Printer

Are you looking for a printer for your home office use? It is a rather daunting task especially since you are surrounded by so many choices that can really make it difficult to select the best home office printer from the shelf. And researching over the internet just doesn't help much because every website worth its salt, talks about "best printer ever is..." just adding to the confusion!

If you are like me, then the biggest obstacle you will face is just not being sure where to begin your search. Gosh! There are just too many types of printers and brands to choose from….being spoilt for choice just does not help here.

Let us cut to the chase and start at the very beginning. By now you must be really wondering, "How many types of printers are there?". The last time I counted, there were three basic types and I am sure that number is still constant. These three types are laser, inkjet, and dot matrix. We are going to look at each of these type individually and then share the pros and cons of each type of home office printer with you so that you are clear on whether it fits with your business/home requirements or not.

Dot Matrix
It's the oldest type of printer currently in the market. Similar to a typewriter in function, they print using an inked ribbon that is impressed upon by a printhead to generate the print on the paper. Dot matrix printers were considered pioneers at the time of introduction. However, now their technology is redundant, because better performing printers have been introduced since then.

That being said, it's also a common sight to still find many companies using these printers. Why, did you ask? Because dot matrix printers are the only printers capable of producing carbon copies, making it easy for banks and payroll departments of companies to tolerate these noisy beasts!

If you also require a printer for this specific need, dot matrix printer will do the job well. Here’s what you need to consider:

Dot Matrix Printer's Pros
* Can easily print on multipart forms (read carbon copy)
* Very economical

Dot Matrix Printer's Cons
* Very noisy
* Poor quality output

Inkjet
One of my favorite types of printer, inkjet printer works by ejecting many hundreds of tiny drops of ink on to the paper. Each company has its own technology but the common this is the result - noiseless, crisp printing at low costs.

The cartridges used in these printers cost a fortune. But that's how printer companies make their money. They keep the cost of the printer low but make the cartridges expensive. And did you know that it is cheaper to fill a pool with vintage champagne than with printer ink?

The resolution or the quality of print offered by inkjet printers is measured in DPI or (dots per inch). The higher the DPI, the better the print quality. You can also choose from colored printers to photorealistic models. If you are require the printer for printing high quality graphic work or want to print family pictures, a photo inkjet printer can be avoided.

An inkjet printer can be yours for around $85 to $200. Don’t aim for the really cheap ones because you’ll be disappointed by the performance. Check some inkjet printers here. Remember; as far as printers go, you'll get what you pay for.

Inkjet Printer's Pros
* Quiet operation
* High quality print outs

Inkjet Printer's Cons
* Ink tends to smudge
* Cartridges are very expensive to replace

Laser
A high-end printer technology, laser printers have been available for some time now. Though complex in printing technology, laser printers give you great quality prints. Each paper that passes through the printer is given a negative charge while the toner is positively charged. These opposite charges attract toner to the paper where it is heated to make it hold onto the paper.

The laser's functionality is limited to "drawing" out which parts of the page should be positive or negative in charge.

A great print quality and excellent, quite functioning, laser printers are the most expensive of all printer types and the cost of their spares can be jaw dropping! If you want to know the cost of running the printer, simply ask the salesperson for this information for the first 12 months. DON'T buy a laser printer without knowing what the first year’s cost is going to be.

Laser Printer's Pros
* Extremely fast
* Impressive black and color print quality

Laser Printer's Cons
* High running costs
* Expensive Repairs

So finally that one question that is still left unanswered. "What is the best home office printer?". This really depends on your need and your budget. According to common knowledge, a mid-range inkjet printer from HP, Lexmark, Epson, or Canon would sever your SOHO needs well. And remember; stick with printer manufacturers that you recognize.

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