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Printer Buying Guide

Sep 11, 2008
Whether it is for business or personal use, almost everybody needs a printer at one point. There are many types of printers that are available on the market, from stand-alone inkjet printers to multifunction laser printers. With so many options available, it can be quite a challenge finding the right printer for you or your business.

Below is a list of things that our product specialists recommend our customers to look for when buying a printer.

Print Quality: Lets face it, if a printer doesn't produce good-looking prints, than you might as well be drawing by hand. When looking at the specifications, check out the DPI (dots per inch) of the printer. The higher the DPI, the more accurate the printer will be, giving you better quality prints.

Another thing to consider is the printers color depth. The higher the color depth on a given printer, the more colors it can print. This in turn gives you prints that have much more realistic colors.

Print Speed: Consider the PPM (prints per minute) that the printer can produce. The more prints per a minute a printer can produce, the faster its print speed is. If you plan on printing in a high volume on a daily basis, the print speed should be of especially high importance to you. Even if you don't plan on printing in high volume, the print speed could still be of importance as nobody really likes waiting long periods of time for a single print.

Networking Capabilities: If you want to share the printer with family or colleagues, see whether or not the printer supports a wired or wireless connection. Some models are ready to connect to a wired or wireless network straight out of the box, while others support a network add-on that you can purchase if you want to use this feature later on.

Paper Capacity: If you plan on doing high volume of printing, you should consider the paper capacity of the printer. When a printer's paper capacity is large, it means you will have to re-fill the printer with paper less often, which is a great convenience.

Size and Weight: If you have limited space in the room you plan on putting the printer in, the size and weight of the printer should be considered. You should be able to put the printer in a location that is easy to access, and with a printer that is too big this might not be a possibility.

Definitions:

DPI (Dots Per Inch): A measure of the resolution of a printer, scanner, monitor, or mouse. It refers to the number of dots that are fit into a one-inch line. The higher the DPI, the more accurate the image/information will be.

Color Depth: Number of bits for each pixel in an image. The higher the bit depth, the greater number of colors there are. This is also sometimes referred to as bit depth.

PPM: The amount of prints a printer can produce per a minute.

Paper Capacity: Refers to the amount of paper a printer can hold in its tray(s).
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