Printers & Ink Cartridges

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Printers continue to remain relevant, especially for Small Office/ Home Office (SOHO) users, and their usefulness lies solely on their capabilities. It is common for computer users to require hard copies of documents, pictures, and other material every once in a while. But, seeing that the market is flooded with countless makes and models of printers, it helps to know a thing-or-two about what to look for if you are looking to purchase a printer. Forget about the big corporations, big-spenders, this is focused on personal or small business use. Here are the capabilities that you should look for when buying printers and the consumables that go along with them.


You have probably heard about this, but in recent times companies that manufacture printers have continued to add more functions that can be performed by one device. A printer should be able to print, scan, photocopy, and more recently send and receive faxed documents. So you, as a customer, should keep this in mind when purchasing a printer if you use these functions often. Some prefer to use the term, Small-In-One, in reference to the overall size of the printer to fit in a designated place. Another, not-so-common, function is the Near Field Communication, which is yet to catch on popularity among users, but can be helpful in terms of printing without log-in.


It doesn't make sense to buy an item intended for business office use, to be used in a home office. It therefore depends on the amount of work you intend to do with a printer. There are tags like, "Home Basic," "Home Advanced," "Office Professional," and so on that you can go by, with the price range differing as per that.


It is needless to say that in the world of computers, wireless connectivity is catching on fast. So, for a printer that can be used remotely by multiple devices, this is a plus. Everyone loves simple things, and so having to untangle wires, connecting cables at the back, and risking the danger of children pulling and tagging on them can be avoided by buying a wireless-enabled printer.


This is a term that refers to the clarity of the printed or scanned document. Dots-per-inch (dpi) is simply the number of dots that can be placed in a straight line measuring one inch. Sounds technical, but the idea is to have a higher rating to determine the quality of the printed job, especially for colored pictures.


There are several types, such as inkjet, laser (mono laser), etc. Essentially it all depends on the clarity you want from documents, and the availability of filler/ replacement consumables. This brings us to the review on consumables.


Any electrical device has to require service ever now and then. For printers, the most consumed item is the print cartridges. You can, for example, get a printer that uses laser jet to print, whose print cartridge is capable of printing up to 2,000 pages (page yield). Although this hardly qualifies as a criterion, you would want to buy a cartridge that enables a lot of work to be done.

For printers with ink jet technology, it is all about the three primary colors; magenta, cyan, and yellow, for color prints, and black for black-and-white prints. For laser jet you have the same colors, but they are called toners cartridges. All-in-all the choices are many. For the best quality and price, I would have to say work within your budget, know which functions you would use frequently and the frequency of consumable parts


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