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Printer Buying Guide

Printers are basic peripherals that play a critical role as tangible records or material releases. If you can not print reports, presentations, letters, photos, or anything you need, you will not fully use the computer. Choosing a printer can be confusing today's competitive, constantly changing landscapes. This shopping guide addresses some of the most important considerations before making all your important purchasing decisions.

Printing Technologies

This is the biggest decision ahead of you. The choice must be based on how it works and what output it expects from the printer.

• Inkjet Ink Cartridges: Inkjet printers deliver impressive color, so this is the way to get started when it comes to printing photos most. Inkjet prints can be used to print text, but printing speed is too slow if the printer's primary purpose is document printing. To achieve photorealism, use ink jet inkjet trays that feature a wide color gamut, along with the standard four-color CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black), besides bright cyan and light purple. Extra colors give more color between blue skies and skin tones. And if you are printing lots of black and white photos, consider using photo printers with more than one variation of black ink or gray ink. Many photo printers use color inks to create complex black, resulting in a muddy tint. The second black ink cartridge and the various gray shades help maintain neutral tone, the gray ink allows shielding and thus improves the quality of black and white images.

o Toner Sublimation: Color printers can print continuous tonalities and excellent color choices that laser printers can not achieve, so they are ideal for more demanding graphics applications or color printing. Toner based prints are less prone to fading and distortion over time than ink-based inks. In addition, many consumer-based toner sublimation printers can print directly from digital cameras and accept memory cards. However, they are more limited in the range and size of media that can be used – usually in letter size paper or smaller.

o Laser: Laser printers are the perfect choice when printing large amounts of text documents. They print faster than inkjet printers and have a lower running costs in the long run – even if they are going to buy more in the beginning. But there are some compromises. Black and white laser printers produce crisp black and white text but can not be used for color printing. Color lasers offer excellent text and graphics, but they can be much more expensive and costly.

Printer Usage

Some printers are good for general printing, while others perform better on specific tasks or combine multiple features into one machine.

o Photo: When taking a lot of pictures, consider purchasing a photo printer. Photo printers can be photo inkjet printers – all of which can print both photos and text; snapshot photo printers – for small 4×6 inch printing; or professional photo printers – for large sized tabloid-sized photos and frequently for network connections that allow printer sharing. Most consumer and professional photo printers use inkjet technology, while most snapshot photo printers allow 4×6-inch prints to rarely be applied to the paint sublimation technology. Regardless of the type or technology used, photorealistic quality is the most important element of photography. Everything else is secondary.

o General Purpose: As the name suggests, general purpose printers can print almost everything, such as text and photos. Choose a general laser printer when you print more text than your photos; and select an inkjet format when you print more than the text.

o Multifunction Devices: Multifunction Printers (MFPs) combine a feature with a variety of features, such as printing, scanning, faxing, and copying. MFPs are lower than the purchase of separate devices and reduce the difficulty of installing individual machines. If you are budget or stationary, consider these multifunction tools. Note, however, that one-component failure stops the entire device, and each component can not be expanded. MFPs are available with laser printers to emphasize fast text printing and any graphic printing; or inkjet printers for vivid photo printing.

Environment and Applications

When deciding on the printer, think about where and how you plan to use it. The home user will have different printing needs than an office worker, a photographer or a traveler.

o General / Basic Home Use: Versatile, affordable printers are the best choices here, and inkjet printers generally meet the print demands of household users who are taking photos of a digital camera or other lightweight printing needs. Ink cartridges can be expensive, so each ink cartridge requires separate ink cartridges. So you do not have to get rid of all the cartridges – simply because one of the colors has worn out before others – just for the ones that run out.

o Home Office: MFP is a great tool in your home office, especially if you have an automatic document feeder that can handle multiple documents without supervision. Extra built-in memory enhances efficiency and allows easy processing of larger graphics and documents. And if scanning and photocopying are important to you, you can take a higher resolution MFP.

o Photo: Photo printers are the obvious choice when printing photos is the most important thing. Choose either a small photo print of a snapshot that prints 4×6 inches; or choose larger, professional photo printers that are capable of tabloid-sized 11×17-inch printing – even for full-size, 13×19-inch prints, including a border to allow the location of the registration marks.

o Text Printing: If you print large volumes of text, monochrome standard laser printers are the best – since they can be detected quickly after the sharp text. These printers are ideal for printing black and white text and simple graphics, so you may need a separate inkjet or photo printer to print color photos – unless you want to invest in expensive color laser lasers that can both print black and white documents.

o Small network: A workgroup laser printer can be what you need when your home office or small office is built on a network. Workgroup lasers provide faster print speeds and have more memory to handle more print jobs. They also offer more advanced handling options such as larger trays and duplex (duplex) printing, sorting and stapling. They are more expensive than traditional laser printers, most of the workgroup lasers are black and white – for plain texts and simple graphics.

o Traveling: A businessman is pushing for the go and printing, portable printers offer a compact size solution (small enough to fit in a briefcase), lightweight (less than 5 pounds) and useful power (with Egyptian car chargers). Newer models can be printed wirelessly – this will not be a problem if you forget your home USB cable. Some handhelds can handle great extras, such as an automatic document feeder, on transparencies and envelopes, and also supports an optional scanner cartridge that replicates the ink cartridges and turns the printer into a scanner. Portable printers are more expensive and slower than conventional printers, but convenience is what you pay for.

PC-free printing

A photo printer with PictBridge support does not need to be connected to a computer to be able to print the photos. PictBridge is a printer and digital camera manufacturer's standard for PC-free printing, enabling photos to be printed directly from the digital camera to the printer using a simple USB cable – as long as the printer and digital camera are compatible. The idea behind this idea is that printers can read memory cards directly from a digital camera or other image storage device by simply inserting the cards into the designed print slots.

If the camera is connected or the card is inserted in the printer, the photos can be checked in several ways depending on the printer model. Some have an integrated LCD screen that allows you to control, edit and print your photos directly on the screen. Other models allow you to create an index page – just like the business card used for movie printing – to mark the ones you choose to print and copy the page. Other printer models allow you to decide which recordings you want to print directly from your digital camera. There are many types of memory cards available on the market, so make sure that the printer accepts the type of camera you are using to take photos directly from the card.

Paper Handling

Paper is clearly an important issue in printing. Here are some important tips for paper handling for printers:

o When purchasing a printer, make sure it is equipped with all the paper sizes and types that it will use. For example, if you need to print large quantities of paper, make sure that the printer is able to use the heaviest paper. For this purpose, the paper path of the printer can indicate how it handles the paper: Inkjet printers typically use gateway paths, while lasers use S or U-shaped roads. Generally speaking, the more straight the road is, the thicker the usable media. However, the curved paths of laser printers make it easier to configure input and output trays more flexibly.

o Using the correct paper type makes a difference in printing. Inkjet printers can be printed on a variety of matte or glossy photo paper, but be sure to choose the right type of paper for the printer to achieve optimum print results. For example, matte papers are suitable for both pigment and ink-based inks, while bright coatings are generally suitable for dye-based inks.

o For size, most inkjet and laser printers can handle letter and legal sizes. If you want to print larger prints, consider the printer that can handle sizes like 11 x 17 inches. You may also consider getting multiple printers with paper trays if you can switch between different paper sizes on a regular basis. Multiple output bin, two-sided printing (two-sided printing), alignment, and automatic stapling can be useful for a laser printer.

o If you want to use third-party paper, make sure it is working properly with the printer. Before you buy a large amount of third-party paper, try a few copies of the same for printing both the printer manufacturer and the third-party paper and then compare the results.

Printer Features and Features

Printers have a variety of specifications, so intelligent navigation of the specification sheet requires you to recognize all the specifications that follow the particular printing technology or printer intended use.

o Resolution: For laser printers, 300 dpi is appropriate when printing only black and white text, but at least 1200 dpi should be selected for photorealistic grayscale or color printing. For inkjet printers, choose one at a resolution of 1200 dpi or higher, 4 pikoliters or smaller droplets for a sharp, clean output. With photo printers, the resolution varies by technique: Photo printers using dye-sublimation technology are 300 dpi print-quality comparable to photo printers that use 1200 dpi inkjet technology.

o Speed: The speeds are greatly different and the print speeds mentioned by the manufacturers generally relate to sketching or printing at the lowest resolution. For laser printers, the exact measurement of the exact print speed is how long it takes from the moment it reaches "Print" – as long as the printer is warm, the job is placed in the print queue and the printed output finally comes out. For inkjet printers, printing speed is not one of the strongest garments; so do not worry too much about this specification.

o Memory: Extra memory will be useful for laser printers, so you can handle great graphics and documents more easily. Check the maximum expandable memory allowed for your printer if you have a hard disk drive with slightly expandable memory and if the printer can use a general memory or you may need the manufacturer's brand. For inkjet cartridges, memory is built-in and can not be expanded, but this is not a problem because processing takes place on the computer side, so there is no need for large amounts of installed RAM in inkjet.

o Connectivity: Most printers no longer support older parallel connections, but USB 1.1 or Hi-Speed ​​USB (USB 2.0) – any of these should work well with USB computers. Network printers require an Ethernet port that allows printer sharing. For more flexible printing options, it is recommended to search for printers with infrared in / out ports that allow wireless printing from notebooks or other infrared ports. And if you need high-speed or long-range printing, consider the printers with the FireWire port.

Consumables and Costs per page

The purchase price of the printer costs only the beginning of the full cost of time, the ink or ink, paper, and the hidden costs of the parts. These "hidden costs" are consumables; the total cost of consumables divided by the number of pages that can be generated from consumable items and the cost per page. Laser printers offer the lowest cost per page, with relatively inexpensive ink and plain weight uncoated paper. On the other hand, the cost of inkjet printers can be four or five times depending on how much ink you use and the cost of your paper – usually more expensive, coated, glossy paper for better color quality. The configuration of the inkjet container must also be taken into account. Ink cartridges with single cartridges of color ink cartridges have higher replacement costs since the cartridge needs to be replaced as soon as a color runs out – even if the cartridge contains many ink for other colors. To save costs, insert an ink jet with separate cartridges for black and each color.

Print Quality

Every feature of the printer and imaginative feature does not mean anything if it does not have good, solid print quality, whether text or photographs.

o Text: The text should be smooth and sharp. For the smallest font sizes, each letter must be legible and should not be taken into account. Medium fonts have no fuzzy edges, and the largest fonts – especially bolder ones – need to be filled with solid black, tan or blue. You must be able to see well formed and well-rounded counters (openings); If not, usually the printer's sign of too much inks. (Note that inkjet printers will click on plain 20-bit paper because the ink is leaking over the paper fibers.)

o Graphics: Find color gradations for color printing – or areas where a color from dark to light going. The color has to pass smoothly and you should not see a color bar where the different bands go from dark to light. On a test page, there is probably a gradient bar that becomes black and white through a sequence of darker gray shades; the transition from shadows to shadows must be smooth without an unobtrusive line. Find the beautiful color balance even in color graphic printing – which is not too saturated or flat and does not wash.

o Photo: Good photo printing is like the original photo. The colors must be accurate and balanced, vibrant, but not over-saturated. There must be great detail in all areas, not brushed lines, pixels or other visual objects. There must be good contrast between shadows and priority areas – no muddy or flat and colorless. You may not always know the difference between a great print and the next, but almost everyone can recognize a bad print if you see it. Trust in what you see.

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