or tablets.
Make sure that you are going to have adequate space wherever you plan on putting the computer. Take measurements and match them with the product when you get in the store or look it up online. The good thing here is that you can usually find the printer to fit your needs in a number of different sizes.
If you are going to be using a printer for business purposes in a home office type of setting, you may want to consider what are referred to as all-in-ones or multi-functional printers. These will be fully functional with photocopying capabilities, general text printing, scanning and maybe even a fax machine hook up. No matter how much the demise of the home phone is predicted, people are still sending and receiving faxes, so until it is pronounced officially dead, do consider an all-in-one with fax capability as these are the best printer and scanner for home use.
Inkjet vs Laser
Another choice that you need to consider is inkjet vs laser printer. Inkjet is the pre-dominant model purchased these days, but laser printers do put out higher quality black and white prints although at a slightly higher purchase price. For the most part, an inkjet model with high resolution should do the job for the average person. But if you need higher quality prints or speed, and your funds permit, do consider the laser models for text printing.
An important word of warning though when shopping for a printer. Take the manufacturer’s descriptions about page speed and ink cartridge output with a grain of salt. They always put out the maximum specs usually accompanied by small print or asterisks. If you want the correct specifications or reviews on prospective printers Amazon and ConsumerSearch are excellent places to conduct your research.
Tips on Buying a Printer
When buying a printer there are also a few main specs you will want to consider to find the best printer for your needs.
1. Speed – how many pages can the printer produce per minute. If you will be printing in bulk, this is an important feature to evaluate.
2. Resolution – if you will be printing documents for your business, print clarity will be important. Likewise, if you are shopping for a photo printer you will be most concerned with the quality of the images printed.
3. Footprint – printers come in various sizes so you need to consider how much room you have available.
4. Functionality – are you looking for a document printer only or will you be printing a lot of images. Would an all-in-one printer with copying and scanning capabilities be more useful?
5. Ink Type & Costs – if you will be using your printer solely for documents then you can probably lower your costs by finding a black and white printer. Color printers will offer more versatility but will require multiple ink cartridges. The cost of ink cartridges is also something to consider.
6. Output sizes – there are printers that can print larger-size documents and photos, up to 11×17 inch.
Top Brands of Printers
In the world of printers there are a few different players, but there are really 3 to 4 which seem to stand out.
Canon, probably best know for their cameras, also have some of the most popular all-in-one printers. You can expect good photo quality results with Canon printers.
Epson was an early leader creating inkjet printers. They continue to be a dominant player, and like Canon, are known for the image quality of their products.
HP (Hewlett-Packard) was creating electronic and scientific equipment all the way back to the 1940s. Along with Canon and Epson, HP was one of the first producers of the inkjet printer.
Brother actually got their start manufacturing sewing machines, but has branched out considerably. Today they are probably best known for their multifuntional printers.
These 4 companies continue to produce some of the best printers currently for sale.
Choosing the Best Printer
Finding the best printer for your needs does not need to be made into rocket science. There are so many great choices it is difficult to make a mistake when purchasing. But do shop wisely and do your research yet don’t let yourself become overwhelmed and end up with information overload in the process. This isn’t like picking your spouse.
The printer reviews on this site should help you get started as we have focused primarily on some of the bestselling printers. While bestselling doesn’t always translate to the best or most appropriate for your situation, top selling lists have a way of relegating the poor quality choices to the bottom.