Printers have progressed a lot lately and they are now more practical than ever. Those available today manage to deliver quite impressive performance: they are able to print photographs of remarcable quality, documents at amazing speed, many have duplex included and you can connect them to your home or office network (via LAN or wireless).
But there are few secrets about how to choose the best printer for you:
1. Pay special attention to consumables. Many of us already have one or more printers “put to storage” because it is very expensive to print on them. Ordinary consumables last just for few pages despite most manufacturers would like to assure you that you can print hundreds of pages per cartridge. They calculate the number of pages printed in the conditions that suit them best, most of the times for “draft” printing, meaning very poor quality when the text is barely readable at 5% page coverage or even less… OK, not surprised that a cartridge will last “for so long” when you are printing almost white pages! The reality is different and most of us know about it: ordinary cartridges contain very little ink and cost a lot of money, and a full set of cartridges costs a lot, close the price of the new printer. So we kindly advise you to make sure that the printer or multifunction device you want is compatible with a CISS system or some sort of refillable cartridges. For this you can use our website cissmarket.com as a guide for compatibility. Or, even better, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, we will be happy to help.
2. Avoid printers using consumables with the print head “built in” the cartridge - these are usually the cheaper, entry price printers. Although theoretically you find CISS systems for them, the CISS will not work properly, over the long term, because the printhead is lower quality and designed to last only for a short period of time, until you will buy a new cartridge. We would rather recommend to target the mid or top-range of printers, which are able to deliver superior performance and use a permanent print-head together with separate ink cartridges per each color. Again, you can visit our website cissmarket.com to familiarize yourself with compatible models.
3. Printer vs. Multifunction device? If the price is OK, go for a multifunction device. Many people say that a multifunction device has many different functions but does neither very well. In our experience, this is not true. A multifunction device is as reliable as the equivalent printer and often use the same “print engine”. In addition, you will enjoy it when you need to scan something or make a quick copy of a document.
4. Inkjet or laser? We suggest you go for Inkjet: it is more flexible, you can print color and black and white, on plain paper and photo paper. Laser on the other hand, generally prints in black&white only (only expensive models can print color) and generally only on plain paper. Also, the inkjet is more affordable and takes up less room than the laser.
5. How to choose a printer / MFC for home ? You will probably want to print photos on photo paper and text documents without needing a top speed, network interface, duplex or other expensive options. We suggest you skip the cheapest equipment available: we are not saying they are not good but almost always it’s worth paying the difference to buy one from the mid-range: these are more reliable, more efficient and not so noisy. Specifically, we recommend the Canon MG5150/MG5250 and Epson Stylus SX235/SX425/SX525.
6. For the office you will need a fast multifunction device, with duplex (two-sided printing) and fax. Here you will probably have to print many documents, frequently double sided (to save paper), and the fax still remains an important tool in business. Also, you should not forget about your colleagues: if more people need to print to the same equipment, make sure you choose one with one network interface and / or wireless included. Specifically, we recommend the HP Officejet 6500, Epson Stylus BX/SX625 or PX820.
7. If you are passionate about photography and very demanding with the quality of print-outs you will probably be please with a “Photo” printer. Unlike the ‘normal’ printers, the “Photo” printer composes images using multiple colors (5, 6 or 8 instead of 4 for normal equipment). It can also print text documents as well as photos or graphics. Also important to mention is that usually Photo printers are able to print on printable CDs / DVDs (usually found in any hypermarket). Specifically, we recommend few models able to print beautiful photos and also very fast: Epson Stylus Photo P50 / Canon Pixma iP4850 / 4950 (printers) and Canon MG5250 / Epson PX720/820 (multifunction).
8. In case you need a customized recommendation, please don’t hesitate to send us an e-mail, we will be very happy to help ! Our contact information is available at cissmarket.com