Choosing The Right Printer

Buying any computer hardware can be taxing with the many options available in the market today, a problem that also applies to choosing the right printer. Infinite choices in technologies, with printers ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous and varying just as much in cost as they do in type, have made the task tiresome for the average consumer. 

When choosing the printer you want to buy you have to consider a few factors. Most important of these being the purpose you intend the printer for—home use, business use, mobile use, just for drafts, or all of these. Then comes the consideration of how often you are probably going to use it—heavy duty or sporadic, not to mention the speed, cost, logistics, connectivity, and so forth. It is not surprising that given these myriad criteria, printer manufacturers are found launching new printers every couple of months, trying to keep up with advancing technologies and growing user requirements, thus making the purchase of a printer all the more confusing. In this article we explore how to pick the right printer for you depending on your needs.

The Budget And Student Users

As the name suggests this category of printers are mostly cheap, costing as low as Rs 5,000-15,000 and can fulfill a wide array of printing requirements for documents, snapshot images or web pages. They usually give resolute draft quality and adequate copies of all final prints. They are popular because of their reliability, affordability, and ease of maintaining and operating. Within this category, you should look for Budget LaserJets and Inkjets, but be careful of running costs. The cheaper the initial cost of a printer, the more it is likely to cost you in running. HP DeskJet 5740 and Canon Pixma iP4200 are low-end photo printing models while Brother HL-5250DN and HP P1505 serve best for day-to-day cost-effective document printing.

The Home And Family User

These printers are made for versatile printing demands for a wide range of output—documents, photos or web pages—while producing much better quality than printers from the previous category. And they are cheaper to run and maintain in addition to being reliable and affordable. They range at around the Rs 10,000 and above mark. Within this category, you should look for Personal LaserJets for extensive text-based printing, and lour Inkjets for quality photo and image based printing, but again, be careful of running costs with budget Inkjets. Models like Canon Pixma iP4200, Samsung ML-1630, and Kodak EasyShare 5300 are top choices for photo printing, laser printing and multi-function printing jobs for the home and family user.

The Small Business/Home Office User

These printers are suited for home offices and small businesses that need reasonably heavy-duty text-based printing with the occasional quality image. Also these typically come with alternative capabilities associated with the printer like scanning, faxing, and document feeder. They are priced at around Rs 15,000-30000, making them affordable enough even for startup businesses. Within this category, look for mid-range Laserjets which offer reliability and speed but no lack of quality document printing. Alternatively, multi-function printers (all-in-ones) offer similar print quality, with excellent built-in scanning, fax and document feeder capabilities. Some model recom-mendations are Brother HL-4070CDW, Dell 1320c and Brother DCP-7045.

The Large Work Group User

These are the large machines that we might remember looking and marveling at when we were kids. They are capable of doing heavy work and can perform various tasks and juggle print jobs, so they are demanding on resources. They require fast processing but have extensive memory to schedule a number of large jobs. They are normally connected to a network so that a large number of users can access the top quality print engines. They also perform at staggering speeds and have the capacity to multitask. These usually start at Rs 40,000. Within this category look for mid to top-range Laserjets for professional, highly responsive and clear print quality. You would also get better value by paying a little more and purchasing a quality multi-function printer with a quality scanner, fax machine, document feeder, stapler and multi-tray capabilities built in. Latest models available for these heavy printing jobs are Epson Stylus Photo R800 and Canon Pixma Pro 9500 for high-resolution photo printing, HP Colour LaserJet 2605dtn for regular printing and HP OfficeJet Pro L7780 as an all-purpose printer. 

The Photography Enthusiast

There is a class of dedicated printers, custom built to cater to the high specification needs of image processing for photo-graphy enthusiasts. These come with an enhanced set of features, can print in extensive paper sizes and have versatile colour options for multiple prints. With outstanding print quality in colour and b/w, and offering matt and glossy image output, they more than compensate for the slow and costly functioning. Within this category look for lour InkJets with outstanding image output, professional and immaculate in feel, image projection, contrast, tone and colour. For photo printing only, Canon Pixma iP4200 is the best deal available at the moment at a very cheap price, but if you are looking for something big, the Stylus series by Epson offers two variants—Epson Stylus Photo R800, Epson Stylus R2400—at different price ranges. Similarly, you can also look into Canon Pixma Pro 9500, one of the best in the business. 

Source: The Kathmandu Post

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