Depending on the environment, a printer purchase can be ideal in terms of size, function, and price. You may have bought the perfect printer on a deal that couldn’t be passed up and it performs each of the functions you require efficiently and at the highest quality. On the other hand, you can make a purchase that isn’t all peaches and cream. For example, I know a family that was surprised when the dot matrix printer they purchased couldn’t print photos. While this may seem hilarious to some (including myself), it sure wasn’t to the family that dropped $300 on the thing! Here are some of the glaring limitations of each printer type and to steer you away if it won’t work for you.
- Laser printer – Perfect for small offices and businesses, a laser printer will print high quality text coupled with colorful, high-quality graphics. Think of laser printers as perfect for college students and small business. Able to print great looking presentations and documents alike, ink printed with laser printers will not bleed or smear like an inkjet might. If looking to print photographs or other pictures with various shades of color, an inkjet or specialized inkjet printer will be your best bet.
- Monochrome – Think mass printing documents. Monochrome printers produce prints with sharp text at great speeds. It won’t print a variety of colors and users are stuck printing in grayscale. When printing high quantities of text-based documents such as memos and office letters, there is no better option than a monochrome.
- Inkjet – Inkjets produce less quality print pages, but at a fraction of the cost compared to laser printers. Text will not look quite as sharp as it would with a monochrome or laser printer. While the ink from an inkjet may tend to bleed or smear, purchasing specialized photo paper will eliminate this problem when printing photos and graphics. Keep in mind that ink can be expensive, so getting your cartridges from an online vendor like 247InkToner isn’t a bad idea.
- Dot matrix – Since about the mid-1990s, dot matrix printers were the cream of the crop. Used widely for personal and commercial use, dot matrix printers were surpassed by inkjet printers. This was largely as the result of technology developments
Each printer type carries its own pros and cons. Understanding a user’s need is the first step in diagnosing a printer to purchase. As a general rule, I’ve held the belief that inkjets are for business, laser printers are for personal use, monochrome printers are for users printing only black and white documents, and dot matrix printers are rarely ever used outside printing invoices, receipts, or bills of sale. Once you find out the type of printer you need, it is all downhill from there and you will find it much easier to decide on a printer.
Brian Prowse is a writer and self-proclaimed tech geek. When he’s not writing blogs, stuck behind his favorite game console or playing with testing out the coolest gadgets on the market, Brian enjoys traveling and graphic design.