Planning on buying a printer but wondering which printing technology is right for you? Then read on.

What’s important here is what purpose you will use this printer for. Will you print frequently or occasionally? Is black and white printing sufficient for you or will you also print colors and possibly photos? First you need to decide if you should get an inkjet printer or a laser printer. Let’s look at the features of these two printing technologies.

Inkjet Printers can be categorized as 3-color inkjet printers, 4-color inkjets and photo printing inkjet printers. The 4-color inkjet printers are the most popular ones in the printing industry.

4-color Inkjet Printers usually hold two ink cartridges (one for black and one for color). Some hold two additional ink cartridges to separate the colors and have one ink cartridge for each color (black, cyan, magenta and yellow).

3-color Inkjet Printers are usually equivalent to the low-end 4 color inkjet printers with the exception of holding only one ink cartridge at a time. So you need to switch the ink cartridge to change between black and color. The 3-color inkjet printers are no longer popular as the 4-color inkjet printer prices are continually dropping.

The photo printing inkjet printers are a bit more complicated than the first two. Many of the 4-color inkjets print photos with good quality and most photo printing inkjets carry the same features as 4-color inkjets with just a few special photo printing features added such as directly printing from the digital camera. Most of the photo printing inkjets use additional colors such as light cyan light magenta, green, and red to provide true photographic quality outputs.

Laser Printers have two different technologies for black & white (monochrome) and color printing. Among the laser printers, monochrome laser printers are the most popular ones in the industry. Generally, laser printers are faster than inkjet printers. Laser printers are quite popular as they offer fast printing, good print quality and low cost per page. They use toner cartridges instead of ink cartridges found in inkjet printers.

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Whether it’s for home offices, businesses or home users, I can say that Monochrome Laser Printers offer the best balance between print quality, price and speed. With their prices dropping down to around $200 (personal laser printer) they start to become a good alternative to inkjet printers. As monochrome laser printers’ toner cartridges cost less, they are less expensive to maintain. However if you print color, you may want to go for an inkjet printer.

Color Laser Printers are generally designed for offices where a lot of graphics or photographs are being printed. If you are a home user, probably you will not need a color laser printer. The high-end laser printers are capable of printing good quality photographs but still none can reach the true photo quality of high-end inkjet printers.

Once you choose between monochrome and color laser printer, you can decide whether you need a personal or workgroup laser.

Personal Laser printers are suitable for text and simple graphics. Most of the personal lasers in the market are monochrome laser printers. Because of their high prices, the color laser printers were not attracting personal users. But as some models with prices less than $1,000 have been released, color laser printers are likely to be more popular among personal users too.

Small to Medium Workgroup Lasers are designed for small offices or workgroups within large firms. In addition to the standard features, they have specific features designed for multiple users such as larger input and output trays, duplex (double-sided) printing, sorting, and stapling. They support printing over networks (standard or optional). They also have fast processors and more memory which enables them to handle multiple tasks at good speed. Most of the workgroup laser printers are monochrome.

Whichever type of printer you choose, be sure to get one that has features you will actually use. Do not overpay for a printer with excessive features you are never likely to use.

Sally Adams writes articles that contain helpful tips on printing. Find out how you can lower your printing costs at http://www.printcountry.com.

Author: Sally Adams
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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