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How To Find The Best Printers

Apr 10, 2008
My first printer was a dot matrix model that looked and was the size of a vacuum cleaner. In fact it made about as much noise as one to. Today however and printers are very different beasts coming in a variety of shapes and sizes and offering to meet a variety of demands from the office machines that churn out 1000s of pages a minute to photo printers at home that save us from having to go to the developing lab to print out of favourite images of family and friends.

So what's what in the printer world? Well HP has a range of photo printers that promise to get the job done. The company has two ranges that it focuses on - its all in one models aimed at small medium businesses such as home workers looking to print, scan, copy and sometimes fax documents and a portable range of printers that are the size of a large wash bag.

The portable range fondly known within the industry as the toaster range will let consumers print 6x4-inch prints quickly via a computer, a camera through PictBridge or via a memory card. Most of the company's models feature touchscreen's so you can see the picture you are printing as well as make slight adjustments like fixing Red-eye.

But HP aren't the only company to offer printing solutions with a difference, some of Lexmark's printers come with CD drives built in so you can back up your images without the need for a computer at all. It also means you can print directly from the disk, again without the need for a computer.

Kodak's unique selling point over its rivals is its price. Ink, which is always expensive, promises to be 50% cheaper from Kodak making a big difference when it comes to managing a budget in an office. The Kodak models might be cheaper to run, but they are big beasts.

The same can't be said for the Polaroid PoGo. A pocket sized portable printer that comes without ink and is tiny. In development for over 10 years, the printer offers users the chance to print business card sized (2 x 3 inch) colour photos from their mobile phone via Bluetooth or digital camera via PictBridge without the need for a computer. The size of a large smartphone (0.93 x 2.83 x 4.72 inches), the Polaroid PoGo printer uses thermal printing meaning there is no ink needed.

Instead users will use Polaroid's specially designed paper, which will cost an expensive 3 pounds for 10 sheets. The process takes just 60 seconds from pressing go to a print in your hand and the photo paper will have a sticky back so you can stick them to your mates, the wall or anything that moves. The printer does come with a lithium-ion battery, however it will be able to print just 15 images before needing a recharge.

Of course if none of those sound your cup of tea you could always opt to get everything printed online. Kodak, Photobox and a number of other companies offer to print your images for you and then send them in the post. You can even use the image galleries online to publish books, t-shirts, photo mugs or wall paper with your ugly mug on it as well as push them to a digital photo frame saving you having to print them at all.
About the Author
Shaun Parker writes Audio reviews, GPS Reviews, Green Gadgets, Latest Gadgets, Game Reviews, Hardware Reviews, Phone Reviews, Printer Reviews, Computer Software, Sports News and Home Cinema Reviews so that you can keep up to date with the latest technology products.
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