It’s not common for our customers to ask us about which printers they should buy. However, it isn’t completely unheard of either. After all, one of the most important criteria behind an informed printer purchase is the capacity and price of the cartridges they use.
In fact, we recommend considering these metrics of cartridges most thoroughly before making a printer purchase. Still, along with considering the capacity and price of cartridges used in a printer, you also need to consider whether the printer is suitable to your needs. Analysing the different types of printers, thus, becomes important.
This means that you need to understand the technology behind various types of printers as well as their pros and cons. Here, Inkjet Wholesale will look to demystify different types of printers for your benefit.
The Inkjet Wholesale Checklist for Evaluating Various Types of Printers
Buying a printer is a critical purchase because the quality of your decision is going to define not only how useful the printer is going to be for you but also the kind of money you’ll have to spend to keep it functional.
A number of things should come into play when you’re trying to evaluate different types of printers.
We’ve created a checklist that you should use while considering the variety of printers available to you in the market.
While all the items in the checklist may not be applicable to your specific use, many will. So, our recommendation is for you to pick the ones that are relevant to you and proceed from there. Here’s the checklist.
- Purpose: Will you be printing text or images, for internal use or external use, for short term or long term, for personal or official purposes? Will you need a colour printer or will a monochrome printer suffice?
- Frequency: Will you be printing often or infrequently, a lot or a little?
- Functionality: Will the printer have one user or multiple? Will you need a single machine for everything including printing, faxing, copying, and scanning?
- Connectivity: Will remote connection be important? Is wireless a necessity? Will mobile connectivity be relevant? Will SD card ports be required? Will you need special security protection for your documents?
- Spatial: Are you constrained for space? Will you need a printer with a small footprint?
- Cost: Are you looking to save in the short term or the long term? Can you spend a little more now to save on consumables in the future? Will you be fine using compatible cartridges and papers?
Now that we’ve set aside criteria for evaluating various printers, let us explain various types of printers to you so you can evaluate them and make an informed choice.
Inkjet printers are easily the most popular amongst all the different types of printers that are available in the market. These types of printers provide the best print quality within the general category.
For instance, there are no printers that can compete with inkjet printers in photo printing, except highly specialised photo printers.
Inkjet printers work by spraying ionised ink from ink cartridges onto papers with high precision. Colour inkjet printers usually work with four ink types which are cyan, magenta, yellow, and black.
Some come with single cartridges containing all the inks while others require separate cartridges for each colour.
You should buy inkjet printers if image sharpness and colour richness is a major criterion for you. Moreover, inkjet printers tend to be cheaper than other types of printers as well. Depending on the technology, the price of inkjet printers can be as low as under $100 to as high as multiple hundreds up to $1000.
In fact, in the war between these two types of printers, laser printers are gaining ground on inkjet printers.
Market share of laser printers has increased over the years as it is eating into inkjet printers’ market share. Laser printers don’t use ink.
Their cartridges contain toner instead. Toner is available in the powder form which means that it is plastic. Charged surfaces are used to transfer toner from the cartridge to the paper.
Once in place, toner particles are melted onto the paper creating the final print.
This type of printer is best for those people who want durability of print. Unlike inkjet prints, laser prints tend to have an extremely long life. In fact, if kept properly, laser prints can last for a lifetime.
Furthermore, laser printers are also significantly faster than inkjet printers falling in the same price bracket. This means that high volume printers will also benefit from choosing laser printers.
However, laser printers and cartridges tend to be more expensive than inkjet printers and ink cartridges. Also, these types of printers aren’t ideal for printing photos. At the same time, they do fine printing business graphics.
The prices of laser printer can vary greatly. The most basic laser printers can be had for less than $200 while the most advanced will cost upwards of $1000.
Multifunction printers or MFPs are those printers that can be used not only for printing but also scanning, copying, and faxing. These are ideally used in homes or in small offices because they are cost effecting in such setups.
Another reason why these types of printers are considered to be useful in such setups is that they have a small footprint and do not occupy a lot of space.
Typically, MFPs are designed for business purposes, which is why they often sport features suiting the same market as well.
You may find features like automatic duplexing and automatic document feeders in MFPs. There are mainly two types of MFPs – laser and inkjet.
Laser MFPs have the same characteristics as general laser printers while inkjet MFPs have properties similar to general inkjet printers.
While MFPs inherently designed to be advanced tools for businesses, there are basic variants of these types of printers as well. This means that the simplest MFPs can sell for about $100 while the most expensive can go up to thousands of dollars.
Many people rightly think that they can print photos on any of the aforementioned types of printers and they’re right. However, the quality of the photos being printed will vary from one type to another.
For instance, quality of photo printing on a laser printer is never the same as the quality of the same image printed through inkjet printers.
While any printer can print images and photos, the proper quality can only be achieved through specialised photo printers.
As is obvious, these are printers that are categorically created for printing images, photos, and pictures.
These types of printers can print better quality simply because they use better ink, better technology, and better paper quality.
For example, you’ll find that most specialised photo printers have more than just cyan, yellow, magenta, and black cartridges. They can contain a whole gamut of colours which allows them to create sharper and more precise colours.
Similarly, most printers, whether laser or inkjet, limit photo printing because they can only handle papers up to the size of 8.5 x 11 inches. Specialised photo printers, however, can print on larger paper sizes as well.
Specialised photo printers aren’t that expensive but their running costs are usually massive simply on the basis of cartridge and paper replacements. A specialised photo printer can cost something between $200 and $500.