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Make Professional Printing Affordable with a Personal Laser Printer

Aug 17, 2007
Take a good computer with even the most basic of graphics programs and add in a decent laser printer and you'll find you have your very own desktop publishing house. With the features and bells and whistles of laser printers today even a very modest purchase can net printed materials that look professional. Shopping for color printers requires a little research, however, to find the best bang for the buck.

The first thing is first, though; set a budget! Laser printers, especially the color ones, have a huge price range. Knowing what you can spend will help reel in your search to a more manageable one. With so many perks and features available, heading out without a good idea in mind can net a great purchase, but one that breaks the bank.

The next step in finding the best printer is to list out personal requirements. Ask questions such as: Do I need a printer that will take refillable ink cartridges? Should my printer offer photo quality prints? Does it need to handle card stock paper, too? Is there a specific dot per inch necessary to meet personal quality criteria?

Added features are the next thing on the list of things to consider. Printers these days can do almost everything imaginable except the dishes. So, knowing what kind of add on features would be useful and what won't be can be very helpful. Some printers come with their own camera docks, for example, that enable the direct download and printing of pictures. Some will even offer direct emailing right from the printer. Others may have this along with a fax machine and copier to boot. Consider the options and decide on which would get used and which are just icing on the cake. Going for the icing is okay, but make sure the printer picked meets basic requirements first.

With some basic parameters in mind, it's time to start shopping for the best color laser printers. Here's where it will be important to consider brand names, models and pricing. Pick out a few different styles that fall within a set price range and then research their quality performance reports from both pros and other buyers. If both the pros and the general consumers agree a machine is good, it likely is. If they don't, take care with a purchase. If possible, take a good look at different machines' specifications and even printed materials that have come from those machines.

A good personal color laser printer should offer decent if not better than decent quality prints. Slightly higher end models can produce images that look like they've been printed by the professionals, but that doesn't mean quality is sacrificed on all lower priced machines either. Shopping for one takes a little research and some decision-making, but when the right printer is picked up, the end result tends to be a finished product that makes its buyer quite happy.
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