With so many Printers
available today what should you buy?
There are so many printers available to choose from that it
can be quite confusing as to which choice you eventually make.
First decision is to decide the main purpose that the printer
will be used for. Most printers nowadays are known as MFP's (Multi
Function Printers) or MFD's (Multi Function Devices). This basically
means that they will do more than simply print. Most MFP's will
a photocopier) and also have card readers for printing directly
from your camera's memory
card. First of all when buying a printer let's go through some
of the basic specifications of a printer and what they all mean.
The speed at which the printer prints to a page
will be listed under the term "pages per minute",
The top of the range Inkjet Printers will be rated at around
20ppm in black and white (draft quality), and 12ppm in colour,
a mid-range Inkjet Printer, expect to see figures from 8ppm
to 16ppm in black and white, and 1.2ppm to 12ppm in colour (depending
on print quality mode settings). Note: (for the
average home user most modern printers print at an acceptable
speed so ppm ratings are only relevant where large quantities
of printing or high speed printing is a concern)
Resolution and print quality
The quality of the print from a printer is known as its resolution.
Resolution is the number of "dots per square
inch" or dpi.
The higher the dpi means the better or finer the print quality
will be. Inkjet Printers generally have a maximum colour resolution
of 2400x1200dpi, with some
of the more expensive printers quoting up to
4800x1200dpi. For the average full-colour 8x10in
photograph, you're unlikely to see any significant improvement
once you get above 1200x1200dpi.
Why does a Photo Printer produce
better pictures than a standard Inkjet Printer ?
Generally the main difference with a photo printer is that
many of them use additional printer ink cartridges to provide
between colours" . They usually employ the standard
Black, Yellow, Cyan and Magenta ink cartridges but they also
throw in a Light Magenta
and a Light Cyan ink cartridge to provide a better overall photo
quality. Epson commonly employ these extra cartridges
in many of their printers.
What other factors should I consider
when buying a printer ?
One of the FIRST considerations before purchasing a printer
should be the cost of replacing the ink cartridges. Many of the
HP, Canon and Lexmark printers have the "Printer Head" (the
part that actually prints the ink onto the paper) built into
cartridge. This makes replacing the cartridges very costly. Make
sure that you price the ink cartridges before purchasing the
printer. Often manufacturers will sell quality printers for very
low prices knowing quite well that the first time the customer
replaces the ink cartridges that they will redeem
Conclusion: what to buy ?
If you are simply after a CHEAP basic "MFD" Printer
that will print, scan, photocopy and has a card reader (for digital
it is very hard to beat the Brother Printers. They are inexpensive,
reliable, produce a good quality print and the ink cartridges
are reasonably priced. (in fact our Brother LC37,LC47 and LC57's
are one of our biggest sellers). The only problem with Brother
printers is that they have a habit of "Paper Jamming". For photographic
printing you may like to look at the Canon printers.
Remember the basic specifications wev'e looked at above and
chose your printer according to the purpose you will most be
using it for. As a final comment let me say that
I strongly advise people against purchasing a Lexmark,HP or Epson
printer. Although they are very good printers the price and availability
of ink cartridges is a large deterrent. Happy hunting !
Inkjet Printer Manufacturers sites:
The following websites may be of a help to you in finding out
more about which printer will suite your needs:
Inkjet Printers >> Canon
Inkjet Printers >> Brother
MFC Printers >> HP Printers
Article by Dean Michael.
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