There are a couple of things you need to first understand before you purchase a printer. They include;

1. LaserJet or Inkjet.
Both LaserJet and Inkjet printers have advantages and disadvantages. 

Inkjet printers are cheaper to buy than LaserJet printers. They also have very good quality print outs. However, the cost of maintaining an Inkjet printer is very high. Also, Inkjet printers make a lot of noise while printing and are slower than LaserJet printers.

LaserJet printers are expensive when buying but very cheap to maintain. Their print quality is very high and they make less noise when printing. They print faster than Inkjet printers.

2. All-In-One or Print-only.
The next thing you need to consider is whether you just want a print-only device or you need to scan copy fax and print. 

Print-only printers are cheaper than All-In-One printers. However, they have limited functionality.

On the other hand, All-In-One printers have scanners, copiers and printers all put in one device. They are a little bit more expensive but very handy especially in an office setting. All-In-One printers also save space as they contain three different devices in one.

Some All-In-One printers have fax. When getting an All-In-One, always confirm if it has fax as not all of them have fax. In most cases All-In-Ones that have fax are more expensive. 

3. Print Or Scan Quality.
Various aspects of print and scan qualities can be compared between different models. Print resolution is usually measured in dots per inch (DPI). The higher the number of dots per inch the better the printer.

Inexpensive inkjet models usually generate black-only prints at least as high as 600×600 DPI. Color models, meanwhile usually start as high as 4800×1200. Laser jets, meanwhile, typically produce 1200×1200 DPI or better black-only prints and 1200×600 or better color prints.

Scan quality is measured using both bit-rate and DPI measurements. If scanning is an important feature, seek an all-in-one device that offers optical scan resolutions of at least 600×1200 DPI and at least a 24-bit scan rate. Again, higher numbers are better (a scanner that boasts 36- or 48-bit technology will produce even higher-quality scans). Be sure to consider the differences between an inline scanner, in which 8.5-inch x 11-inch pages are easily scanned by passing them through a sheet feeder, and a flat-bed scanner, in which odd-size documents can be easily scanned just by placing them on the glass. In environments where multiple-page documents will frequently be scanned, ensure you select a model that boasts an automatic feed tray.

4. Network Capabilities.
The days where parallel cables where used to connect printers to computers are long gone. In fact, most laptops nowadays do not even have parallel ports. Most printers nowadays are connected to computers via USB cables.

Many printers now boast integrated wireless LAN connectivity. Other models feature embedded network interface cards, making it possible to connect printers to a local area network via a standard wired Ethernet cable, and thereby usable by multiple PCs simultaneously. Still others feature integrated Bluetooth support, which makes it possible for laptop users (among others) with Bluetooth functionality to print wirelessly without the requirement that a local area network even be present. 

When reviewing a printer or multifunction device purchase, be sure to consider your organization’s needs. If multiple users will need to access the printer or all-in-one’s scanning functions, network-equipped models can eliminate the need to purchase multiple units or configure a single PC to host print services for other systems. If many users access the local area network wirelessly, be sure to consider a printer model that also includes WLAN connectivity.

Article Source: http://www.articlebiz.com/article/1051611508-1-how-to-select-the-best-printer-for-your-needs/

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