Printer Buying Tips?

Discussion in Office Supplies started by Denis Hard • Sep 22, 2015.

  1. Denis Hard

    Denis HardWell-Known Member

    Sep 22, 2013
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    It's easy to find "great" deals on printers but unless you are armed with the right information you what appears to be a good deal might prove to be not that good a deal.

    Before buying a printer, check its ink usage because though a printer may not cost much upfront if you'll spend a lot more on ink [compared to other printers] in the long run you lose out.

    Any advice you can offer someone who wants to buy a printer?
  2. gata montes

    gata montesActive Member

    Jul 26, 2015
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    I too would agree that as excellent deals on printers are so easily come by these days - its now even more important than ever to have all the right information - in order to make full use of them and get the right printer for your needs - especially as there are also different kinds of printers - where output quality can vary significantly depending on what they are being used for.

    Which is why I would say that the first considerations when choosing a printer - should be - what you are going to use it for, how much printing are you likely to be doing and what kind of quality do you want - for example - ink-jet printers are good general purpose models for home printing text, graphics and photos - whereas laser printers are a better choice for businesses that require large volume text copying - as the quality is sharper or if you are wanting something in between both worlds - then choosing an all in one or multi- function printer with copy, print, scan and or fax functions could be the answer.

    Oh and speed as well as the size of the paper tray need to be taken into consideration too - as does whether you are likely to want to print in color.
  3. Theo

    TheoWell-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2014
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    While the cost of ink and whether you can refill cartridges is an important factor, I also look at size because I have limited space. I read mixed reviews on HP and people said they could refill and others couldn't, so I took a chance and the chip that prevents the refilled cartridge from being detected does exist and is hard and time consuming to over ride and not worth it. I haven't managed it yet, but the research on tips and tricks cost me a day.

    Read real reviewers issues before you buy, because that's the only way you will know the pros and cons. My advice is never buy HP despite the lower initial cost.
  4. rollybooz

    rollyboozActive Member

    Jun 30, 2012
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    Look also into the technical aspects of it such as whether it can print double sided! I know this sounds ridiculous, but I used to have a HP model (and hence I agree with Theo) that could not automatically process double sided printing. I do not mean that the printer is unable to automatically re-feed the paper and print on the other side. I am more than happy to flip the paper manually. However, the printer was unable to process the printing being double sided. So, everytime I need double-sided printing, I had to send the even number pages through, then the odd. Frustrating and prone to mistakes if you are printing many pages!

    Also, look to see if the package includes the data cable. The cheaper models sometimes do not come with it! Ridiculous!
  5. ohiotom76

    ohiotom76Well-Known Member

    Jul 15, 2012
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    Ink Jet printers are more suited for printing photography - so if you plan on printing out a bunch of family photos or vacation photos regularly, a decent ink jet printer is going to give you the sharpest and most accurate results. If you hold an ink jet printed photo side by side with a color photo from a laser printer, you can see a noticeable loss in quality, sharpness and inconsistent color. Laser printers are fine for brochures and other documents, but not when you need photographic quality.

    Both printers can get expensive with ink, but you should be aware that when your laser printer runs out, it can cost you well over $100, $150 or more to replace the ink cartridges for it, whereas it may cost you less than $50 or $35 for an ink jet printer. If you need to get some stuff printed right away, and you don't have the $150 or so to replace your laser printer ink, that could be a problem. Also, laser printers are messier to change the ink, because they leak the power all over the machine while you're changing them. Also you will need to regularly clean your laser printer otherwise you will start seeing color blotches on your prints from the powder in the ink cartridges leaking and getting all over the rollers.

    When it comes to paper though, one nice thing about laser printers is they can work well with cheaper paper stock, unlike inkjet printers, which don't work well with thinner paper not designed to absorb the ink properly.
  6. Diane Lane

    Diane LaneWell-Known Member

    Mar 22, 2015
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    I just had this conversation with a friend. He was in the market for a printer, but stated that he wanted a laser printer, rather than an ink jet printer (which is what I have), because the toner cartridges last longer than the ink cartridges used by most ink jet printers. He said since he doesn't do much printing, he will rarely have to replace the toner. I've never had to buy a toner cartridge other than for some office jobs I've had, so have always purchased the smaller ink cartridges, and I usually buy the refilled ones, because they're cheaper. I know both can be expensive, but I like this printer because it's smaller, and although the ink is more expensive than I want to pay, it's still a lot cheaper than toner cartridges, and I don't have to replace the ink that often.

    Oh, and I 3rd or 4th, whichever it is, the caveat about HP printers. I have tried them and don't like them at all. Everything seemed to be a hassle. I would recommend Canon or Brother for quality and durability, and I've also had a Lexmark printer in the past that did a decent job.
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