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Printers have become
an essential part of the home and office, especially with added capabilities like
scanning, copying, and faxing. You may not realize it, but there are a lot of things
you need your printer for whether you’re printing corporate documents, your kids’
homework or your exclusive invite to that VIP sale. Read on to learn more about
how these hardworking machines have evolved.
Different printers are classified based on the technology they use to print on to
paper. Think about what you will use your printer for and how often you’ll use it
to determine the right one for you.
Inkjet printers spray tiny
droplets of liquid ink onto paper in order to create rich images and crisp text.
From cover letters to Uncle Dan’s perfect barbecue rub recipe, these printers can
handle it all, but where they really shine is in photo printing.
Inkjets are exceptional at smoothly blending colours together so you get photo print
outs that are rich and vibrant. Some inkjet printer manufacturers even offer special
photo inks to help create better shading and contour in your prints.
Suited for low volumes of work, these versatile printers are also able to print
on a variety of mediums, including textured stationary and specially coated CDs
and DVDs.Though best for lower printing volumes, inkjet printers should ideally
be used once a week to prevent the ink cartridges from drying out. If you only print
occasionally, a laser printer might be a better choice as you won’t find yourself
replacing ink cartridges that have dried out after long periods of inactivity.
If a laser printer could
talk whenever it sees a page that it’s printed, the first thing it would say is
"Hey there good-looking!" This is because they are able to create high quality copies
of your image or text.
A laser beam inside the printer beams an image from your computer straight on to
a rotating drum. Electrically charged toner (as opposed to ink) is attracted to
the image on the drum and after a quick baking process, the toner gets transferred
onto paper as an exact copy of your image.
These printers tend to have higher print speeds than inkjets and can handle higher
volumes of work, which makes them the ideal workhorse for a home office or small
business. For the best results possible, try to use
laser print paper with this kind of printer.
You know those awesome kitchen gadgets that can slice, dice, julienne AND cook your
dinner for you? A laser or inkjet multifunction printer is kind
of like that. A cost-effective option, these printers come in two varieties: a 3-in-1
that allows you to print, copy or scan documents, or a 4-in-1 that lets you fax,
are usually smaller printers dedicated to performing one task like a label printer.
You may also find a speciality printer like a portable printer useful. If you travel
a lot, this compact device will be your new best friend. You can print while you’re
at the airport, on the train, or simply on-the-go.
3D printers do just as they sound: they print in 3D. Starting with a 2D digital
model, a 3D printer slices the model into thin layers that it can print and stack
on top of each other to build its 3D print-out. Using materials such as plastic,
resin, or powder, a 3D printer melts the material, expels it, and forms it into
your 3D model. No longer just a tool of the future, 3D printers have become more
accessible to anyone from creative professionals to the average consumer. So, whether
you’re an architect who’s drawn up a dream home or a parent who wants to make a
toy for her child, you can watch your designs come to life with a 3D printer.
Keep these features in mind when you’re shopping for the printer of your dreams.
Print speed is determined by how many pages per minute (ppm) a
printer can push out. The higher the number of pages, the faster a printer can print
or copy your 120-page thesis before your 9:00 AM deadline.
If you plan to print in high volumes, you’ll want a printer with a high paper
capacity. Most home-based printers will have one paper tray that can
hold an average of 150 pages. On the other hand, since offices tend to print in
higher volumes, multiple paper trays that can hold 200 or more pages will help reduce
the number of times you have to refill the trays. You’ll also want to make sure
the printer can hold different paper sizes, especially if you regularly use something
other than letter size.
Duplex printing is a real time saver because of its ability to
print on both sides of a page. Printers that do duplex printing will often use a
reversing automatic document feeder, which allows for duplex scanning and prints
double-sided pages without you having to turn the paper over and re-feed it into
A printer with management controls is a great tool, especially
in small businesses. You can create a password that allows only employees to use
your machine and also set limits on how much they can print, copy, scan or fax in
a day, which is a great way to lower your paper and ink costs.
Touchscreen LCDs make it easy to navigate your printer and quickly
input data, such as the number of pages you want to print, the e-mail address you
want to send a scan to or the paper tray you want to use.
It can be a hassle to transfer your photos onto your computer just to make a few
prints. With PictBridge you can print photos directly from a digital camera without
needing to upload to your PC or laptop first. Simply plug your camera into your
printer using a USB cable and select the photos you think are picture frame-worthy.
If PictBridge isn’t your thing, you can also look for a printer with a built-in
memory card reader. You can
print stunning photos and, with some printers, even edit your photos all without
using a computer.
Printers with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capabilities allow you to print without directly
connecting your computer, laptop or mobile device. You can even set up a wireless
network that allows your devices to connect to your printer and send documents to
There a few other ways to get wireless convenience from your printer, but not all
printers will have these features, so be sure to check the specs carefully to make
sure you get the ones you need.
Have you ever snapped a photo on your iPhone and thought, “This deserves to be blown
up and hung over the fireplace”? If so, you’ll love Apple AirPrint, which lets you
wirelessly print content from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
With Google Cloud Print you can securely print your documents from
your PC, laptop, Android device or iOS device from anywhere in the world. That’s
Simply connect your printer to the cloud and you can print your presentation during
your morning commute and have it printed and waiting for you when you get into the
office. You can even share printers with friends and family so you can send photos
of the kids directly to your parents’ printer in Hamilton, ON. Google Cloud Print
works with any printer and there are even printers already pre-loaded with the software.
Some printers have a feature that assigns an e-mail address to
it. When you need to print something from an e-mail ready device, like a tablet,
you just load up a message window, attach your file, and send it to your printer’s
Choosing the right printer is a consideration of what you’ll print and how frequently
you’ll print it. A home printer may not be able to keep up with the heavy demands
of your office. Likewise, an office printer may have a ton of functions your family
will never use, which means you’ll be spending more on features you won’t use regularly.
Here are a few tips to help you find the right fit.
Depending on how often you think you’ll be making prints, the annual costs of replacement
ink cartridges can add up to be more expensive than a designer dress, vintage Champagne,
or a week in Paris. That number can more than double if you’re using coloured ink
It used to be that the toner cartridges
for laser printers made them a more affordable option, but these days there are
many inkjet printers that offer low-cost,
high-quality ink cartridges. If you want to save more on both toner and
ink, the easiest thing you can do is encourage your family or employees to only
print when absolutely necessary. Nowadays, there’s hardly anything you can’t turn
into a digital format and share via e-mail, external hard drive, or the Internet.
Whether you’re a home or office user, you’ll be able to find the right Inkjet printers,
laser printer or Speciality
printers for your needs at Best Buy. We also offer a great
high-quality ink cartridges, toner cartridges, and paper to stock your
new printer with.
© Best Buy Canada 2013
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