Things to Consider When Buying a Printer
You’ve found yourself in need of a printer. Considering the various types of printers, you start to research. You take a gander at the new or used printers for sale and at once you find that you’re overwhelmed. Being that the printer market is filled with jargon, competition, and loads of information, it can be difficult to wade through the terrain and identify the perfect type of printer for you.
In which case, what features should you look for in a printer? Whether you are most concerned with print quality, print speed, cost-effectiveness, or even wi-fi direct capabilities, read on to find out what you should consider when purchasing a printer. It’s to your advantage to be best informed about your options across new and refurbished office printers so that you can make the best selection that suits your needs.
First and foremost, what do you need this printer to do? Do you need to print high-quality photos, or do you need an industry-grade office printer for high-volume printing??
You need to identify exactly what you’re going to use it for, or else it might not support the task(s) at hand.
- In what format will I be printing? Simple things like PDFs and Word Documents? Or dynamic graphic files that require top-notch color ink cartridges? (some printers can’t print specific media)
- Do I need two-sided printing capabilities?
- How many people will be using the printer?
- What quality of photos do I need?
- How quickly will I need the printer to execute the tasks? Is print speed crucial to getting the job done?
- Where will the printer live? Will it be hardwired, or will it need to have a wi-fi direct network card?
By narrowing your needs, you also hone in on the optimal product type.
Inkjet or Laser
While we don’t have enough time to discern the differences between inkjet printers and laser printers (which there are many), we’ll write a snap overview of both.
Highest quality machines. Most affordable upfront. But can become costly in the long-run due to the price of replacement cartridges and lag in printing speed comparatively. If you’re going to print tons of paper, the price to change the printer ink will definitely add up.
Laser printers are typically considered the “office workhorse” as they can push paper through the document feeder stat without burning through toner.
Usability – Ease of Use
If you’re not well-versed with technology—especially this type of technology—then usability should be extremely high on your list of desired printer features. If you’re the opposite, then it’s likely that you’ll enjoy a more customizable, multifunction machine.
Configuring and troubleshooting a printer, depending on the machine, can be an endeavor meant specifically for experts. There are companies dedicated solely to printer maintenance for this reason. In which case, be sure to consider:
- Whether or not the printer is user-friendly
- Whether or not it’s a “push and play” printer
- Whether or not it’s a multifunction machine meant to be customized for repeatable workflows.
- Whether or not it limits controls or connects to the network easily
While product specifications and reading up on a printer types comparison cheat sheet can often answer the questions above, reviews are another wonderful source of information that will help you discern how user-friendly a given printer is. Customer reviews can serve as a buying guide to picking a printer.
If you’re doing your due diligence, it’s likely companies keep on pushing the “specs” agenda or speeds and feeds regarding printers. What’s the print speed? What’s the resolution it can print at?
In which case, what people often forget to talk about is the associated costs that come with owning a printer or the Total Cost of Ownership TCO:
- Ink – We strongly encourage you to research how much ink replacement cartridges cost. Some printers need specific ink cartridges that are not in high demand. And some printer manufacturers sell cheap machines but extremely expensive ink—knowing they’ll make money in their cartridge sales.
- Maintenance – Does your printer come with a warranty? Regarding reviews, did many of the users point to it breaking down? And, is this a popular unit, or will parts be expensive to replace?
Other Things To Consider
While we’ve given you a good platform to stand on, a few other factors to consider when in the research step before purchasing a printer are:
- Support – Is phone or email support included? How is the customer service of this company?
- Longevity – How long does this printer typically last? Does it have resale value? Is there a difference in longevity between new or refurbished office printers?
- Size – Will this type of printer fit where I need it to, whether it serves as a personal home printer or office printer?
- Paper – What kind of paper will I be using? Does this printer support the sizes I typically work with?
The Best Bang for Your Buck | X-Digital
While you’re on your printing journey, we at X-Digital you find the printer that perfectly suits your every need. And remember, printers are often a great piece of hardware to buy refurbished. It allows you to purchase a high-quality printer at an affordable price.
So, if you have any questions regarding printer specs, or want to learn more about our machines, don’t hesitate to reach out!
“Give a man a fish, you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man to print, and you’ve fed him for a lifetime.”
-Confucius The Printosopher
PC World. Printer Buying Guide: Printer Specs You Need to Know. March 25th, 2010.
Science ABC. How Does a Printer Work? Venkatesh Vaidyanathan. January, 2019.
Business Insider. The best printers you can buy for less than $100. Christian de Looper. August 27th, 2018.