If the Architect from the Matrix Series was writing this blog for our customers, he would say something like this:
“Technology, it is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength, and your greatest weakness.”
For example, your printer makes it easier for your employees to collaborate but it also accounts for a massive chunk of your business’s monthly expenditure. If you use printers for personal purposes, then it simplifies your day to day tasks but also adds the problem of trying to decipher multiple technical terms.
Printing technology, like all technologies, tends to collect technical jargon which can be very difficult to understand without a printer jargon buster. So, we’ve devised a small printer jargon buster that will make it easier for you to understand your own printer!
We’ve arranged the terms in this printer jargon buster alphabetically so as to make it easier for you to read. Also, we’ve grouped sections of this printer jargon buster together for the same reason. So, without further ado, here’s our printer jargon buster.
Printer Jargon Buster A to C
ADF stands for Automatic Document Feeder. This feature usually means that the printer will automatically take pages when scanning or copying something. This is usually provided with office and commercial models.
Aftermarket refers to the market that is accessed once the device from the original manufacturers has been purchased. This market consists of components and spare parts made by third party manufacturers.
Bluetooth is a connectivity feature where you can give print commands via Bluetooth as opposed to using wiring or even Wi-Fi.
This is one of the most important terms in this printer jargon buster. Cartridge yield is basically the number of pages a cartridge will be able to print. This is an estimate made by assuming that all pages will have five percent coverage.
This means that the estimate is made on the assumption that five percent of the page will be covered with ink. Needless to say, the higher the page yield and lower the prices, the better the cartridge.
In pigment based inks, the intensity of the colour varies. The Chroma is the unit of measurement of the intensity of the colour of pigment based inks.
CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key or Black. Printers use these primary colour cartridges to create the wide array of colours by varying the ratio in which these colours are mixed.
Compatible cartridges are those cartridges that are made by third party manufacturers but can be used in the branded printer you’re using. Whether toner or ink, Compatible cartridges tend to have more ink or toner while at the same time being considerably cheaper than genuine cartridges.
Printer Jargon Buster D to I
Digital printing is the process where the command for printing comes from a digital device like personal computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphones. This is the most common type of printing.
DPI stands for Dots per Inch. The higher this number is the better the print quality will be. However, this is useful when printing images as DPI variations don’t show up easily with text prints.
Every brand and printer model has its own set of drivers that must be installed for it to work properly. Sometimes, there may even be more than one driver for a model.
Duplexing is the process by which both sides of the page are printed. Many printers, usually office or commercial ones, tend to have automatic duplexing capabilities.
Duty cycle is basically the limit of the printer. Monthly duty cycle means the maximum number of pages that the printer should be used in a month. It’s a metric for assessing the durability of the printer. You should only consider this if you plan on using your printer heavily or if you will have multiple people using it simultaneously.
Expiry date is the rough estimate of how long a cartridge will last. Usually, if the cartridges remain in the packing and are kept in the right conditions, they can last up to 12 to 24 months extra. However, once the expiry date passes, the warranty or guarantee on the cartridges is void.
Genuine cartridges are those cartridges that are made by the same company that made the printer. These are usually designed to produce optimal performance from the models that they’re supposed to fit in. The price of genuine cartridges is usually exorbitant to say the least.
Imaging Drum or Drum Cartridge
Imaging drum is found inside laser printers. The purpose of the imaging drum is to take toner and put it in the right image on the paper. Imaging drums do this with the help of electrostatic charges. If your print quality is poor, then you may need to change your imaging drum.
Printer Jargon Buster: M to P
This is probably the most confusing terms in this printer jargon buster. Printer components have a lifespan after which they need to be replaced. Maintenance count is the page count after which a maintenance kit containing various printer components needs to be used.
MFP stands for Multifunction Printers. These are machines that can perform the role of printer, scanner, fax, and copier.
OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer. These are the branded companies that manufacture your printer.
Paper capacity is the amount of pages your printer can hold at one time.
PPI stands for Pixels per Inch. While DPI is for printing, PPI is for scanning. Higher PPI means the scanned picture will be of better quality.
PPM stands for Pages per Minute. This term of our printer jargon buster is a measurement of speed of the printer in question. This will only be useful to you if you foresee high volume printing in your future.
It has microscopic nozzles through which ink is sprayed onto the page as per the image that is supposed to be printed.
The print head could be a separate component or it could be combined with inkjet cartridges. This depends on the model of printer you are using.
Printer Jargon Buster: R to Z
Resolution is basically how clear and sharp an image is. Resolution is most commonly used with laser printers. It is similar to DPI.
SD card will most often be used with cameras. However, some printers have SD card ports so that images can be printed without being transferred to the computer. Almost every photo printer has one or more SD ports.
Like ink is used in inkjet printers, toner is used in laser printers. While ink is liquid, toner is solid. Toner is extremely small particles made of predominantly plastic. Laser printers move toner particles from cartridges to paper with the help of electrostatic charges on the imaging drums.
The last term in our printer jargon buster is Wi-Fi. Like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi is a method of connecting the printer to input devices. Wi-Fi feature is increasingly common in printers nowadays and should be a preferred feature for most buyers.
So, that was our mini printer jargon buster for your benefit. Keep in mind that we filtered out the more complex terms from this printer jargon buster. We’ve only included those terms in this printer jargon buster that may be useful to you in your use of your printer.