Making an Effective Personal Computer Printer Purchase

Making the important decision to purchase a personal computer and perhaps its purchase had been made. Now one has to come to the decision of peripherals, The most important for the person working offline is the decision to purchase a printer.

There are a number of things to consider in making an investment. Some of the major factors are: cost of the equipment and replacement ink, connectivity to the personal printer, type of print technology employed by the printer itself, quality of output, speed of output, ease of use and reliability, and whether to take the purchase to a higher level by buying an “all-in-one” device, and where to make the purchase.

Printer Price Ranges

It may be hard to believe but the price entry point at which a new, brand name printer is under $20.00 while high end machines running as much as $800.00 are still considered appropriate for the home or small office.

Printer Technology Types

Ink jet printers and laser printers are the most commonly used printers associated with home computing. They utilize small print cartridges which impart droplets of ink on the paper. Laser printers employ what can be thought as a “dry ink” technology where photo-statically charged particles are transferred from a rotating drum to the paper. Laser printers produce a high quality, high page throughput. Laser models are generally larger and more expensive expensive than their ink jet counterparts. (Bigelow 2000)

Impact printers are available. The advantages for a home-based business is that they can be used to produce output on multi-part forms. The disadvantages are they are generally limited to one font.

Other forms of printer technology which the consumer may hear are dot matrix, dye sublimination, and solid ink printers, but they are fewer in number in the market place.

All-in-One” Printers

If the budget permits, the consumer might considered an “all-in-one” peripheral which incorporates the advantages of a printer, with a copier, scanner, and fax. As can be expected these devices at the low end price point sacrifice some print quality and speed to compensate for the added advantages of their multifunction capability.

The Wireless Advantage

Connectivity of PC peripherals has changed and most printers come with UBS (universal serial bus) technology connectivity. It adds to the cost, but offers the convenience of not having to deal with wiring.

Photo Printer

Photo printers work well the paper intake tray is designed to feed photo paper well. Print quality in most models is exceptional and an LCD display allows the user to preview photo images before printing and to select multiple images before starting the print job. They are limited in use and quite often “all-in-one” models have an alternate tray for photo paper.

Print technology has become both versatile economical, and by in large reliable. Rebates and special price incentives abound from numerous online and office suppy outlets.