Table of Contents
- Color: Not the color of the plastic. Decide if you need to print in "black and white" or color.
- Display: Make sure the printer has a usable touch display for easier operation. This is a must.
- Capacity: If high volume is needed, we recommend a paper tray that holds 250 sheets or more.
- Document Feeder. If high volume, multi-page scanning is needed, purchase one with a top document feeder.
- Connectivity: USB and Wireless is a minimum. If possible, buy one with an ethernet connection also.
- Single Sheet Feeder: Comes in handy if custom forms or colored paper is used. Can still be done without one.
- Envelopes: Envelopes can be tricky for a printer. If needed, make sure the printer accomodates envelopes.
- Phone and Tablet: Can you print from a phone? For iPhones users, make sure it comes with "AirPrint" capabilities.
- Very Very Important: **You must run inkjet printers at least once a week or they dry out**.
When browsing for printers, used these as a bit of a checklist.
Color or black and white
The most important decision is the need for color printing, or not. If color is required, you need to decide between an inkjet or a color laser printer. For most light duty home users, inkjet is the way to go. A color laser is used by businesses or high volume users. Lasers print faster and are cheaper to operate on a per page basis, but their initial cost is higher.
The most important thing to remember when owning an inkjet printer is that a page must be run at least once a week or else the ink and/or the print heads will dry out. This may result in the need to replace the cartridges, printheads, or the entire printer. Always keep the printers plugged in and turned on. They will sleep when not in use and hopefully perform self-maintenance when needed.
The display is the tiny screen on the printer that allows you to operate it and see error messages. Always, always, always, whenever possible, purchase a printer with a display. A display on a simple laser, B&W, workhorse type of printer with no scanner or fax is not needed.
The printer at the top of this article has a very usable display. This printer, on the other hand, has nothing and is miserable to work with. I do a lot of "what lights are on and what are they doing?" investigating to decipher what's going on.
The only instance we recommend something like this is where physical size is an issue and you're moving it around. Sometimes it's the only thing available and you need something right now. Otherwise, try to get one with a usable display.
Most printers today have wireless capabilities and all have a USB connector. Full featured, office type printers have a network jack, which is the most reliable while keeping the versatility of wireless. We have found that consumer focused printers tend not to have a network jack available.
- There have been major supply desruptions. Availability varies.
- Specifications and prices can change daily. Always confirm before ordering.
- We can assist in the ordering process. Contact Us for more information