Holiday Buyer’s Guide: Choose the Perfect Printer

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The holiday season is now officially upon us  and in nearly every retail store across the nation, festive music and decorations are front and center along with the hottest gifts and great deals.   But the most wonderful time of the year can also quickly become the most expensive time of the year for many consumers and businesses between presents, parties and traveling.

So as we’ve done in the past few years, the staff of PrinterComparison will be doing its part to help our readers save some money this holiday season with our weekly showcased deals, top money saving printer picks and special pieces on getting the technology you want without spending a bundle.

This guide will cover four different classes of printers — all-in-one inkjets, dedicated photo printers, laser-class printer for SOHO and laser-class printers for SMB — any one of which can handle just about any task you throw at them (depending on the configuration).


Best All-in-One Inkjets

All-in-One inkjets are perfect for home and home office thanks to the compact footprint, multiple devices and low initial cost.  Throw in a variety of creative features including CD/DVD printing, mobile print apps, web-connection applications, built-in memory card reader and unique photo software.  All the printers on this list fall between $100 – $400 and would fit perfectly in a home, dorm room or home office.

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Best Dedicated Photo Printers

This category is a bit different from the rest since it encompasses three different styles of printing: inkjet, inkless, and dye sublimination. What the three have in common are that all styles are used by manufacturers to create single function printers completely dedicated to printing quality photos.  These printers vary in price from $99 to $999 and offer different functionality depending on the style.

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Best Laser-Class for SOHO

Our all-in-one inkjet picks may be perfect for homes and home offices but you can also find a range of great laser and LED printers that are excellent choices for the home office and small office.  Laser and LED printers are an attractive option to the at-home profession because of low cost of ownership, fast print speeds, reliable quality documents, large monthly duty cycles, etc. While the holiday season usually finds businesses cutting back, we’ve included several low cost laser and LED printers in our list for even the tightest of small office budgets.

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Best Laser-Class for SMB

While you may see some cross over between small office, home office devices and small and medium business devices, we’ve split the laser-class devices into two lists based on price.  All the printers in our SMB top five range in price from $500 – $1200, perhaps out of the price range of a small office or workgroup.  Besides the typical laser and LED printers marketed to businesses, we’ve included a solid ink product on our top five list.

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Looking for the best product buys in desktops, notebooks, tablets, smartphones and cameras?  Go to our Holiday Guide 2012 main page to link to additional top choices for the holidays!

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