For most of us printers are nothing we know too much about. It’s just kind of a supplement to our main working equipment like your computer. But then again, it’s an important one at that. For pretty much all of us – I dare to say there’s not one person out there who would be able to say they never have used or haven’t felt the need to use a printer. Nevertheless, it’s something we generally don’t know anything about. If you know just a thing about your computer, you know the screen size, the battery length, the hard drive size. If you know just a bit more, you also know the processor, size of the memory and a few more things. But when we think about printers – black and white, or color one. That’s pretty much the only thing I know.
So once you head over to your local shop after you have decided you need a printer, finding the one most suitable for you can be quite difficult as well as confusing. Laser, inkjet, multifunction – what’s all that? The only thing you might remember from old times is that there was something called matrix printer – slow and noisy. And when it comes to brands…who knows.
Okay, so short version of choosing a printer for dummies would look like this:
1. Know your computer and your operating system. When you go to the shop, whatever you decide to buy, make sure to ask if the printer supports your operating system. While generally it’s not a problem, there are occasions…
2. Decide whether you want a color or black and white printer.
3. Know what’s important for you – is it the speed you are after? Or do you definitely want to have a scanner feature as well? Do you want to print directly from your memory card or are you okay with printing only from your computer? Do you want your printer to have wireless functionality?
4. What do you need the printer for? Your answer to this question decides a lot. If you don’t need to print a lot or anything too graphical, you can easily go for a low-end inkjet or laser printer. If you definitely need to print hundreds of black and white pages every day, you might want a faster laser printer. For printing photographs a photo printer is a good option.
5. Before making the decision you might also want to check how much your future printer supplies will be costing. Paper is one thing, but if you’re getting an inkjet, the ink will cost, and you will also have to know how often you need to take care of it. And so on. So a quick check on ongoing expenses might be a good idea.
6. What’s your budget?
Now put them all together and go get yourself the right printer.