What kind of printer is right for you?

See chart below:

Inkjet Monochrome laser Color laser All in one
Ideal user Digital camera enthusiast that wants beautiful photomat quality images Busy small office that prints high volume text-heavy documents Small or home business worker who wants splashy professionally printed documents Small or home office worker with limited space that will compromise performance for space
Speed – color Up to 30 ppm but expect to up to one minute per high quality 8×10 photo N/A 4 ppm 1-5 ppm
Speed – black and white 8 to 30 ppm 15-35 ppm 16-20 ppm 10-30 ppm
Color If you want great photo color, this is the technology to buy. Black and grayscale only Good, professional color output, but perhaps not quite as a good a high-end inkjet photos Jack of all trades include color printing, but master of none
Price range $50 to $500 $200 to $3000+ $350 to $5000 $300 to $900
Price to operate 25-50 cents per sheet for photos Pennies per sheet 10-25 cents per sheet 15 to 25 cents per sheet
Ink/toner 2 to 5 ink cartridges Single toner drum 3 color toner drums Comes in inkjet or monochrome or color laser versions
Pro Great images Fast output, the workhorse of printers Gorgeous business documents Lots of work in a little space
Con Slow No color Need a 2nd mortgage for the toner replacement Does a mediocre job of several tasks
Bottom line Great photo producer, but can be slow and pricey for high-quality color Fast, high volume black and white prints Professional color business documents, but toner replacement can be costly Space saver; jack of all trade machine that does each task competently but not with any flair

Insider secrets to buying an office printer

  • Visit the printer aisle or do your research on-line and determine the models that interest you. Then immediately go to the ink and toner aisle and price out the replacement cartridges.
  • The more you pay up-front for a printer, the lower the cost to operate. More expensive printers have better technology that improve toner or ink controls as well as energy saving features and better paper handling. Lower paper jams mean lower consumable costs.
  • Buy ink brands that match your printer for optimal output. Printer companies spend a lot of money formulating inks and paper (especially higher end paper) to give you the best prints. So pick a brand of printer and stick with the same brand for your consumables.
  • With the exception of frameable photo prints, switching from high quality to medium or good quality will be barely noticeable and can reduce your ink or toner consumption by 33 per cent to 50 per cent.
  • For ultimate small office value, buy a faster and more expensive network printer and share it among your staff on your office network. Consider buying two types of printers. One networked inkjet for color packages and one monochrome laser printer for high volume business documents. Printing run-of-the-mill monochrome business documents on a swanky color inkjet will raise your ink replacement costs drastically.

Now that you know what type of printer you need, here are some online stores for you to buy one from:

Summing up printers: