Not All Printers Are Created Equal
With the hundreds of different printers on the market today, it can be difficult to decide which type will suit your individual printing needs. All printers come with their own set of pro's and con's, so research is a must. Don't buy a printer based solely on price. You might have the cheapest printer, but like the saying goes, "You get what you paid for". I have been through numerous cheap printers that couldn't withstand the test of time, and most survived only a couple of years at most. Between work and our children's school projects, we do a ton of printing, and unfortunately it took wasting money on a lot of "lemons" to come to grips with the fact that I had to faithfully invest in a printer that was durable and would last, even if that meant spending a few extra dollars.
For personal use, most consumers tend to go with inkjet or laser printers, as they are the most economical and more aptly suited for basic printing needs. But not all laser and inkjet printers are the same, and it's vital to know the differences in each style of printer before you purchase one.
Inkjet Versus Laser
Since inket and laser printers offer a wide variety of different options, let's take a look at them, shall we? Don't just rush out and buy that fancy laser printer Uncle Billy Bob or Aunt Betty Lou recommended, because if one of your main hobbies is scrapbooking, and you print a ton of pictures, then that laser printer might not be your best option. Let's weigh the pro's and con's:
- Pros: One major selling point to laser printers is they operate extremely fast and you can print mass volumes quickly. Although laser printer toners cost substantially more, they last much longer than regular inkjet catridges, which can prove more economical in the long run.
- Cons: Laser printers are more expensive, so this might not be an option, especially if you're on a tight budget. If you print mostly photos, the laser printer isn't for you, as heat-sensitive material, like photo paper, cannot be used with these types of printers. Laser printers also tend to be large and bulky, which is a hinderance for anyone dealing with limited space in their office or home.
- Pros: If you love printing photographs, then the inkjet printer is perfect for your printing needs. There is also few restrictions on what types of paper you can use, unlike a laser printer. They can accomodate many different sizes and types of document papers, making them perfectly suitable for most printing needs. Inkjet printers are also less expensive and there are many compact styles, which are perfect for those with small offices or people who deal with confined living spaces.
- Cons: Inkjet printer inks have a tendency to smudge and bleed, so if most of your printing consists of documents, instead of photos, then this style of printer might not be the one for you. Cleaning inkjet cartridges can be time-consuming and messy, plus the ink doesn't last as long at laster toner ink, especially if you do a high volume of printing on a daily basis.
(Photo courtesy of Flickr)