Printer Buying Guide 2012- How to select a good printer

how to choose printer

how to choose printer

“Inkjet, laser, toner, cartridges, all-in-one, multifunction, monochrome…….. WHAT’S THAT? We 123InkCartridges will help you to choose the printer that you need”

Still struggle in choosing what type of printer should you buy? You must be overwhelmed by the massive brands and product article online but still do not have any idea. Do you prefer printer like inkjet or laser printer? Printers with wireless features, multi-functional for copy/scan/ fax or even the monochrome? What about the pricing and how many pages can it prints? Do not feel desperate, at the following content, we are going to help you to clarify this issue by describing the type of printer and also some common terminology so you won’t get lost anymore by stopping into the store without having any idea what type of printer that will suit you well. This will be your ultimate printer shopping tips before your making purchase.

Before you spent your money, you need to consider the following reason why you would use this printer:

  • The purpose of printing (aiming for quality or quantity, speed)
  • The price and ink cost that you are willing to spend
  • The location where I put my printer (personal or office, wireless or wired)
  • What features do I need (all-in-one, multifunctional)

how to choose printer

how to choose printer

A look at printer category:

The major printer technologies which exist in the market are inkjet, laser/LED and solid ink printer. In most cases, people will either choose inkjet and laser printer depend the situation that they needed.


Inkjet Printer versus Laser printer

An inkjet printer is mostly known by its high quality printing performance, this could be a good option for photographers. In general, the speed of inkjet printers is a bit slower than the laser printers and the price of ink cartridges is a bit higher than the toner cartridges for the laser printer. However, the inkjet printer will allow you to print on plain, coated inkjet, photo paper or even CD/DVD, the printing quality will be also depend on the ink cartridges that they used to. Because the original manufacture cartridges’ pricing is fairly high, so there are some people choose to use the remanufacture or compatible ink cartridges in order to save more printing cost.

In general, the laser printer are more ink efficient in printing, faster speed and save your money in the long run, however, laser printers are not good at delivering quality printing. Since it uses the toner cartridges, people mostly use a laser printer for printing documentation, spreadsheet and report which are good to use in office and it is more business orientated. The technology uses the light source to beam images on a drum, so it will transfer to the toner and hence will be printed on the paper through the baking process, that is why we said laser printer are better in printing precise drawn text and faster. Monochrome laser printer may be the most basic and affordable option since their toner cartridges are cheap, and also it fits in the small – business model and extremely fast printing. On the other hand, the color laser printer delivers acceptable printing quality, but with the very slow printing speed, since maintaining a color Laserjet printer is complicated and very costly, most of people choose monochrome in order to save the most.

Common terminology when choosing a printer

DPI – Dots Per Inch

The DPI is the key indicator for the resolution measurement, it is present by how many pixels per square that it is able to, in general, the higher the DPI, the better the quality of the image it is. Sometimes, the highest resolution is used for photographic image, since nowadays most of the computer allows you to adjust the quality of the print, for task like school work, thesis or report, there is no need for highest resolution setting and also the higher DPI the setting it is, the more ink that you will be consumed.

PPM – Pages Per Minute

The PPM means how fast the printer can print in one minute, normally it is determined in both the monochrome and color pages from the way how they printed will be varied.

Card Slots and TFT

Nowadays many printers offer direct photo printing simply by inset your media card into the media slot in which they provided. TFT is the small flat screen on the printer in which you can adjust, rotate and even crop and preview the image before printing without the need of open it up your computer.

PictBridge Port

The port will allow you to connect your digital devices such as camera to the PictBridge through the direct wire so there is no need for you to upload your picture via PC.

Ethernet port and wireless

The Ethernet port enhances the convenience of making your printer as a network hub so it can share with many computers at the one printer device via wires, some new model printer features wireless adapters is even convenient because you will send the file wordlessly to the printer and print it without any cable connection, however, this kind of printer model come with additional cost. Good for office environment.

Bluetooth & IrDA (Infra-red)

The same logic above but sharing with Infred or Bluetooth.


Multiple (paper/media) input trays

In which the printer will be used the standard paper types, in this case, the A4 plain paper and also whether it’s compatible with the 6×4 glossy photo paper. The input trays will be selected in the manual way or automatic depend on the printer setting.

CD/DVD printing

You will be able to print the design image on the CD/DVD up to your choice, very good for promotion.



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