Tips for buying and maintaining printers

Which printer to choose according to your needs

Ink, laser, color, black and white, with a copy function, multifunction… there are many options on the market when it comes to printers. If you are thinking of acquiring one, here are some tips that you can take into account to make the best decision, at the best price, and always in favor of the domestic economy and savings.

ink printers

Inkjet printers work with cartridges containing ink in four colors: black, black ink, and colors, cyan, magenta and yellow. Depending on the model, these color ink cartridges may include all three inks, or each in separate cartridges. Those of individual format are somewhat more expensive, but much more convenient, since you do not need to wait until all three colors are used up to optimize the change of cartridges.

Ink printers are cheaper , both in their purchase and in their subsequent maintenance. They only require operation, at least once a week, to prevent the capillaries (very thin tubes that carry and emit the ink) from drying out, especially in very hot and dry climates.

They are suitable for printing text and graphics, with greater or lesser definition indicated in a number: dpi (dots per inch) or dpi (dots per inch). This determines the number of tiny dots of ink deposited per inch printed: the higher the number, the sharper the print.

In the market you can find many formats of ink printers with different capacities. Some, vertically deployed, not only allow the printing of documents, but also the copying of already printed files as a photocopier (Xerox type). The so-called ” multifunction ” also have capabilities to scan images and elements, and other functions such as OCR (shape recognition that transforms printed text into text on screen for editing), and even programming functions, adaptation of the type of printing and the rest. These complete elements are ideal for home offices, although if you are looking for a device that allows you to print your texts and your photographs or images (for example, for students or everyday use), a simple ink printer will be more than enough, avoiding spending more.

Laser printers

For its part, in the market you can also find laser printers, both in black and in colors. These work with loads of toner and laser technology that prints the paper. Its quality is far superior to those of ink , and so is its speed. However, these are much more expensive artifacts , both in their purchase and in their maintenance, especially given the need for repairs and spare parts.

Laser printers will be more suitable in offices and studios that make large amounts of printing, or that require higher quality in their printouts (design studios, architecture and plans, and others).

Before making the purchase of the printer, consult about its adaptation to different types of paper. Some formats do not support glossy papers, and even heavier or thicker papers.

Thermal Printers and Dot matrix

Finally, let’s not forget about the old web , dot matrix or dot matrix printers. They are very cheap, allow the use of continuous paper, and work with an endless inked belt that prints the paper by hitting small needles that place this belt between the paper and the hammers. It is a noisy and slow device, but extremely cheap, and allows (low quality) prints suitable for keeping records of simple household matters.

Another old model is the thermal printer , which burns a special paper to achieve printing, in a way that was popularized by fax machines.

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