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Printer Buying Guide

Types of Printers
Printer Features
Inkjet Printer Features
Laser Features

Ink Jet Printers
These professional-quality printers give you incomparable resolution, vivid color, sharp text and are easily affordable to purchase. They are great for home use, and are fairly compact and easy to transport. Inkjet printing speed varies and depends on the resolution you're using and whether you're printing images or text.

Laser Printers
Laser printers have crisper lines and edges than inkjets do for text and graphics, but they don't match inkjets for photo quality. Color laser printers are more expensive to purchase initially than inkjets, but laser printers can cost less than inkjet printers in the long run, because their consumables cost less. Because of the high speed and capacity of these printers, lasers are great for the home office. They are perfect for printing out large amounts of documentation.

These printers are made to serve several functions. You can choose to print, fax, copy, and scan in color or black-white depending on the type of multifunction printer you select. Small business owners find that a multifunction printer is not only economically ideal, but also serves as a space-saving solution in today's working environment.

If you travel on business frequently, you might consider purchasing a portable printer. These devices can generally produce high-quality prints from your laptop conveniently allowing you to print wherever you are.

Dot Matrix
These printers produce characters and illustrations by striking pins against an ink ribbon. Print quality is determined by the number of pins (the mechanisms that print the dots), these can vary from 9 to 24. Some of the best dot-matrix printers (24 pins) can produce near letter-quality type. A dot matrix printer is great for back office purposes since its specialty is printing forms. It is necessary to point out that dot matrix printers are audibly louder than regular laser or inkjet printers.

These are considerably costly printers that provide professional, personal large format printing and are mostly used by print service providers, retailers, and graphic professionals. Their technology is different from printers in that they draw lines using pens. This results in precise continuous lines instead of standard simulated lines that regular printers produce.

Label Printers
Label printers make it easy to create prints from the convenience of your own home. Some of these printers feature direct printing from your SmartMedia, Sony Memory Sticks or CompactFlash Cards (with adapter). Some features include high resolution and borderless photo printing. With so many flexible options - the possibilities are endless!

Line Printers
Line printers are reliable, cost-effective, high-volume printers. These printers provide a variety of emulations and options and are available in two configurations - open pedestal or enclosed cabinet.
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