PC-Hardware

Here’s what you should look for when buying a printer

A printer has become indispensable in the home. Although it is increasingly being left to the left thanks to e-mail and the like, it is still a device that you simply have to have. Accordingly, a replacement must be found quickly if a printer should die. But if you haven’t kept an eye on the printer market for many years, you’ll quickly be overwhelmed. There is far too much choice between the different devices. There are many things to consider. After all, you shouldn’t just keep an eye on the purchase price of the device. The follow-up costs that a printer entails are also important. Which printer suits you and your user behavior, we clarify in the following.

Keep an eye on follow-up costs

As with many other products, people tend to reach for a cheap device when it comes to printers. Who can blame them? After all, a good price is always attractive. However, this should be viewed a bit more strictly when it comes to printers. After all, it’s not just the purchase price that plays a role here. It is often the case that printers that come up with a favorable device price have above-average follow-up costs. The essential consumables alone can quickly reach the price that would have been paid for a more expensive device. But how can you avoid such a bad purchase?

Look at how often you print

First of all, think about how often you use a printer in the first place. The more the device is used, the more consumables it has to use. Accordingly, it pays off for “frequent users” to buy a printer with efficient consumption. Inexpensive devices often have major disadvantages that lead to high follow-up costs. For example, the manufacturers here do not install the print head as a fixed component. As a result, the matching printer cartridges always have to come with a new print head. Here you are already faced with additional costs that add up over time. Another disadvantage is that inexpensive devices often use only two different cartridges. One supplies the printer with black ink, the other with colored ink. “Colorful” here is made up of the three individual chambers yellow, blue and red. However, this means that the entire cartridge for the colored ink is unusable as soon as only one of the three colors is empty. Subsequently, a new one has to be purchased again. Thus, the original inexpensive printer turns into a real cost-eater.

Vield printers should not save at the wrong end

It quickly becomes clear that frequent printers risk high follow-up costs if they reach for a cheap device. However, if you only print a page or two now and then, you can courageously go for an inexpensive printer. If you take a look at the printing costs per page, it quickly becomes clear that solutions with only two cartridges entail significantly higher costs.

High-quality inkjet printers such as the Brother MFC-J5910DW rely on multiple individual cartridges.

Single cartridges work much more economically here. So frequent printers should make sure to buy a printer with individual cartridges. Here, you only replace the cartridges that are actually empty. If you want to reduce the print price per page even further, the best option is to buy cartridges in extra-large format.

Laser printers like the HP LaserJet PRO200 M251NW can now be bought at affordable prices. Thanks to the toner cartridge, they are suitable for frequent printers.

Another alternative for frequent printers is to move away from inkjet printers. Instead, take a look at modern laser printers. These rely not on ink cartridges, but toner cartridges. Unlike a few years ago, laser printers are no longer unaffordable. You can now buy them at fair prices. The big advantage of laser printers is already in the consumables. A toner cartridge lasts much longer than a conventional ink cartridge. A change of the toner is therefore not nearly as often of need as with ink cartridges.

If you still don’t want to turn your back on ink, you should take a look at higher-priced inkjet printers. The most popular manufacturers, such as HP and Epson, now offer printers with an integrated ink tank system. There are no small cartridges in the printer, as is the case with inexpensive inkjet printers. Instead, the manufacturers install large containers that are “tapped” by the printer as needed. The big advantage here is that you no longer have to replace ink cartridges at all. Instead, the ink containers can be conveniently filled yourself.

How much paper fits in the printer?

It gets annoying when you give the printer a print job and find out hours later that there was too little or no paper in the container. If you only print out a document now and then, you don’t have to worry about paper management. However, users who print out many pages at a time should pay attention to how much paper fits into the printer’s tray. Inexpensive devices sometimes only offer space for 50 sheets of paper. Regular users will have to refill the paper relatively often. Anyone who frequently prints many pages at a time should therefore give devices with low paper capacity a wide berth.

What do you need the printer for?

In the decision of the appropriate printer you should also include the place of use. Here you can roughly distinguish between mobile and stationary printers. Compact devices are of course quite convenient to take along. Besides the place of use, the field of application also plays an important role. Within the categories of photo printers, laser printers and inkjet printers, you will always find devices with different features. So think about which features your printer should have before you buy it. Print they can all, but the following points belong to the “special equipment”:

    • Multifunction device (the printer also serves as a scanner and copier)
    • Use as a fax machine possible
    • Network connection (WLAN, AirPrint on board?)

Furthermore, you should ask yourself the question, what media you want to print with your printer. Does it remain with the classic paper or do you go a step further? If you want to print photos, for example, the print resolution plays a major role. This is the only way to achieve great results on photo paper. What else you should consider with the print resolution you can learn here.

The HP OfficeJet Pro 7740 A3 multifunction printer is a real multi-talent. It not only comes with a scanner, copier and network functions. On top of that, you can also print A3 paper with it.

Some people may also want to print on special media such as blank CDs or DVDs. The size of the paper also plays a major role. For example, most printers only support printing on DIN A4. Those who also want to print in A3 size or even larger should look around accordingly.

What do you think of the topic? Click here for the comments!

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Berlin.

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