What to look for when buying a new printer

what is the best printer

Has your printer packed up? Are constant paper jams and error messages driving you up the wall? If you’re in the market for a new printer to replace your troublesome device, we’ve got some top tips we hope you’ll find useful.

What do you need?

First things first you need to identify what you will actually be using your printer for (we know it’s for printing…). The reason this is important is because it will impact the features and functionality you require and therefore manufacturer and model.

Use cases normally fall within the following, which one are you?

  • Home use – letters, kids’ homework and the occasional family photo
  • Photo printing – everything from full colour photos to image heavy documents
  • Small businesses – documents and letters of a reasonable scale
  • Large businesses – heavy use for all document types, speed is of the essence

Home use

When looking for the best home printer we would always recommend a single ink system. This means that the printer has separate cyan, magenta, yellow and black ink/toner cartridges. The majority of Epson, Canon and Brother printers all offer this system; which means lower printer costs as you only need to replace the empty cartridge and not the entire tri-colour print head.

Nowadays we’d also always recommend spending that little extra on a multifunction device; you’ll be surprised at how handy a scanner or photocopier is! All brands offer a range of all-in-one printers; so pay close attention to spec when comparing. Important things to look out for include automatic duplex printing, Airprint/Cloud Print, Wi-Fi connectivity etc.

Photo Printing

If you’re looking to achieve high quality image printing you want to look for a printer that offers more than just the standard CYMK cartridge configuration. Advances in the technology of inkjet printers have seen the implementation of microscopic droplets, and a more diverse range of colour inks, providing a far superior picture than previously available.

Epson and Canon both offer an excellent range of affordable photo printers which make use of the afore-mentioned HD ink technology. Check out the Epson Expression Photo XP-860 for an affordable multifunction inkjet. 

Small businesses

Generally speaking, those looking for a small office printer have the same if not similar requirements to home printers. A low cost and good performance is top of the list and so you’ll be looking for a quality inkjet or laser printer.

In the office environment; there is no other choice than a multifunction device; this should cater to all the different requirements of your workforce. Thereafter you want to make sure you look for a single ink printer which enables you to change individual colours as and when they run out.

The market leader; HP offer an excellent range of printers aimed specifically at the small business market. Using pigment based inks instead of dye based; HP generally offers a lower cost per page as a result. Typically available in larger cartridges, pigment inks are dry to the touch as soon as the print in complete, water-resistant and, have an excellent print lifetime.

Top Tip: Look at per-page costs and print speed

Large businesses

A colour laser is the no.1 choice for a large business. Whilst you might only want a chosen few to be able to print in colour, there are ways and means to limit this; plus we personally think a mono only printer can be limiting.

Offering fast print speeds, lower cost per page and reliability, a quality colour laser printer can cost you as little as £150! Budget permitting we’d also recommend a multifunction device; this will stop arguments and make sure everyone on the floor is happy. For guaranteed reliability and excellent print quality we’d recommend an OKI – most specifically the OKI MC342DNW; it’s got everything you’d ever need all for £200!

Still not sure what printer you need? Why not give one of our friendly customer service team a call on 01344 354944 – we’d be happy to help!

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