How to pick the perfect printer: A buyer’s checklist

by Reads (14,617)

These days no one buys a major technology purchase – like a computer, TV or camera -without doing some research. Well, the same should go for buying a printer. The devices are more complex than ever with so many features and functions that it can be hard to narrow down a style of printer, let alone a brand.
 
So the staff of PrinterComparison.com has come up with a 10 question checklist to help guide newbies and pros alike on their quest for the perfect printer. 

TOP 10 QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE BUYING A PRINTER:

1. How much do you want to spend?
This is the No. 1 question of the season considering the current economic climate. So before you hit the stores, ask yourself, “how much money do you have to spend on this purchase?” For an idea of what you can get in each price bracket, check our Moms, Dads, and Grads buyer’s guide coming next week!

2. How much will consumables cost?
The second most important question, although some would argue it’s the first. Either way, it’s important to get a general idea of how much it will cost to run your new printer over the long run. Check to see what kind of ink or toner it takes and then find it in the store or online. Most manufacturers will have a general ball park number on prints per cartridge listed on the packaging; divide that by the cost of the cartridge to get an estimate of cost per print.

3. Is Multifunction the ticket?
More than ever, manufacturers are advertising the fabulous All-in-One (AIO) or Multifunction printer (MFP). They mean the same thing; that you’ll be getting a printer as well as several other functional devices. The question is, “do you really need a scanner and copier or could you save money by just purchasing a single function printer?”

4. You decided yes. So which AIO or MFP is right for me?
Most AIOs or MFPs offer print, scan and copy capabilities. However, many of the multifunction devices now offer fax and/or high quality photo capabilities as well. Four-in-1 or 5-in-1 devices will almost always be more expensive than their 3-in-1 counterparts so make sure that fax and/or photo capabilities are something you need.

5. To go wireless or not? That is the question!
Cutting the cord is more prevalent than ever in today’s world and the printing industry is not immune to that trend. Many manufacturers are touting a built-in wireless connectivity as a major feature, but should you pay major money for it? Well, two questions can answer this dilemma for you: “do you have a network in your home or office?” And “do you have more than one computer you want to print from?” If the answer is yes to both, then you’ll want to consider either a Wi-Fi or Ethernet (wired network) connection. If the answer is no to either, than a plain old direct connection via USB will work just fine.



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